Protect Vermont Healers from Restrictive Licensing, Oppose Senate Bill S.270

Protect Vermont Healers from Restrictive Licensing

Oppose Senate Bill S.270

Vermont Senate Bill S.270, is attempting to mandate restrictive licensure for all massage therapy practitioners, even when historically Vermont has determined that there is no need to set up licensing for massage.  And as part of this new project they define massage therapy extremely broadly to include hundreds of healers and bodyworkers currently practicing.  Take Action Here to Oppose S.270.  Read the Bill Here.

Rather than introducing a better bill, a safe harbor practitioner exemption bill, like other states have successfully passed, which prohibits certain conduct and mandates full disclosure, Vermont is recommending setting up a new cumbersome administration for mandatory government licensure with civil and criminal penalties for unlicensed practice.   The bill puts many healers at risk of not being able to practice, and would subject many bodyworkers and energy healers to restrictive and unnecessary requirements for government endorsed educations.

The bill has no criminal and civil exceptions in it for bodyworkers and healers of many kinds! If passed, S.270 would negatively affect all Reiki and other energy healers and bodywork practitioners in Vermont.  During a recent hearing there was discussion amongst legislators about just focusing on registering those practitioners who touch clients.  NHFA is extremely opposed to such parameters because the concept of the government regulating good touch, healing touch, and determining which people in society are allowed to provide healing touch to others, is offensive to the very nature of healing.  Healing each other is an inherent right of being human.  States have laws about inappropriate touch and those laws should be evaluated and enforced when needed.  However, requiring all healers to obtain government endorsed massage education of a particular kind in order to be able to practice their vocation, when their vocational training is not conventional massage and comes from hundreds of healing modality schools and organizations is an unwise solution.

Take Action Here to send a message to your personal Senator opposing S.270 and asking them to consider introducing safe harbor practicing exemption laws that protect consumer access to all practitioners who avoid prohibited acts and provide mandated disclosures, similar to other states.

Complete the action steps below too.  Together we can make a difference to protect your health freedom rights! 

How YOU Can Help:

  1. Click Here to automatically send a message to your personal Senator asking him/her to oppose S.270. Learn more about and start a relationship with those who represent you at the state level here. Learn more about safe harbor safe harbor practitioner exemption legislation 

  2. Call each member of the Senate Committee on Government Operations to leave a message asking for a NO vote on S.270. Use the contact information available on the committee link above.

The Message: “Please vote NO on S.270, the bill to license massage.  I oppose S.270 because… ( e.g., it threatens my ability to access the natural health practitioners of my choice; or, it 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 VT economy; or, there is no constitutional basis to regulate massage because the state has failed to demonstrate that the practice itself rises to the level of harm requiring state regulation.”). Thank you.”

Be sure to include your name, home address, the bill number, and your position on the bill. 

Tell them that Vermont healing practitioners should not be forced to choose between (1) going back to school to attend certain board-approved education programs to qualify for the new state license or (2) becoming a criminal or (3) going out of business.

What S.270 would do?

Thousands of practitioners from a wide array of disciplines would be impacted by S.270 due to its broad definition of “massage” which includes “a system of structured touch, palpation, or movement of the soft tissue of another person’s body in order to enhance or restore the general health and well-being of the recipient. This system includes techniques such as effleurage (stroking or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement or percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive and active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement, hydromassage, and thermal massage. These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt, or herbal preparations; water; heat; or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands.”

S.270 would negatively impact vocations such as: Healing Touch, Reiki, Feldenkrais Method; Reflexology; The Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies, Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity or Polarity Therapy; Asian Bodywork Therapy; Acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; Body-Mind Centering and many more.  

Please encourage others to Take Action to Oppose S.270

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