Help Oppose Massachusetts SB 905 and SB 907

NO LONGER ACTIVE:  Bill Not Passed Before Session Ended

Help Oppose Massachusetts SB 905 and SB 907 Restrictive licensing bills for all Bodyworkers in MA!

Take Action Now!

SB 905 and SB 907 are draconian bills that seek to mandate the licensure of all bodyworkers in MA and prohibit the use of the title “bodywork” by practitioners without the new license.  There are thousands of practitioners from a wide array of disciplines such as Qi Gong, Trager practitioners and many more, who would fall under the jurisdiction of these new bills, and who are practicing in MA providing much desired healing to consumers.

The bills are being promoted as anti-human trafficking bills; SB 905 has many sections in the bill that have nothing to do with licensing of bodywork and SB 907 has very little language about human trafficking except for the bill’s title.  However, in both bills, these two topics have been merged into one bill and it is giving the impression that bodywork has something to do with human trafficking more than other professions and persons in the culture.  These bills should be stopped immediately.

There is no basis for requiring complementary and alternative health care practitioners to be state licensed with state mandated educational requirements.  We need your help in vigorously opposing this licensing attempt.  Take Action here to stop the bill from moving. Last year, the MA Senate unanimously passed a similar bill, SB 2461, but the House did not pass it out of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.  Read the SB 905, entitled An Act to strengthen laws combatting human trafficking and protecting survivors of modern-day slavery, here. Read SB 907, entitled An Act to prevent human trafficking and sexual exploitation in bodyworks establishments, here.  Take Action here.

What the bill does: Massachusetts already has a very good massage law that allows bodyworkers to be exempt from licensure requirements. Click here to read current exemptions in Title XVI, Chapter 112, Section 228 Licensing of massage therapists – at part (b)

SB 905 and SB 907 attempt to create a new and burdensome licensing law for these currently exempt practitioners and force them to obtain a bodywork license instead.

 The bills define bodywork very broadly covering many common practices including: the Feldenkrais method; reflexology; the Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies; Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity Therapy; Asian bodywork therapy; acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; body-mind centering and Bowenwork.

To become licensed, a person would need to practice under the jurisdiction of a state Board and show, among other things: proof of completion of a course of study consisting of at least 500 classroom hours, professional liability coverage and demonstrate professional competence as determined by the board – which the bill creates.  Licensure renewal requirements will also be set by the board through its rule and regulation making authority.

The burdensome requirements in these bills will cause practitioners to close their practice and thereby reduce the number of practitioners providing the services covered by the bill. They will raise the cost for consumers to access these services by those who chose to get licensed.  This is not a good solution for MA citizens, and it will not solve the problem of human trafficking, which the bill supporters claim it is attempting to address.

What you can do:

  •  Take Action Here to automatically send a message to your personal legislators in the House and Senate and to all members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary.
  • Call each member of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and leave a message with their staff asking the legislator to vote no on S.B. 905 and S.B. 907. Use the contact information on the hyperlinked page, above.

The Message: “Please vote NO on S.B. 905 and S.B. 907, the bills to combat human trafficking, which seek to license bodyworkers, when it comes up for a vote in the Judiciary committee.

Although I support efforts to strengthen human trafficking laws, I oppose S.B. 905 and S.B. 907 because 

they threaten my ability to access the natural health practitioners of my choice; or

they will cause many practitioners who can’t afford to comply with the bill’s requirements to go out of business and so it is bad for the MA economy;

or

there is no constitutional basis to regulate bodyworkers because the state has failed to demonstrate that the practices under the bill rise to the level of harm requiring state regulation

  • Arrange a meeting with your personal legislators to discuss your opposition to S.B. 905 and S.B. 907 face- to-face. Meet with them at the capitol or in your district at their local office or a local coffee shop.  If you don’t know who represents you, you can identify them here.
  • Stay in touch with NHFA (National Health Freedom Action) for updates on the bill and for ways to support Health Freedom legislation in MA. Visit the NHFA website and sign-up to receive our emails here.
  • Support Health Freedom Action Massachusetts, a grassroots, non-profit, 501c4 group in MA working to pass S.B. 1136, a bill that would protect access to all complementary and alternative health care
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