Practice Rights Are Under Attack!
by Deborah Fox BCPP RPE
Legislation Committee Chair
Certification Governing Council Member
Greetings fellow APTA members!
Last month when I wrote about the somewhat recent loss of practice rights for certain practitioners including Polarity Therapists in Ohio, many of you reached out to learn more, some unaware of this recent development entirely. Rightly so. In fact due to the approach that Ohio took, which was nothing short of surreptitious, many were left unaware of these changes. When the Ohio bill to limit practice rights failed, the Ohio Medical Board took action and changed the definition of massage to specifically define the techniques used in Polarity Therapy as massage techniques. Due to this change, according to The State Medical Board of Ohio FAQ Question 9, Polarity Therapists and certain other holistic professionals practicing in Ohio, are now required to hold a license to practice massage therapy in order to lawfully
practice in the state of Ohio.
What does this mean to us and what can be done was naturally the most asked question. The answer is complex and it is important to understand the environment in order to discern how to proceed.
In the past decade or so, various approaches have been taken in 23 different states to limit or eliminate practice rights. As well as being an issue for the profession of Polarity Therapy, it is an issue for the holistic profession in general. It is also an issue for clients who can no longer access the holistic therapies they rely upon to support them in achieving and maintaining their health and wellness goals. In fact, it’s an issue for humanity as a whole since holistic modalities are where we can restore and maintain health and wellness overall. Given the current state of the medical industry this is more important now than ever.
These issues are not new. Let’s take a look at a little history using homeopathy as an example.
Homeopathy, having its’ origins in Austria, was widespread across North America and India by the turn of the 20th century. At that time, there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, over 100 homeopathic hospitals and over 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies here in the US.
Most people today have little or no idea what homeopathy is much less what it is capable of. How did we go from homeopathy being so prominent to where we are today? What happened?
Enter the AMA! Certain factions set out to deliberately eliminate homeopathy as well as other prominent holistic modalities of the time because of the competition that it posed to big medicine and its’ plans for the future. The American Medical Association was formed and members were forbidden to associate in any way personally or professionally with homeopaths or they would be kicked out of the AMA. This rule was even applied to a husband and wife.
I know you will be shocked to learn that it didn’t stop there. Team allopathy continued its’ siege on medical freedom by petitioning various state legislatures to establish practice boards and enact broadly written scopes of practice to eliminate all competition. This resulted in the jailing of over 3500 chiropractors across the country for practicing medicine without a license. The chiropractic profession responded to this outrageous overreach by seeking licensure for its’ profession as a survival strategy. Unfortunately today the chiropractic profession sometimes uses the same over reach technique to protect its’ own and eliminate competition. Here we see one of the several limitations of licensing.
As we see, the continued desire to limit modalities that support health continue today. We are not out the dark ages yet. Those who have the fortunate grace of having practice rights will want to stay informed with any activity in your state seeking to limit your rights. This could come at the state or local level. We will report any pending legislation in the newsletter and through email if there are actions alerts.
Those who live in the 23 states who are currently unable to practice, consider becoming involved with others in the same situation who would like to restore health freedom and practice rights in your community. There is much work to be done. Working in community will likely offer the highest potential.
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Legislation Response” in the subject line.