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Speak out for the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education:

Comment on the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Model Practice Act (MPA)

Public Comment period ends August 15, 2014.

Where to Comment:
The FSMTB will only accept public comment through this link to their website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yaAVt_nGJiH0qa4DVqhArlzUpdv-HD9OBBA9ZrynzSw/viewform.

How to Respond

  • We suggest that you comment on Section 105, which is relevant to the issue of exemption. (Please note that the numbering of the Special Provisions has changed, and is now Section 105. This was Section 104 in the earlier draft of the MPA.)
  • Helpful Hints for Writing Your Own Comments:
    • Please use a respectful tone.
    • Remember, you are an expert on the Feldenkrais Method, but the reader is not. Offer explanations of your main points.
    • Explain in your first paragraph why the proposed model language would affect you. For example, you are a Feldenkrais Method practitioner who holds no current professional licensure,  or an LMT practicing the Feldenkrais Method, or a Feldenkrais Method trainee, etc.
    • Say specifically what your position on the MPA is. For example, “I do not support the proposed MPA,” or “I support the proposed MPA with changes.”  Then explain why. See suggestions below.

    Suggestions for Comments:

    • I am opposed to the removal of provisions for exempting Feldenkrais practitioners from the MPA..
    • The Feldenkrais Method is not a modality of massage. It has a specialized, unique body of knowledge and practice..
    • The training of Feldenkrais practitioners is completely different than massage therapy training, and massage therapy requires training that is not necessary for practice of the Feldenkrais Method.
    • The job tasks for massage therapists are different from those of certified Feldenkrais practitioners..
    • The practice of the Feldenkrais Method should not be regulated as massage therapy.
    • The removal of exemption provisions from the MPA would be unfair, and would create problems that exemptions have solved.
    • I urge the FSMTB to work cooperatively with FGNA and with other professional associations who have expressed concerns, to include exemptions in the MPA.

    Sample Comment for Section 104 of the FSMTB Model Practice Act

    I am opposed to the removal of provisions for exempting Feldenkrais practitioners from the MPA.

    The practice of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education is distinct, and fundamentally different from the practice of massage therapy. The Feldenkrais Method is a learning process. Feldenkrais® practitioners help their students become aware of existing movement patterns, and guide the discovery of additional possibilities. Many Feldenkrais lessons do not involve touch at all. In lessons that do involve touch, the student is clothed and the intent of the touch is to promote self-awareness and learning through movement.  Like many forms of learning that include some element of touch—for example, golf or music instruction, the touch is gentle, non-invasive, and non-corrective. 

    The educational methods for training Feldenkrais practitioners are entirely different than those provided in massage therapy education programs, and massage therapy educational programs require training that is not necessary for practice of the Feldenkrais Method. The job tasks performed by massage therapists are substantially different from those who are certified Feldenkrais practitioners.

    The Feldenkrais Guild has set standards for the practice of the Feldenkrais Method since 1977. In the United States, practitioners must graduate from an accredited Feldenkrais training, must be certified by FGNA, and must fulfill continuing competency requirements for annual certification renewal.

    Massage Therapy Boards are not qualified to review or approve educational standards for the practice of the Feldenkrais Method and the FSMTB is not qualified to develop or administer assessments forFeldenkrais practitioners.

    For these reasons, the practice of the Feldenkrais Method should not be regulated in state massage practice acts.  I strongly oppose the removal of provisions for exempting Feldenkrais practitioners from the MPA as unfair and a move that would create problems that exemptions have solved.