Do you love reflexology? Then, ensure that your practitioner and others across the state can continue to share reflexology with clients like you! The Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure is leaning towards approving a Bill S.221/H.350 that would place requirements on practicing reflexologists that might inhibit them from continuing their business. The Massachusetts Association of Reflexologists (MAR) is recommending several changes to this bill as follows:
Change "Alternative" to "Complementary" Therapies throughout the bill.
Change definition of reflexology to read: Using manual finger techniques, an alternating pressure and friction is applied to specific reflex points predominantly on the feet, hands, and outer ears, resulting in stimulation of neural pathways linking the various body systems and supporting the body to function optimally.
Confirmation that the definition of reflexology is separate from massage therapy.
Requirement to adopt established standards: The board is required to adopt the standards and curriculum for each complementary therapy, as established by their state or national professional organization.
Board Composition: Every therapy to be licensed by the state and subject to the rules sourcing from the board should have a direct say in those regulations through a seat on the governing board. The board is required to adopt the established standards for each complementary therapy. Recommend one seat for massage therapy, four for complementary therapies, one for law enforcement, and one for a consumer who is familiar with complementary therapies and massage.
Education: Bill imposes state licensing requirements which cannot be met by modestly capitalized fields, thereby crippling these fields by denying access to career-level training. The requirement for training in state-licensed schools should be waived for non-massage complementary therapies.
Grandfather clause for certified reflexologists who have been working for at least two years, and/or for those who have achieved membership in a vetted professional state organization.
American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) certification requirement: After the law is in effect, newly certified reflexologists seeking licensure must be ARCB-certified within one year.
So, what exactly can you do to help? Show your support for Mass reflexologists and these recommended changes!
Use the template below to write a letter to the Committee of Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. Send your letter to Foot-Joy Reflexology by August 31st so we can combine it with all other client and reflexologist letters. OPPOSITION TO S.221/H.350 AN ACT REGULATING ALTERNATIVE HEALING THERAPIES Dear Members of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, I derive great value from the availability of complementary care in Massachusetts and I am very concerned that S.221/H.350 does not serve the public good. I am writing to ask you to amend this bill as requested by the Legislative Committee of the Massachusetts Association of Reflexology (MAR). I am a client of reflexology services from a professionally trained reflexologist in ____________________________. These services are very important to me in my wellness care and I do not want to see their availability to me be restricted by a law that limits legitimate practitioners, or makes them available to the public ONLY through licensed massage therapists, because reflexology is not a form of massage. Also, limiting practitioners trained ONLY through state-licensed schools is not appropriate since career-level training has been pushed out of MA by this requirement, resulting in no in-state path to licensing for career reflexologists. While I am in full support of effective laws to assist law enforcement and to ensure public safety in our state, I urge you to amend this bill with the recommendations for changes as provided by MAR, because as written it is unnecessarily punitive for legitimate reflexology practitioners. Sincerely, Signature____________________________________ Printed Name________________________________ Address_____________________________________ Contact number______________________________ Email_______________________________________ Date________________________________________
The full text of this pending bill is available here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H350.