By: Valerie Bowman, Secretary, Board of Directors and Laura Schroll, Member, Legislation Committee
Emma is a Polarity Therapist. She has spent hundreds of hours taking classes, learning protocols, studying physical and energy-based anatomy, giving over a 100 hours of practice sessions, and learning this comprehensive system created by Dr. Stone. She became an APP, then an RPP, then she took the board examination and became a BCPP. Her clients rave about how much better they feel. They compliment her professionalism. They wholeheartedly refer their friends and family to her. One has even started taking APP classes! Emma is in demand. She helps people every day. Emma makes her living and supports her family through her active and growing Polarity Therapy practice.
This all changed yesterday, when Emma received a cease and desist notice from her State. She is prohibited from practicing Polarity Therapy because she is not a licensed massage therapist.
Polarity Therapy is under attack! There are nine States that currently are considering legislation that threatens our right to practice!
The average Senator or Congressperson has no idea what Polarity Therapy is, much less how profound and life changing it can be. They have no idea that Polarity Therapy and massage have totally different philosophies, training, approaches and techniques. The massage industry is working hard to assimilate any and every practice, which does not have its own licensure, that even remotely looks like it is providing hands-on therapy.
Groups fighting human trafficking are driving legislative changes as well. More about this next month!
States which currently, or recently, are addressing this kind of legislation include: California (legislation in San Francisco), Colorado (legislation on the County level), Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
The legislation usually falls into one of two types: (1) All modalities involving touch therapy become classified as massage and require the associated massage training and licensing; or, (2) massage therapists are enabled to claim to practice non-massage modalities (e.g. Polarity Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy) by taking a continuing education class – regardless of the number of hours of training – in that modality. In other words, Emma spent over 1000 hours obtaining her BCPP; and, massage therapist Carl learned a single Polarity Therapy protocol and can now call himself a Polarity Therapist!
Plus, there are many states where Polarity Therapists already fall under the massage purview. Florida, New York and Texas are just a few of those States. We mention these States specifically because all of the members of the APTA Legislation Committee live in those three States. All of the members of the Legislation Committee, fighting for your right to practice, live in States where they cannot legally practice without a massage license!
The Legislation Committee, APTA, APTA members and Polarity Therapy clients need your help! The Legislation Committee is working to mobilize members in each impacted state. We need your help. Can you send a letter to, visit, or call your State Representative or Senator? Can you encourage your clients, friends and family to do the same? Do you have any contacts that could help APTA or the Legislation Committee? We are also looking for some Pro Bono help from attorneys. Do you have a client, friend or family member who is supportive of Polarity Therapy that could help us?
Please consider contacting the APTA office or the Legislation Committee or a member of the APTA Board to tell us you can help in Your State! We will gladly accept and greatly appreciate your help, whether it is a phone call, volunteer time or helping to fight an anti-trust lawsuit!
I would like to help Polarity Therapy not come under the heading of massage. I could give a hand by way of letters or phones calls. I moved from Ct to New York state five years ago and have just heard about this new law, as I am meeting people in my area who practice Reiki and were interested in Polarity. And was just told I could work but with restrictions. I do remember in 2006 when I was taking polarity training in Ct. the class was asked to write a letter and state why we did not a person to have to become a medical doctor to be a polarity therapist. While I have not been part of a business with polarity in many years, I have not stopped practicing with family and friends. I am now thinking I’d like to come back to this as a business, so I would like to do my part and help.