There is an ongoing drive throughout the states to “do something” to address “human trafficking.” While the horrors of human trafficking are well known and understood, efforts within multiple states to “do something” are directly impacting all professionals and professional organizations that use touch as part of their therapeutic profession. This is happening because legislators believe all prostitution is human trafficking, and they seem to believe that “bodyworkers” are at high risk for engaging in such illegal practices.
As a result of their perceived need to act, partnered with their incorrect perspective on touch professions, legislators in many states are proposing legislation to restrict our right to practice, require that we obtain a massage license, or – as in the case of the proposed legislation in Massachusetts (S.168) – obtain a license to perform bodywork.
There will be a public hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure in September for the proposed bill (S.168). Any APTA members in the Massachusetts area are encouraged to attend.
In addition, the APTA Legislative Committee is drafting correspondence that will be e-mailed to all APTA members in Massachusetts in an effort to make our voices heard and prevent the Massachusetts Legislature from enacting this ill-conceived bill.
Massachusetts is not an isolated instance! This kind of restrictive and burdensome legislative activity is taking place in many states. As we identify what can be done and who to contact, your Legislative Committee will send out notifications and guidance on what you can do to help preserve your right to practice. Ohio is another state that has recently proposed significant restrictions on all therapeutic methods that involve touch. Rhode Island recently enacted restrictive legislation that we are reviewing to identify its exact impact and how to continue to practice legally in that state.
Help us to help you. Be attentive to developments in your State. If you receive APTA correspondence requesting you take action – Take Action! Only by working together do we stand the best change of preventing laws that restrict or eliminate our right to practice and to make a living through the amazing discipline of Polarity Therapy.
We can use your help. If you are interested in participating in the APTA Legislative Committee please contact Ms. Shelley Drasal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David R. Comings, PhD, BCPP
Director of Legislation