Act Now to Protect Access to Complementary Care in Massachusetts

I am blogging today to provide an update on the 2 bills in the Massachusetts legislature that affect clients and practitioners of complementary care. What happens with these two bills is very important to anyone who depends upon complementary care – and that means any wellness practice that is not currently licensed (yoga, tai chi, reiki, homeopathy, shiatsu, reflexology, health coaching, shamanic practice, etc.). If we are not able to put into law common-sense provisions protecting MA citizens’ right to choose, clients and students could find themselves cut off from the practices that benefit them.

The first bill is S168, a bill to license “bodyworkers” which would affect most practitioners of complementary care and wellness methods. This bill is very strict and is not well-fitted to our current system of apprenticeship-style training. It would result in many practitioners going out of business and higher costs for consumers.

The second bill is S665/H3660, which gives MA consumers the right to choose complementary methods. This bill was developed by a group of practitioners, modeled after similar laws passed in a number of states. It proposes common-sense guidelines in order to protect clients, while also ensuring the free practice of non-harming complementary methods in our state.

Both of these bills are currently in committee. The licensure bill, S168, was heard by the Joint Committee on Professional Licensure on Monday, October 28. I am pleased to report that we had a wonderful showing of practitioners and clients at the hearing. Legislators seemed genuinely interested in our point of view, and had clearly been impacted by the many emails and phone calls they received from clients and practitioners.

The sponsors of S168 are currently making revisions. We are hoping to defeat this bill completely, because we doubt that revisions will be substantial enough to avoid damage to complementary care in MA. In order to do this, we need to stay involved. I will do my best to keep you up to date. However, if you wish to become more active regarding this bill, you can send email to Rita Glassman at mchhp7@gmail.com. Once the revisions have been proposed, we will enter into another phase of action regarding this bill.

Meanwhile, the Safe Harbor Bill, S665/H3660, will be heard in the Public Health Committee on November 19. We are hoping to get this bill passed through committee in its current form. Although we have substantial support from legislators, we also need to continue to make our voices heard. Below I have included information from HFAMA. (Please forgive the format of the embedded info – my technological skills are rudimentary!)

I encourage you to attend the November 19 hearing if you can, and if you can’t, to send email to the committee members, either through HFAMA’s convenient on-line form, or on your own. I will keep you updated as best I can, but I also encourage you to sign up to HFAMA’s email list to receive timely information.

If you have questions regarding these bills, feel free to contact me.  (The best way to do that is to use the contact form available on this website.) I am happy to respond as best I can or refer you to others who are more knowledgeable.

Also please spread the word. It is important to realize that not only practitioners will be affected by what happens in regards to these bills. Our advocacy over the next few months will have a long-term effect on MA citizens’ access to affordable complementary care.

Thanks for your attention and your action,

Clara

Public Hearing on MA Consumer Access & Right to Practice Complementary & Alternative Health Care Bill is Just 10 Days Away – Support S665/H3660 Today!

On Tuesday, November 19, MA’s Joint Public Health Committee will hear testimony on S665 H3660, a safe harbor exemption bill that protects your freedom to use services provided by health coaches, herbalists, energy healers, homeopaths and many other practitioners!  Take Action here to easily send a message to all committee members asking them to VOTE YES on this wonderful bill.

S665/ H3660 would eliminate the threat of criminal charges for practitioners who adhere to the Safe Harbor requirements and thereby allow them to provide the healing work they are called to do without fear of being shut down.  Under current law these practitioners could be charged with the unlicensed practice of medicine because the definition of the practice of medicine is so broad.

Whether Massachusetts will become the 12th Health Freedom state is up to you.  A favorable vote count from the committee is the only way S665/ H3660 can be sent to the floor and become law.  Committee members need to hear from you that you want this bill passed out of committee!  Please show them you support consumers and practitioners of complementary and alternative health by Taking Action here and attending the hearing!

What: Public Hearing – Joint Public Health Committee

When: Tuesday, November 19, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Hearing rooms A1 and A2, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, 02133.

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Reiki for Recent Injury

5Over and over again, I’ve seen excellent results treating recent injuries with Reiki. One client came in to a session shaking and pale from a fall. He left breathing normally, walking steadily, and with color in his cheeks.

Another client had severe back pain after a car accident. He was barely able to move and was very worried about his condition. After the first treatment, he was able to move more comfortably. After the second treatment, he was pain-free.

Injuries anywhere in the body and of any degree of severity generally respond well to Reiki – from sprained limbs to surgical incisions to concussion or stroke. Of course, keep in mind that Reiki is a complementary therapy—it is to be used along with appropriate medical care.

It’s best to receive Reiki treatment soon after an injury. As the days go by, energetic patterns become more ingrained in the body. Reiki can successfully treat old injuries, but more treatment is required to achieve results.

When we treat recent injuries, we focus treatment on the injured areas and also on the adrenal glands in order to calm the stress response. Most people find Reiki to be very relaxing and nurturing.

Reiki is method of balancing the body’s energies that focuses on connecting to positive universal energies. These universal energies interact with living cells in ways that balance and support the natural healing process. Reiki was developed in Japan and shares many features with other traditional East Asian healing practices.

Reiki in My Life

When I first found Reiki, I was dealing with connective tissue injuries and post-traumatic symptoms. I was in a lot of pain, physically and emotionally, and I tried many providers, including massage therapists, physical therapists, and counselors. I happened upon a massage therapist who got better results than any of the others. I felt extremely relaxed during and after her sessions, and my pain level went down considerably.

One day I asked her why her treatments felt so different, so restorative. She smiled and said, “Ah, that’s the Reiki!”

She explained to me that she was making Reiki energy available to my body as she treated me. She told me that Reiki is a frequency of energy that is available in the universe to everyone, and that we can be trained to make it available to ourselves or each other. She also referred me to a well-respected teacher, in case I wanted to learn.

A few months later, I took my first Reiki class. I loved it! I began using Reiki on myself immediately. I did, and still do, experience Reiki as a warm fuzzy blanket. It’s as if my cells are wrapped in the utmost caring and comfort. Within this loving protection, my system can find its way toward better balance.

My first Reiki class was 17 years ago. I have been treating myself with Reiki for almost 2 decades. I am healthier now, both in body and mind, than I was twenty years ago! And Reiki continues to be at the top of my list for self-care.

Many wonderful changes have occurred in my life since I found Reiki. I studied three other methods of energy healing. I returned to school and obtained a degree in counseling. And I continued my Reiki study; I’m very fortunate to have studied with two of the most accomplished Reiki teachers on the East Coast.

I now work as a Reiki practitioner, and every day I have the privilege of sharing the benefits of this lovely healing system with others. It still delights me when a client who is under stress falls asleep on my table and awakes at the end of a treatment relaxed and refreshed. I’m still amazed at the swift healing trajectory that Reiki brings for recent injuries and surgeries. I’m still grateful when a client tells me that the comfort of a session makes the challenges of daily life more manageable.

Giving Reiki is a profoundly humbling experience. When we give Reiki, we are conduits for an energy that is beautiful and profoundly restorative. I am very aware that I am not “healing” anyone. I am helping clients to access an energy that supports their own systems’ marvelous ability to heal.

I also am aware that my ability to be a clear and effective conduit has grown over these last 17 years. This has occurred because of advanced training, and also because I have channeled Reiki energy, day after day, year after year.  My own healing journey continues to unfold, and as I move forward, I become more able to assist those who seek help from me.

The benefits of Reiki can run the gamut from alleviating pain to calming post-traumatic symptoms, from hastening surgery recovery to gaining insight into the deepest meaning of our lives. After struggling through difficult times myself, I am now honored to witness and assist others as they benefit from the power of Reiki energy.