AND What You Can Do About It.
*** If you provide or receive benefit from alternative, holistic, or spiritual based therapies and/or practices, this is a MUST read. ***
There are currently THREE pending legislations in Massachusetts that could have an impact in your rights of access to holistic and spiritual based therapies.
Two of the bills are potentially harmful and the third is a Safe Harbor bill to address the concerns of legislators while protecting the rights of Americans to access as well as protect many sacred teachings that fall under religious practices without government interference.
Holistic and spiritual practitioners in the state of Massachusetts who do not otherwise fall under professional or national licensing requirement (like Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Massage therapy) have been under potential threat of being controlled by the state.
The practitioners from the National Health Freedom Action have been working to protect their right to professionally practice their respective modalities and there is a Massachusetts Chapter, Health Freedom Action Massachusetts (HFAMA).
According to the folks at this group, “Massachusetts previously introduced Safe Harbor Exemption legislation to protect the right to practice for, and the right of consumers to access, health care practitioners and healers who do not have conventional medical licenses such as herbalists, homeopaths, traditional naturopaths and many more.”
It was looking favorable last time we checked in early 2020. Unfortunately, like everything else, Covid slowed down the process of the Safe Harbor Bill going through. View the Bill here SD.1085/HD.1169
NEW Concerning Developments
Since then, there have been interesting and concerning developments.
1) There is an (alleged) federally sponsored organization that is working toward creating a mandatory licensing for a variety of modalities, including shamanic practice. They have developed standards, certifications and applications that would force certain practitioners to become licensed under them. They plan to get this passed in 8 applicable states, beginning with Massachusetts.
2) At the state level in Massachusetts, there were bills filed on Wednesday, co-sponsored by the Attorney General that would require a variety of modalities (listed below), to be licensed and overseen by the state and/or individual towns. From what it looks to me, they are putting these “alternative healing therapies” into a similar category as massage therapy.
These are the categories that I am reading about in the Massachusetts bill that was filed on Wednesday, February 10, 2021:
- Feldenkrais Method
- the Trager Approach
- Ayurvedic Therapies
- Polarity or Polarity Therapy
- Qi Gong
- Body/Mind Centering
- Reiki, levels II and above
Here’s where I need your help:
This bill referenced in the Call to Action below, known as the Safe Harbor bill, would work to protect the rights of the practitioners listed. This would work in favor of these practitioners and allow them sovereignty over their healing art.
PLEASE SIGN HERE as this gets emailed directly to our legislators. It takes one minute.
Only Massachusetts residents can sign this.
You do NOT need to be a practitioner to sign. If you run a volunteer program or you have benefited in any way from these modalities, you are encouraged to sign.
Please share with clients or groups you work with who benefit from these therapies too.
** This is NOT a petition, it’s a direct email to legislators that can help us. **
What Else You Can Do NOW
Protect YOUR rights and Access
Please do NOT expect someone else to do it FOR you. As we have witnessed in the last year, and if we learned nothing else from 2020, EVERYONE must rise and take action.
1) Read about the Safe Harbor Bill that is designed to protect you and your rights.
Key provisions of the Health Freedom Bill include:
- Greater access to healing arts practitioners by the acknowledgment of its inherent benefits
- Strengthened consumer protections to ensure public rights and safety
- Enhanced practitioner safety underscoring the right to practice
- Required disclosures relating to services and skills
- Uniform informed consent mechanisms
2) Learn About the Health Freedom Action of Massachusetts (HFAMA).
HFAM “has worked to advance an initiative that balances consumer protections and public safety with the rights of those practicing healing arts. With the recent passage of health care reform on the state and national levels, it is now more important than ever that consumers have the right to safely access healing arts.”
Become a member
Donate to support this expensive legislative process to protect our rights and the groups mission.
Submit a Testimony in support of Safe Harbor Bill. Click here.
Learn How To Get Involved. Click here.
Follow on Social Media for updates
3) Learn About the Parent Group: National Health Freedom Action and their work nationwide and in grassroots organizations in various states where legislation is pending.
The Mission: “To ensure that the people of this nation have access to the broad domain of healing and health care information and services, to ensure the right of practitioners of the healing arts to practice, and to educate the public, promote health and well-being, conduct surveys and research, and participate in legislative, regulatory, legal, or public policy-reform and lobbying to accomplish the goal of health freedom.”
In full disclosure, I am a paid member of this organization and of their chapter HFAMA.
Join their email list. Click here.
Follow on Social Media for updates
Click here for ACTION ALERTS
4) Know the other 2 bills presented for legislation that are potentially harmful especially towards vulnerable populations, interference with religious practices, discriminatory, and culturally targeted.
Right now, this one is currently filed as mentioned above https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/SD1068.
The other one is still pending as it is being re-written, but you can read about MA Bill 168 here prior to the pending re-drafting.
Please protect these sacred practices targeted.
Please develop a stronger back bone and self police unethical professionals to minimize harmful impacts to our communities.
Why Do I Care?
You can read about MY VIEWS as to WHY I support the Safe Harbor Bill and why I do NOT support the other 2 bills by clicking here. You can scroll towards the bottom of the post for the MY VIEWS part of the post.
Here I speak as a survivor of rape and domestic abuse who was subsequently diagnosed with CPTSD taking decades to reclaim my life as well as someone with years doing advocacy work in Massachusetts for victims.
The two harmful bills would also have a significant harmful impact on those faced with end of life too and not to mention low income communities.
So YES, I am quite passionate about THIS.
I will update you all as new information comes to light.
Thank you for reading and supporting the sacred arts.