Proposed Legislation That Can Limit Your Access To Holistic, Spiritual, & Alternative Therapies


An URGENT Call To Action


The Future of Reiki,  Martial Artists, Spiritual Based, & Holistic Therapies in MA & USA

Your freedom to access or practice any of these therapies  is being threatened with regulation.

What’s the threat?

The threat is coming from the private sector, organizations which stand to benefit by controlling from whom you can receive treatment, from whom you can learn any of these therapies, how you practice professionally, and what you teach.

That control can be gained by manipulating state governments that write licensing laws, ostensibly to protect the public from harm.

The National Institutes of Health states clearly that there is no evidence that Reiki practice is harmful to the public

Do I have your attention? Are you ready to protect Reiki and other affected therapies?

Although this proposed bill affects ANYTHING that is deemed a holistic therapy or a spiritual therapy through “word or touch”, I am going to stick to my lane of knowledge in the realm of my extensive experience in trauma healing & recovery especially for domestic violence survivors and sexual assault survivors as well as spiritually based therapies such as meditation & reiki.

For more details on what is happening, please check out my prior post here.

If you teach or are a practitioner who uses other therapies such as

  • meditation,
  • yoga,
  • personal, business, spiritual coaching,
  • Thai chi,
  • martial arts,
  • acupressure

You are being called to TAKE ACTION

If you receive any of these therapies especially for/or a part of a:

  • PTSD, mental health or trauma
  • terminal illness, dementia, cancer
  • senior care, volunteer programs, homelessness
  • Military vets
  • addiction
  • battered women’s shelter
  • or the like

Your access to services may become adversely affected … ACTION is needed NOW


Holistic healers are fighting “An Act Regulating Bodyworks,” the latest bill filed by State Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) and Attorney General Maura Healey to allow authorities regular access to establishments they say are often fronts for trafficking.

Reiki practitioner Rita Glassman  (Staff Photo By Chris Christo/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

I recently spoke with Rita Glassman who is heading up the lobbying efforts in Massachusetts to object to regulation of reiki that is beginning to sweep through many states in USA.

She and other practitioners from the National Health Freedom Action have been working to protect their right to professionally practice their respective modalities.

There is a Massachusetts Chapter, Health Freedom Action Massachusetts (HFAMA). Please consider joining, become a member, and stay informed.


How Will This Regulation Affect You?

Montigny’s bill defines bodywork as a large swath of practices including touch, words or directed movement, from reiki to reflexology to meditation or martial arts.

For practitioners, you were you able to choose from among diverse practitioners and found the one you thought was the best fit for you.

When you started your professional practice, did you assume you’d always be able to practice according to your understanding your unique practice, without interference from your state government?

All of those choices will be taken away if we allow state legislatures to be manipulated by the private sector into requiring unwarranted licensing.

If you missed my prior blog post on what is happening, please click here to read it for information & background.  Above all … please

  • share it,
  • take ACTION.
Pamela Miles https://reikiinmedicine.org

More recently, Pamela Miles (Reiki, Medicine & Self Care), who was instrumental in helping bring reiki on the map in the medical community in NYC and has been featured on Dr. Oz has jumped on the anti-legislative board due to the dangers this widespread legislation poses to  folks in gaining access to specifically reiki.

She wrote a fabulous piece on how the threat of regulating reiki would affect you that I will NOT redo as it is perfectly executed.

You can read her wonderful article here where she talks about

  • WHO stands to profit from this regulation,
  • how this regulation can affect you,
  • the reiki diversity,
  • the reiki spiritual practice,
  • what states are under attack NOW,
  • and what you can do about it.

Pamela Miles has been a national voice and featured on the following:.


Pamela has hosted multiple webinars and sent out numerous emails on how to address what we are faced with in regards to legislation.  Her voice is one highly credible and respected in the industry.

You can listen to her recent webinar, Protect Reiki from Regulation, with Rita Glassman.  You can access it here.

She is going to post a summary of the presentation soon, but meanwhile please read Protecting Reiki from Regulation: What You Can Do Now, Part One and get started on your Reiki statement and ACTION.


ACTION To Take NOW

It is imperative that we start writing and calling legislators NOW to oppose this bill.

Laura at the Ma State House to testify against the harmful bills & supporting the Safe Harbor Bill.

The MA attorney general has filed the identical bill in the house and senate to ensure its passage.  It is going to take a miracle to stop it.

We need an army of practitioners to contact their legislator and senator to establish a relationship with them and to let them know how this proposed bill would affect their income and family. They are elected officials and they listen to their constituents.

