for APTA Members
A Message from Your Director of Legislation
Our right to practice as Polarity Practitioners is under attack on several fronts. All APTA members, working together, and including the support of other organizations with which we partner provide us the greatest ability to protect our right to practice. As many of you know, the Massage Industry has made attempts in recent years to bring Polarity Therapy, other touch therapies, and Energy Medicine legislatively under the umbrella of Massage Therapy. While their efforts have already succeeded in several states, their overall objective is based on the idea that all touch therapy is massage – which is clearly false and places an undue burden on Polarity Practitioners.
In addition to the Massage Industry, Polarity Therapy faces a growing threat from the anti-Human Trafficking, and Human Trafficking Victim’s Rights lobbies. The Human Trafficking activists have been increasingly vocal recently and are getting the ear of legislators across the country. These legislators feel the need to “do something” about Human Trafficking – which currently means placing greater restrictions on all forms of touch therapy, including Polarity Therapy.
APTA and our partner organizations support and engage in efforts to lobby and educate legislators, as well as to exempt Polarity Therapy from Massage Therapy legislation. As the push for further regulation and licensing continues, we are working to remain at-least one step-ahead, to minimize the impact to our practitioners.
We cannot do this alone. Please consider getting involved to help our efforts. Even if you cannot join the Legislative Committee with our national focus, your help within your own state is extremely valuable! Our opponents are not giving up, and neither are we in our ongoing effort to protect and defend our right to practice.
David Comings, PhD, BCPP
APTA Board of Directors & Director of Legislation
Background: Where We Face Pressure
- The Massage Industry – The Massage Industry is lobbying to have Energywork included in the definition of Massage. Because the Massage Industry has money and influence, and Somatic Therapies like Polarity are less well-known, this threatens our ability to practice without interference. Already in some States a Massage License is required to practice; APTA has successfully fended off pressure in other states. This is an ongoing effort to stay on top of Massage Laws that try to regulate Polarity.
- WHO – The World Health Organization is looking at Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practices with greater scrutiny. This is one of many reasons APTA has invested so much in Accreditation for our Board Certification Program. Accreditation when we receive it will help us continue self-governance. We want to keep informed and remain cooperative with WHO.
- Mainstream Healthcare – The Affordable Care Act has created opportunities for partnership between Mainstream and Complementary / Alternative Modalities. APTA is interested in cooperating, and wants to ensure we continue self-governance and do not come under the control of outside agencies or industries.
“What Can I Do To Help?”
- Stay Informed – Often members find out about legislative action in their States before APTA does. Keep abreast of the latest legislation that might impact Polarity Practitioners, and if activity is happening, notify APTA right away at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you mobilize a lobbying effort in your area.
- Help Us Lobby – When legislative action does crop up, please join our efforts to contact State Reps (even if it’s in another state) … we need as many voices as possible advocating for Polarity Therapy. In the near future we will have a form letter and telephone script on this page that you can use.
- Join a Committee – There are many ways to get involved with APTA. Join the Legislative Committee, or consider joining another APTA Committee. Any effort that helps strengthen APTA helps our cause and strengthens Polarity Therapy as a self-governing industry.
- Use Accurate Language – In your marketing materials and working with clients, use language that accurately represents what our practice is. See below for more information!
- Remove References to Massage When Talking About Polarity – It is counterproductive and misleading when anyone advertises Polarity Therapy as a form of Massage. If you are also a Massage Therapist, please distinguish Polarity as a separate wellness practice, rather than classifying it as a massage modality, in both your marketing material and with your clients.
- Use the Term “Energetic Touch“ whenever possible – APTA is advocating wherever possible you use the term that is in our Standards for Practice, “Energetic Touch. ” This puts the focus on Energy.
- Avoid claims of “Healing” or “Medicine” – This is a potentially problematic claim; the World Health Organization is looking at practitioners and organizations that make claims of healing without a Medical License. The following is preferred terminology: “Wellness Practice,” “Wellness Education,” “Integrative Wellness,” “Integrative Therapy,” “Biofield Therapy.”
DID YOU KNOW …… APTA belongs to the Federation of Therapeutic Massage, Somatic Bodywork Practices. It is a group of Complementary and Alternative Therapy practices that join together for mutual support.
This section of the website will amass information on a State-by-State basis about what laws impact the ability to practice Polarity Therapy. We need your help with this project. Please drop us an email to let us know what your state’s current laws are with respect to Polarity Therapy, if any exist. In some places, it is listed as an exclusion to Massage laws, in some states it is included as a form of massage, and in other areas it is not mentioned or regulated at all.
Please drop us an email! email@example.com. We will update this State-by-State list regularly so you can keep informed about action in your area.
We recently saw some legislative action cropping up in the following states that would have impacted Polarity Practitioners… see below for more information on the current status in these states.
- North Carolina
Thank you to the members who joined APTA’s efforts in these states!
- Colorado – In 2016 regulation was averted which would list Polarity as a massage modality
- Massachusetts – Currently Polarity is explicitly exempt from requiring a Massage License to Practice. In August 2016, legislation was proposed that would have created licensure for non-massage bodywork therapies. Polarity Therapy was listed as one of the modalities in this law. We saw this legislation to be largely favorable to APTA members, provided that APTA-approved education is defined as the standard to meet their 500-hour education requirement. A vote was postponed until January 2017 on the law. However, after lobbying by APTA and similar organizations, it appears the law might be tabled indefinitely. We will keep you informed.
- Nevada- In 2016 regulation was averted which would list Polarity as a massage modality
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina – Strong grassroots activity happened among NC APTA members in Sept 2016 to take Polarity Therapy from a “Rules & Regulation” statute to a State statute protection.
- North Dakota
- Oklahoma – In 2016 regulation was averted which would list Polarity as a massage modality
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia