Massachusetts Legislative Alert

 July 28, 2016

Massachusetts Legislative Alert

S.2444 was introduced into the MA Senate on July 19. It would create a bodywork licensing board and would require a bodywork therapy license to practice Structural Integration. The bill is presented as an attempt to strengthen anti-human trafficking law. The bill passed the Senate on July 23. It has been referred to the House, but it has not yet been assigned to a committee in the House.

Here is a link to the bill: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2444.

Stakeholders were not consulted in drafting the bill, and there are some serious flaws in its construction. See the examples at the end of this email for more details.


 What Needs to be Done?

1. Identify your state Representative.

2. Write a brief letter/email to your Representative and to Representative Robert DeLeo,     Speaker of the House, [email protected]:

Refer to S.2444 in the Subject Line
Identify yourself as a Structural Integrator. Let them know which city you live in, where you practice, and how long you've practiced. Keep it short and sweet.

Clearly State Your Position
Ask them to oppose this bill if it comes to the House floor. Let them know that it will harm your business, so it should be given a hearing before being taken up. For a more detailed letter, use 2-3 talking points (If you wish, use the list of problems with the bill found at the bottom of this mail).

Keep the Letter Brief
Keep sentences and paragraphs short. Consider asking to meet with your legislator to discuss the bill. If you include this, say that you will be contacting her/him to follow up.

3. Send by email.

4. Email a copy to [email protected] so that we will know who's been contacted and will have a record of letters sent.

5. Follow up with a phone call to your Representative!

6. After you send a letter: Let me know if you can help coordinate the efforts of your fellow practitioners, and/or if you have experience with the legislative process in Massachusetts or elsewhere.  Also, please let me know if you have any contacts in the Massachusetts House.

Feel free to share information with your clients, family, and colleagues. I will keep you informed of new developments. Should you hear anything, please, let me know. If a committee hearing is scheduled, we will need members to testify. There also may be a need to pay visits to Representatives at the Capitol. Let me know if you are available to show up in person to testify or meet with Representatives.


Talking Points for Letters:

Below are several examples of problems with the bill as currently written. You may choose 1-3 to address or simply voice your own concerns with the bill.

Examples of Problems with the Bill:

1. Several separate professions are lumped under the title "bodywork therapy", even referring to them all as "the practice of bodywork therapy", which causes problems in so far as regulation for each other these professions needs to be considered separately in order to be appropriate. And yet, there is no provision in the bill recognizing that these are separate professions and no provision requiring the board to set regulations appropriate to the individual professions under the one title/license.

2. Section 110. The board is tasked with establishing standards for CE reflecting acceptable, national standards. Since several professions are lumped together under one professional title, we are not sure to what national standards the bill refers.

3. Section 267 (a) "the board may issue a license to practice as a bodywork therapist to an applicant who... (v) has successfully completed a course of study consisting of at least 500 classroom hours or an equivalent number of credit hours of supervised instruction in a nationally accredited bodywork therapy program."

  • There is no nationally accredited "bodywork therapy program".  Even if the provision was interpreted to refer to a nationally accredited program within each of our professions, such as SI, only the Rolf Institute is accredited by COMTA. IASI has a school approval procedure and works to ensure high standards. At present, the minimum number of hours required for approval is 730. Even so, the wording of this bill would require accreditation, which our profession does not yet have - leaving most of our practitioners unable to practice in the state.

4. Section 269. "The board may grant a license to an individual who: (C) received a passing grade on a board-approved examination administered by a national organization or board accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies or the Institute for Credentialing Excellence."

  • The Certification Exam for Structural Integration is both NOCA and ANSI certifiable. It is a psychometrically validated exam, developed under the direction of a professional phsychometrist, Dr. Gerald A. Rosen, (drgeraldrosen.com). The Certification Board for Structural Integration® oversees implementation of the exam. The exam is the only professional certification exam for the Structural Integration profession; the only professional exam that can determine whether a professional meets the basic level of competency necessary to practice our profession. Because our certification board/exam is not yet accredited by the ICE, our practitioners in MA would be unable to practice under S.2444, even though they would meet the standards for competency in our profession.

5. Section 272."(c) It shall be a violation of this chapter for a person to advertise: (iii) as specializing in particular bodywork therapy services without an appropriate showing of competency as determined by the board." Is this language referring to each of the individual professions listed under "bodywork therapy" as a "service" within the broader term, or does this provision mean something else? Structural Integrators must be able to advertise that they practice the profession of Structural Integration, and we need to ensure that there isn't a second set of hoops to pass through after meeting requirements for the bodywork license in order to so advertise. We also want Structural Integrators to show proficiency in our profession without having to pass through bodywork license requirements that have no relation to Structural Integration.

6. Section 273. "A city or town may adopt ordinances or by-laws relative to health and safety of the practice of bodywork therapy not inconsistent with sections 265 to 272, inclusive." This provision may leave practitioners vulnerable to additional local regulation. It does say the ordinances and by-laws must be consistent with state law, but that may not preclude multiple onerous regulations and burdens upon practices. It could use more clarity. 

If you have any questions, let me know.

Peace,

Deborah Nimmons
Board, IASI
Chair, Law and Regulation Committee
[email protected]

IASI International Association of Structural Integrators
2150 N 107th Street | Suite 205 | Seattle, WA | 98133
[email protected] |1-855-253-IASI (4274) | www.theiasi.net

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