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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Protect the Right to Practice, Teach and Access Alternative Healing Therapies in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has redrafted S.168, “An Act Regulating Bodyworks,” and refiled it as identical bills, “An Act Regulating Alternative Healing Therapies,” in both the House  (H.350) and the Senate (S.221), to ensure its passage.

S.221 and H.350 requires the state to establish standards and licensing for the practice and teaching of holistic modalities under the control and direction of a board predominantly populated by massage therapists, and to restrict the teaching of the holistic modalities to schools licensed by the state, at a cost of more than $8,000 for an application. This includes putting up a $5,000 bond, a $2,500 initial application fee for a for-profit school (which includes most independent practitioners) and a $1,500 application for a nonprofit, plus a $1,000 application fee per instructor. That does not include the licensure fee.

These bills will negatively affect thousands of sole practitioners and instructors of a wide array of disciplines such as reiki, qigong, Asian bodywork therapy, Trager, Feldenkrais, Ayurvedic therapies, reflexology, polarity therapy, Rolf Structural Integration, body mind centering, acupressure and energy and somatic healing practices that are presently exempt from massage licensure under current law.

These requirements would create significant hardships and force alternative healthcare practitioners and teachers of these modalities to close their practices and eliminate freedom of choice in alternative health care for the people of Massachusetts.

Individuals are encouraged to sign a petition at which alerts each member of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, where both bills currently sit, how detrimental this bill’s passage would be to the health care we depend upon.

For more information, contact Rita Glassman, executive director, MA Coalition of Holistic Practitioners, at [email protected] or visit the Reiki Unified website ( which serves as an educational resource for the opposition of state licensure legislation seeking to set standards for the way holistic therapies are practiced and taught. The website has many free downloadable documents addressing the MA legislation.