URGENT APPEAL Regarding the State of Reiki in Massachusetts

☆☆ Urgent Appeal ☆☆

Thank you to the work by those from the Celebration of Reiki Conference on researching this

 Massachusetts Senate Bill S2461, which is moving quickly through the Massachuetts legislature. Legislators are very concerned about human trafficking and do not want to appear in any way “soft” on it. The Bill has been through two votes in the Senate without a single “No vote” and is moving to the House for consideration in Committees there before a floor vote.

If this Bill passes, Reiki practitioners will not be able to practice Reiki in Massachusetts without first having a license from the state.

The following modalities are affected by Bill S2461:
  • Feldenkrais method; reflexology; Trager Approach; AyurvedicTherapies; Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity Therapy; Asian bodywork therapy; acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; body-mind centering and Reiki.  These modalities are being placed in the category of “Bodywork”.

The Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing will be taking testimony via email from interested parties; the committee has only until August 27th to move this through- there is a very good chance that they will not take the full time to review this bill.

That is why we are calling for a Call To Action TODAY.
First, some more background on Bill S2461:
  • All practitioners listed above will need a license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to practice.
  • This Bill classifies Reiki as a “bodywork therapy.”  This bill is based on a misunderstanding of Reiki and a misunderstanding of “Bodywork”.  There is no such profession as “bodywork” or “bodywork therapy”.  Further, many Reiki practitioners define Reiki as a mind-body-spirit healing practice and not “bodywork” at all.  “Bodywork” is just a catch-all term for a broad field containing many disciplines, some of which are full professions that already have their own bodies of knowledge, educational programs, codes of ethics, standards of practice, etc. as well as professional organizations to administer these. 
  • According to the Bill, all practitioners, including Reiki practitioners, must pass “a course of study consisting of at least 500 classroom hours or an equivalent number of credit hours of supervised instruction in a nationally accredited bodywork therapy program”.  As you know this is not applicable to Reiki practitioners, as we do not have a “nationally accredited program”, nor does Reiki training require “at least 500 classroom hours.”

This bill would harm our practitioners and the citizens of Massachusetts who benefit from their services. 

Citizens of Massachusetts receiving services from these practitioners would no longer be able to continue receiving the benefits these modalities have to offer. 
You can make a difference by using your voice to educate lawmakers on the consequences of their actions.
PERSONAL NOTE:
Something for reiki practitioners to consider, and hope I voice this correctly and clearly. 
However, speaking as someone who has worked with survivors of abuse, as a reiki professional, speaker, advocate, and reiki teacher, this bill will also prevent victims of sex trafficking from gaining access to qualified reiki professionals to help them with long term healing without draining taxpayer funded economic resources or dept of public health resources or health insurance costs.
 The start up Massachusetts Survivors Outreach that I helped launch for survivors of abuse in Massachusetts will fail before off the ground as direct result of this bill. So this could also potentially negatively affect organizations providing care to abuse victims. Something I’ve been outspoken about as benefits of reiki on a much under served community.
The idea that it’s used in hospitals etc … may or may not be seen as relevant to this bill since it’s about two things we are discussing
1. Sex trafficking
2. Reiki. 
Food for thought

HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP THIS BILL

Become informed and read the Bill itself.

Please send an email ASAP to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing [email protected] and include the following:

1. Salutation: Dear Representative So and So

2. Subject: Opposition to S24613. Your name and address
4. State that you are a Reiki (and/or other) Practitioner
5. Say you oppose the passing of S2461
6. State the reasons why you oppose S2461. This is an impact statement of how this Bill would adversely affect you and your business personally. Be sure to personalize your letter:

  • If you are a Reiki practitioner, state the negative consequences the bill would have on your practice, e.g., the bill would put you out of business, create unnecessary expenses, the bill does not understand what Reiki is and does not understand what bodywork is. 
  • If you are a Reiki recipient, please state the negative impact the bill would have on you and your loved ones, e.g. you would no longer be able to receive the services/benefits of (include the name of the modality). 
  • Please do not wait to send this. The email does not have to be long or complicated. Take a few minutes and send it out today. Everything depends on everyone taking action now.
  • It is very important to follow up your email with a phone call and be sure to ask them to officially log your call in opposition to the bill.
  • Reach out to your loyal clients for them to write an impact statement to send to the committee, as well. 
  • Please volunteer, even if you do not reside in Massachusetts. We need help getting the word out. If you can spare time to make phone calls, send emails, etc.

For more information, please visit the Celebration of Reiki Conference Email.

There are additional ways to help–writing to house and senate members of the Healthcare Finance Committee and volunteering to help us get the word out.

I am grateful!
Laura