Rita and her team has made it easy for us to take ACTION. It is all done for you to make it easy for you to help stop this legislation.


Sample letters & talking points

Click on the links below for:

The following is the link to find my legislator to make it easy for everyone to find their elected official. https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

I STRONGLY suggest that you blind copy (BC) me on your emails to their legislators, so I can present all the letters to the committee it is assigned to at the public hearing.

You can bcc: your letters to healingwithspirit1@gmail.com.

Results?

Last year, Rita Glassman presented the list of over 20,000 who signed the an online petition she had created to oppose the legislation as well as copies of letters that were sent to legislators.

KEY RESULT:  When NH tried to pass licensure legislation, they had a strong turnout of over 400 at the public hearing and over a thousand letters to legislators.  They never filed another licensure bill for holistic practitioners.  We need to do the same and just flood them.

WE NEED YOU.

If we learned NOTHING else from the election in November 2020, it takes the rise of us ALL.   Please do NOT rely on someone else to take action. We can NOT do this alone. This does NOT only affect reiki, but other spiritually based practices as well.

To defeat this will  require ALL of us to step up to the plate. 

As for me, regulating these services will prevent folks in vulnerable communities I serve from gaining access to these therapies which in turn would harm my mission to break the cycle of abuse through healing the unrecognized unhealed epidemic of unresolved trauma that plagues our communities and over burdens our broken health care system.

Please share your thoughts and comments below in regards HOW this may or may not affect you. Thank you for reading.

With appreciation,

Laura

Complementary Alternative Medicine for Holistic Treatment Options for Addiction

As someone who has been practicing spiritually based integrative therapies since 2006, looking into using complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) for holistic treatment options as part of an addiction treatment program intrigues me. Personally, in my own recovery, not from addictions, but from complex post traumatic stress disorder or CPTSD, these therapies I credit for saving my life, reduced my need to be medicated and potentially reduced my risk for addictions.

In this post, I was hoping to learn more about how effective these therapies are in treatment for addiction, but have found limited scientific data.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)[1], approximately 23 million Americans require treatment for a substance use problem, but only 2.5 million people in the U.S. receive treatment which includes:

  • pharmacotherapy, including medications to treat addiction or related mental health conditions;
  • behavioral therapy, including well-known techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT),\
  • motivational enhancement therapy (MET),
  • and contingency management(CM);
  • or a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy.

As we are learning to understand, due to the complexity of how addiction affects each person, there is not one single treatment right for everyone.

With that said, even the best treatments cannot guarantee complete remission of addiction and drug-seeking behaviors, which is why integrating CAM approaches as part of the treatment option might improve the recovery outcomes.


Types of CAM approaches are separated into two categories:

  • Natural products such as mineral, vitamins, herbals, Adaptogens like Ashwagandha and probiotics.
  • Mind and body therapies such as yoga, chiropractic, osteopathic, meditation, massage, acupuncture, Thai chi, expressive arts, reiki, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda medicine, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine and more.

CAM treatments can benefit addiction treatment in at least three ways[2]:

  • addiction prevention,
  • increasing treatment compliance,
  • and boosting treatment outcomes.

In the case of prevention, CAM interventions can be implemented to treat underlying conditions that commonly occur in association with addiction, such as mental illness and chronic pain. If these issues are addressed and managed early, addiction may never develop. For mental illness, there is good evidence to support that CAM strategies are effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.[3]


The Benefits of Adaptogens

Adaptogens like Ashwagandha[4] root are natural substances that help the adrenal system regulate hormones and manage stress. Over recent years, I have seen how well Ashwagandha works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me and have had reports of some in recovery who have used this as part of their treatment effectively.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.  Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium[5].


Equine Assisted Therapy

Statistics, data, and research is lacking in the field of complimentary alternative medicine. However, CAM approaches can be helpful by keeping the individual engaged and active in their course of addiction treatment.

One such technique is horse-assisted therapy (also known as equine-assisted therapy), an intervention that actively involves horses during the therapy process. Results show that people stayed in treatment for twice as many days and were much more likely to complete treatment than those in traditional programming.[6]


Mindfulness Based Approaches

According to NCCIH, mindfulness-based approaches have shown some success when applied to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction by improving distress tolerance.[7]

Available data suggest that mindfulness-based interventions may help significantly reduce the consumption of several substances including alcohol, cigarettes, opiates, and others compared to control groups; however, many studies have had small sample sizes, methodological problems, and a lack of consistently replicated findings.


