By: David Comings, PhD, Director of Legislation
I am sure you have all heard the saying that “no man is an island.” A simple phrase indicating that none of us exist in a vacuum – we all, to some extent, rely on or are interdependent with others. We are, after all, social creatures and do best as part of a community.
APTA is also not an island. APTA works with other organizations that share out goals and objectives in a joint effort to achieve our goals and advance our objectives. One of these organizations is the National Alliance of Energy Practitioners (NAOEP), and its National Certification Center of Energy Practitioners (NCCOEP).
The Alliance was founded at the request of the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Human Services in an attempt to establish a State-based licensing system for energy practitioners. To achieve this goal the Alliance is using a models similar to what is used in licensing massage therapists. The Alliance will certify energy practitioners based on their training and demonstrated capabilities in specified Divisions of energy modalities. In all, there are currently 12 different Divisions in the Alliance’s structure. Polarity Therapy falls into the “Full Spectrum Healing” Division. Other Divisions include, for example: Reiki, Qigong, Shamanism, Spiritual Healings, and Medical Intuition.
The Alliance’s certification is the key element, or foundation, of the licensing program they will propose to the States. The Alliance will retain responsibility for ensuring all of the practices they represent meet a certain set of criteria to be eligible for certification. For the Full Spectrum Healing Division, these include: a certificate from an approved training program, proof of training in anatomy and physiology, training and examination in ethics, training and examination in Standards of Practice, malpractice insurance, and an empirical examination – where the practitioner is hooked-up to scientific measurement devices that actually record the movement of energy resulting from the practitioner’s work, or a practical exam until such time as there are empirical test centers in every State. The requirements for Alliance certification are different for other Divisions.
Polarity Therapy training already provides the majority of the training and examinations required for Alliance certification through APTA’s accredited BCPP program, or BCPP training. In fact, the only approved training program credential the Alliance will accept for Polarity Therapy is APTA’s BCPP. The Alliance will not accept non-accredited credentials for their “Full-Spectrum” energy practitioner certification, so maintaining our BCPP’s accreditation is vital.
Several of my recent articles have discussed the influence of the “Human Trafficking Victim’s Rights” lobby on State legislatures. One of the approaches States are taking to address “human trafficking” is State licensing of practitioners in a number of areas and fields of endeavor. We are all familiar with licensing for medical professionals, and the fact that most States license massage therapy. Minnesota, formerly a “Health Freedom” state, is now proposing to license massage therapists. North Carolina licenses massage therapy and bodywork – although the certifications required are all massage therapy certifications. Massachusetts is attempting to implement a far-reaching and dangerous licensing law to cover massage therapy and bodywork – with the Commonwealth establishing the Standards of Practice, etc. for each “bodywork” modality. If this law passes (S.168) the Commonwealth will have a great deal of work to do to even implement this law, let alone the impact to practitioners in the Commonwealth. As is clear in these examples, licensing is seen by an increasing number of States as the solution to human trafficking and other governance issues.
As a result, licensing may well be our strongest hope of maintaining and advancing our right to practice Polarity Therapy. I am fully aware of and understand the financial and paperwork issues that come along with yet another certification and having to maintain a license. I also realize that for some Practitioners the financial and management burden may exceed the value of practicing. However, based on the trend towards greater licensing I see happening across the States, and the push towards greater regulation – I believe APTA and our members will be far better served by working through the Alliance. The Alliance is working with us and our existing BCPP program. The alternative is continuing to fight our battles State by State and potentially being subjected to an ongoing patchwork of laws and requirements across different States – many of which currently deny us the right to practice without a license in another discipline. The Alliance has my vote.
 Massachusetts is one of four Commonwealth’s in the U.S. The other three are Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
David Comings, PhD
Director of Legislation