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Speaking out for the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education

FGNA actively monitors and takes action on matters affecting Feldenkrais® practitioners’ right to practice. This work is funded through dues and fees paid by FGNA members, Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionersCM and accredited Feldenkrais professional training programs.

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has proposed a Model Practice Act (MPA) for the massage therapy profession in the United States. The first public comment period for this proposal closed on June 15, 2014. The revised proposal still does not include any provision for exempting non-massage professions, such as the Feldenkrais Method, and this could have an adverse affect on Feldenkrais practitioners. If the MPA is approved in its current form, it could be used as a model at the state level, throughout the United States.

You can help by speaking out again for your right to practice free from inappropriate regulation, and your clients and students right to access your services. We also encourage you to ask your students and clients to comment. Your comments will positively affect the future of the practice of the Feldenkrais Method across the U.S!

Read FGNA’s comments on the FSMTB Model Practice Act.

Read more in the Summer issue of IN TOUCH.

We ask you to read the following information and comment on the FSMTB Model Practice Act during the Public Comment period that ends August 15, 2014.

The Model Practice Act was created to give guidance to state legislatures and regulators of massage therapy by providing a template that includes model statutory language. This practice act is intended for use in states that do not yet require massage and bodywork therapists to be licensed, and as a replacement for state practice laws already in existence as they come up for review.

As you know, the training for a Feldenkrais practitioner and a massage therapist involve a completely different body of knowledge and set of skills, and it is not appropriate to require a Feldenkrais practitioner to complete a massage therapy education in order to practice the Feldenkrais Method.

FGNA has had an excellent record of success in avoiding inappropriate external regulation. Thanks to the Governmental Relations program initiated by Michael Purcell, and due to the efforts of countless volunteers, the practice of the Feldenkrais Method is exempt by name or by reference to movement practices, in over 20 of the 34 states that regulate massage therapy.

The FSMTB’s effort to eliminate these exemptions from current and future statutes is disrespectful to: the considered decisions of state legislatures around the country; the professionals (including many massage therapists) who worked cooperatively to develop bills; and, the practitioners and public who benefit from the inappropriate regulation of valuable services. The adoption of the MPA would reverse progress, and provide no relief from the very broad definition of massage therapy that the MPA and many current state laws include.

We need your voice to join us as we respond respectfully to this urgent matter. Please respond to the FSMTB, then copy and paste your response to the FSMTB into an email and send it to our Policy Administrator, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). That way we can document this feedback for future use, and affirm the strength of our collective voice! We also encourage you to ask your students and clients to comment.

This is an extremely important issue for all Feldenkrais practitioners and trainees and your response can make a difference!