Other types of CAM treatments studied with effectiveness include[8]:

  • Mindfulness meditation has been effective in reducing cigarette use and reducing cravings.
  • Mindfulness Based for Reduction in Pain: 2016 review also found that mindfulness-based interventions effectively reduce pain intensity, improve functional status, improve pain-related psychological consequences, and improve quality of life; they can also be used as adjunct therapy aimed at improving health-related quality of life in individuals with substance use disorders interested in self-management strategies.
  • Mindfulness Based For Reduction of Consumption:2014 systematic review of 24 studies found evidence suggesting that mindfulness-based interventions can reduce the consumption of several substances including alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, cigarettes, and opiates to a significantly greater extent than wait list controls, non-specific educational support groups, and some specific control groups.
  • Hypnotherapy study in 2014 found that hypnotherapy patients were more likely than nicotine replacement therapy patients to be nonsmokers at 12 weeks and 26 weeks after hospitalization.
  • Yoga has been shown to reduce cravings and to ease withdrawal from nicotine, with stronger results in women.
  • Thai chi seems to enhance mindfulness and one’s ability to break the cycle of nicotine addiction.
  • Acupuncture has been studied with a number of addictions.Most notably, electric acupuncture has helped to reduce relapse rates for people addicted to opioids.

Several studies have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the effects of mindful attention on the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex in smokers, the areas of the brain associated with cravings and self-control.

In a 2017 study of 23 participants who completed either mindfulness training or cognitive behavioral treatment for smoking cessation, the researchers found that stress reactivity in several brain regions including the amygdala and anterior/mid insula was related to reductions in smoking after treatment.[9] The findings suggest that reduction in stress reactivity may be one of the underlying mechanisms of mindfulness-based treatments.


The Benefits of Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan Singing Bowls[10] have been used by Tibetan monks for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. These bowls create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul.

A 2016 study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, which “concluded that Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation.”[11]

Although the study results are brief, I find it promising.  I began using Tibetan singing bowls in my work in 2015 as something I felt drawn to do on an instinctual basis for my own healing. As someone who has a history of trauma resulting in CPTSD, I welcome this study.

I went through the traditional medicinal route and felt I was given a band-aid with a wound that continued to grow and fester with no relief in sight. So since 2005, I began looking into me. Who I am, and how can I heal especially when my very trust in humanity was so broken. I went up into the spiritual unknown to  build my trust in my spirituality.

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” — Dr. Mitchell Gaynor


Reiki For Addiction

Other potential viable options also include reiki.  Since traditional nonwestern forms of reiki (Jikiden Reiki[12]) has been prevalent in my own personal healing path as well as with those I have treated and/or taught who are in recovery, I looked into reiki research.  Jikiden Reiki® is the “direct teaching” of Reiki from Japan that is free from Western influence. The word Reiki itself means “soul energy”, which is the natural, vital healing force found in all life.

Jikiden Reiki® sessions focus on removing toxins from the body and guiding it towards wholeness. Jikiden Reiki is known for its effective treatment of acute and chronic conditions, as well as to address deep rooted beliefs, habits, traumas and addictions.  Reiki has been effective treatment option like alleviating pain, pre-op and post-op surgery recovery, anxiety, skin conditions and post-traumatic stress.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a quality study on the effectiveness of reiki for addiction, but found numerous individual accounts of addiction and recovery on how reiki helped their own recovery as evidence.

According to the Rehab Center which offers reiki therapy, states “alternative medicine, like Reiki therapy, for addiction has been successful for some individuals, but is likely only effective when it meets the unique needs and beliefs of the person”.[13]

Benefits include according to this site:

  • may help an individual with some aspects of recovery
  • boost energy
  • lower stress
  • reduce pain
  • help with symptoms of withdrawals
  • reduce agitation
  • promote relaxation,
  • may also help a person remain calm during the early and stressful stages of addiction treatment.

According to Sober Nation, if done within the few first days of detox, Reiki therapy may help make withdrawal symptoms more tolerable to endure. Secondly, people are better able to deal with stress of recovery and life in a healthier manner.[14]

Additionally, Reiki therapy for drug and alcohol addiction also helps those newly recovering deal with anger and resentments which are common triggers that can lead people back into active addiction. I have personally witnessed this aspect in my own practice when reiki is used effectively from a qualified practitioner. Reiki therapy also helps repair the physical and psychological damage that addiction causes and allows the individual to get back on a path towards a healthy lifestyle.[15]

I did find one recovery site that had concerns regarding reiki “detoxication” which can be explained simply from my experience.[16] Most Americans are trained in some form of  “westernized” reiki which is NOT the full scope of training as it was taught in Japan with many added “new age” concepts. When the traditional training is adhered to which takes decades to master, the so called “reiki detoxification” mentioned has been reduced by 90% with a 90% reduction of intensification from my own personal experience of doing THIS work since 2006.


