Health Freedom Action Needed

February 22, 2013

Health Freedom Action Needed

1. STOP restrictive and monopolistic state licensing bills that negatively impact access to natural health care practitioners.

Indiana: Oppose HB1272 Dietitian Licensing bill. Take Action

Illinois: Oppose SB 1168 Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine licensing bill. Take Action

Arkansas: Oppose HB 1011 Naturopathic Practitioners bill. Take Action

Maryland: Oppose HB 1029 Naturopathic Doctor licensing bill. Take Action

New York: Oppose SB 2954 Reflexologist Practitioner licensing bill. Take Action

These are five important state bills ( Indiana HB1272, Illinois SB1186, Arkansas HB 1011, Maryland HB 1029, and New York SB 2954), that attempt to license a small group of practitioners at the expense of other natural health care practitioners. The bills do not provide adequate protections or exemptions for the right of other natural health to practice. These bills would jeopardize numerous natural health practitioiners and businesses.

2. LEARN ABOUT other licensing bills that contain safe harbor exemptions and protections for many natural health practitioners.

Illinois: SB 1186 Licensing of Colon Hydro therapists with an exemption for natural health care practitioners.

Illinois SB1186: There is no state in the U.S. that licenses Colon Hydro therapists as an independent occupation without being considered part of another licensed profession such as massage or naturopathic medicine. This Illinois bill is working to give Colon Hydro therapists their own laws and regulations, independent of other licensed professions.

The definition of colon hydrotherapy that they have introduced speaks to colon irrigation however they also have included additional supportive natural health therapies that colon hydro therapists often use but that are not considered exclusive to colon hydrotherapy.

To make sure that natural health therapists are not in violation of the broad definition of colon hydrotherapy and licensing requirements, the bill provides a broad exemption for complementary and alternative health care practitioners which reads:

(e) Nothing in this Act prohibits, restricts, or applies to persons that do not provide colonic irrigation, colon hydrotherapy, or colonic services who are practicing within the broad area of complimentary and alternative health care practices including, but not limited to, practices of detoxification, skin brushing, cleansing therapies, techniques used to stimulate reflex points in the abdomen, hands, and feet, the use of dietary supplements or homeopathic remedies, or encouraging healthy eating choices, lifestyle, and exercise.

Colorado: SB 151 Licensing of Massage Therapists with a broad exemption in for bodywork and alternative forms of touch.

Colorado SB151 , the Colorado Massage Therapy bill, is attempting to change the legal status of massage therapists from Registered Massage Therapist to Licensed Massage Therapist. Changing a law from registering a profession to licensing a profession often makes the occupation more exclusive with harsher penalties for unlicensed persons to practice, and also often makes services more expensive.

However, in the instance of this Colorado SB151, it appears that the licensing advocates have kept in place Colorado’s strong protections and exemptions from violation for alternative forms of contact and body workers of all kinds, and it appears that the bill will not change those protections.

Colorado existing law exempts alternative methods that employ contact from the existing massage therapy act law. Here is what Colorado 12-35. 5-110 says:

(1) Nothing in this article prohibits or requires a massage therapy registration for any of the following:… (e), “alternative methods that employ contact” include, but are not limited to: (I) Practices in which only the soft tissue of a person’s hands, feet, or ears are manipulated; (II) Practices using touch, words, and directed movements to deepen a person’s awareness of movement patterns in his or her body, such as the Feldenkrais method, the Trager approach, and body-mind centering; (III) Practices using touch to affect the human energy systems, such as reiki, shiatsu, and Asian or polarity bodywork therapy; (IV) Structural integration practices such as Rolfing and Hellerwork; and (V) The process of muscle activation techniques.

Pennsylvania: HB 612 Licensing of Naturopathic Doctors with a safe harbor protection of the right to practice for unlicensed natural health practitioner. Read More.

Pennsylvania HB612 is attempting to license naturopathic doctors. And a similar bill to this has been defeated for a number of years in Pennsylvania by groups that oppose the naturopathic doctors from being the only practitioners that can exclusively provide natural health care services. This year, Pennsylvania licensing advocates introduced a bill, HB 612, very similar to former bills, but with the added exemption in the violation section for those persons doing natural health that will not have a license as a naturopathic doctor.

The current version of the bill includes the following exemption from licensing requirements as follows:

Section 505. Other professions.

Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventing, restricting or requiring licensure of any of the following activities:…

(4) The use, recommendation or practice by an individual not licensed by the board as a naturopathic doctor, of traditional naturopathy, naturopathic therapies, naturopathic health care, naturopathic services, natural remedies, ayurvedic medicine, herbal remedies, food and dietary supplements, nutritional advice, homeopathy and homeopathic remedies, hydrotherapy and therapeutic exercises or any other complementary and alternative healing methods and treatments that may be components of naturopathic medicine, provided the individual does not hold himself out as a naturopathic doctor or as a provider of naturopathic medicine.

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