Final Thoughts

Overall, there is a lack of evidence to support the use of many forms of CAM despite numerous individual claims of benefit. I can personally attest to this so-called phenomena.  For this reason, most of the sites I researched urged “caution” in initiating CAM treatments due to lack of safety.

This only makes me question is this due to the lack of research or money lobbied by big business, wall street and Big Pharma. I say this because known therapies such as meditation and yoga have repeatedly been shown to be effective and safe and have been effectively practiced as part of a spiritual based practice for thousands of years.

I also feel that how is it possible to quantify and make quantitative something that is spiritually based like yoga, reiki, Thai chi, or meditation just to name a few which can vary based on personal beliefs, spiritual beliefs, and experiences that at the end of the day are all personal.

This is not a one shoe fits all approach. It takes someone skilled at knowing their clients, their needs and belief systems to know which approach is best suited for them. It is part of what I consider the spiritual journey. These therapies are different from other forms of spiritually based therapies as they are free from religious indoctrination and dogma and tap into the something that links all spiritual beliefs that are our innate BE-ing.

Based on what my research is showing and from my own personal experiences, the results of implementing complimentary alternative medicine as part of a treatment plan can be very promising with much less serious if not deadly side effects seen in traditional medical approaches and can be used as part of a treatment program during ALL stages addiction treatment.

I am hoping you found this guide helpful. This is just the tip to what is possible and plausible.

I would LOVE to hear from you as to what you found most resourceful for you

With appreciation,

Laura

Spiritual Medium, Healer, Speaker, Writer, Metaphysician, Advocate, Holistic Health Practitioner, Facilitator, Trauma Specialist, Empowerment Specialist and Spiritual Badass.


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RESOURCES:

[1] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; (2014); https://www.samhsa.gov/;  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK385055/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK385055.pdf

[2] National Rehab Directory by American Addiction Centers; Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Drug Addiction; Eric Peterson; (November 4, 2019); https://www.rehabs.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-for-addiction/

a href=”#_ftnref3″ name=”_ftn3″>[3] National Rehab Directory by American Addiction Centers; Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Drug Addiction; Eric Peterson; (November 4, 2019); https://www.rehabs.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-for-addiction/

[4] Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness; Laura Joseph; November 2018; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/why-ashwagandha-root-could-be-the-cure-for-the-western-epidemic-of-stress-related-illness/

[5] How the War on Drugs Has Caused More Harm Than Good; April 7, 2016; Dr. Mercola; https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/07/war-on-drugs-opioids.aspx

[6] Kern-Godal, A., Arnevik, E. A., Walderhaug, E., & Ravndal, E. (2015). Substance Use Disorder Treatment Retention and Completion: A Prospective Study of Horse-Assisted Therapy (HAT) for Young AdultsAddiction Science & Clinical Practice, 10, 21.; https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13722-015-0043-4

[7] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders<

[8] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders-science#hed5

[9] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders-science#hed5

[10] Vibrational Healing/Tibetan Singing Bowls; Healing With Spirit; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/services/meditation/vibrational-healing-tibetan-singing-bowls/

[11] Medical Study of the Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-Being; Healing With Spirit; November 18, 2016; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/medical-study-of-the-effects-of-singing-bowl-sound-meditation-on-mood-tension-and-well-being/

[12] Jikiden Reiki Services; Healing With Spirit; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/services/reiki/jikiden-reiki-services/

[13] Addiction Campuses; Reiki Therapy For Addiction; Medically reviewed by Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC; (January 24, 2019); https://www.rehabcenter.net/reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[14]Behavioral Health Innovators; Sober Nation; Holistic Therapy Spotlight: Reiki Therapy for Addiction; Tim Powers; (3/24/2016); https://sobernation.com/holistic-therapy-spotlight-reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[15] Behavioral Health Innovators; Sober Nation; Holistic Therapy Spotlight: Reiki Therapy for Addiction; Tim Powers; (3/24/2016); https://sobernation.com/holistic-therapy-spotlight-reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[16] Axis Recovery; Reiki Detox Therapy; https://axisresidentialtreatment.com/drug-detox/reiki-therapy/