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Thread: Qigong Regulation

  1. #1
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    Qigong Regulation

    Lawmaker proposes regulation of ancient Chinese practice
    by Phil Cross Monday, January 21st 2019
    The Oklahoma Capitol, in the early morning, on the last day of the regular legislative session on May 26, 2017 (Phil Cross KOKH)

    OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — The state would be tasked with regulating the practice of something that is may not be measurable under a proposed bill in the state senate. The bill seeks to create a regulator and licensing board for the practice of Qigong, a Chinese practice of physical exercises and breathing.

    Senate Bill 190, introduced by Tulsa Republican Senator Dave Rader, would create a board that would issue licenses to anyone who is offering Qigong as a cure for medical conditions. The bill said the licensing would not apply to those practicing Qigong for personal benefits.

    “It is a medical system that works on just about every disease known to man,” said Tom Bowman who operates a Qigong practice in Tulsa. He is both a teacher and student of the ancient practice and told FOX 25 it is vital to be properly trained before treating anyone.

    “You can't just start transferring energy to that person without having the knowledge as to why and where that disease started,” Bowman said.

    Qigong is a growing practice in Oklahoma and it focuses on a person’s Qi, which can be described as their life force. The Qi, Bowman explained, runs along the “meridians” referenced in the practice of acupuncture.

    Bowman said the practice of Qigong is largely misunderstood and sometimes dismissed because people are confused by the language involved. He said what the practice defines as Qi, actually represents the bioelectricity that scientists can measure in human cells.

    “It is the flow of and the quality of the bioelectricity in your body that determines your health,” Bowman said.

    He believes clinical practice of Qigong would add legitimacy to those who have truly studied the practice and potentially open the door to insurance coverage of Qigong.

    The feeling is not universal among Qigong practitioners.

    Tirk Wilder is one of those who believes legislation is unnecessary. He has practiced Eastern Martial Arts for more than five decades and has incorporated Qigong into his personal practices.

    “Qigong is a mind body skill is the way I would put it,” Wilder told FOX 25, “It is supposed to create harmony with the universe and I believe it does when it is practiced properly.

    Wilder said while the legislation would not directly impact his practice of Qigong, he sees it as a “slippery slope” which could entangle anyone who suggests the health benefits of many of the martial arts that incorporate Qi.

    “We don't regulate karate instructors we don't regulate any martial arts instruction, yoga instructors and that's why I’m saying ‘Why is this necessary,’” Wilder said.

    “Why do we need this?” Wilder asked “Is somebody being hurt by improper Qigong practice? I'm really hard pressed to believing that.”

    There is little scientific evidence to back up many of the claims of Qigong proponents. Bowman said proof comes from practice and that non-believers may never experience the benefits because they have closed their minds to the possibility it could work.

    Senator Rader told FOX 25 he supports the idea of a board because of the requests from his constituents like Bowman.

    In recent years Oklahoma has sought to identify unnecessary occupational licensing. However, Senator Rader said he does not believe his legislation will create an unnecessary barrier to entering the practice of Qigong.
    I'm copying this to Qigong as Medicine and launching an indie Qigong Regulation thread, but I imagine this will only be regarding medical qigong.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Pov

    Point of View: Regulating your Qi in Oklahoma
    BY SHOSHANA WEISSMANN AND MARC HYDEN
    Published: Sun, January 27, 2019 12:00 AM


    Marc Hyden

    “We need to cut unnecessary red tape and remove wasteful licensing fees for job creators in Oklahoma,” says Gov. Kevin Stitt, and he's right. Overregulating employers is hampering the economy, but as Oklahomans know, individual licenses can adversely affect workers, too. Indeed, the Sooner State has the 18th-most burdensome occupational licensing laws in the country.

    Under the guise of consumer protection and public safety, the state already requires upward of 30 percent of Oklahomans to clear time-consuming and expensive barriers to obtain a license to work. These requirements extend to professions like shampooers and packers, but the Legislature may add another questionable profession to its list of regulated industries. Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, recently filed Senate Bill 190, which would require individuals to be licensed to teach qigong. This legislation has massive potential to hurt a lot of people and criminalize innocent behavior.

    Qigong has been around in various forms since 2600 B.C. According to the National Qigong Association, it is a “mind-body-spirit practice” that integrates “posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent.” There are thousands of different variations of qigong, each of which is associated with many health benefits.

    So why does qigong need to be regulated?

    Well, after meditating over SB 190, we were left scratching our heads. It's bizarre to think that the government ought to regulate harmless spiritual practices and relaxation techniques. And yet as innocuous as qigong is, Rader would like to slap considerable regulations on its practice. His proposal would require those who wish to teach qigong to complete hours of education and pay the state for the privilege of working. Oddly enough, many of these provisions have nothing to do with qigong. Beyond these requirements, practicing qigong without a license would be punishable by fines of up to $5,000 and possible criminal charges.

    Aside from being a solution in search of a problem, this proposal is problematic in several respects. First, a government occupational licensing board is ill-equipped to effectively license something that exists in thousands of different forms. Second, while the legislation would impose highly stringent regulations on those who teach only qigong, the state would not exact the same level of restrictions on other licensed health providers who happen to also educate people about qigong.

    The legislation will have harmful effects on other Oklahomans as well. Occupational licensing restricts the supply of providers, which increases consumer prices and limits people's access to qigong's benefits. As should be the case, professions shouldn't be restricted unless legitimate concerns exist, and a “mind-body-spirit practice” like qigong certainly does not meet that threshold.

    Many individuals practice and teach qigong differently, and they shouldn't be fined for sharing this ancient Chinese artform without state approval. In fact, the government shouldn't even be in the business of licensing a peaceful, harmless practice that has existed safely without licensure for thousands of years.


    Hyden is director of state government affairs, and Weissmann is digital media manager and a policy fellow, at the R Street Institute.
    This got me thinking - You know what the government should regulate?

    Thoughts & prayers.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    More...

    Well, not much more really, but this is surely a story worth following here.

    Oklahoma senator seeks to regulate qigong, form of Chinese meditation, with new bill
    Posted: 11:07 AM, Jan 29, 2019 Updated: 9:32 AM, Jan 29, 2019
    By: Zak Patterson


    Photo by: Ng Han Guan/AP

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma senator is working to regulate a form of Chinese meditation in the state with a new bill.

    Senate Bill 190, the Oklahoma Qigong Practice Act, authored by Sen. Dave Rader, would create a licensing and regulatory structure around the classical Chinese practice.

    The bill would create the Oklahoma Board of Qigong, and the board would be "empowered to determine the standards associated with qigong practice in the state." The board would charge up to $300 for a licensing fee, and investigate possible violations of the measure.

    Qigong would be banned in the state unless the person is properly licensed by the board. Those who are in violation of the measure would be subject to a fine up to $5,000.

    Applicants for a qigong license would need to present proof that they have:

    paid the required fees
    graduated from a recognized and accredited qigong program
    completed other examination, education or apprenticeship processes deemed important by the board

    Read more about the bill here.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    S.168

    So an NFL owner gets busted for soliciting prostitutes, and we get regulated?


    Controversial bill regulating bodywork, intended to fight human trafficking, will get a rewrite

    Posted Oct 28, 5:26 PM


    Bodywork practitioners testify at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on Oct. 28, 2019. (Shira Schoenberg / The Republican)

    By Shira Schoenberg | sschoenberg@repub.com

    Proponents of a controversial anti-human trafficking bill are planning to rewrite it after Reiki, Qigong and even yoga practitioners said the current bill would drive many legitimate healers out of business.

    “While we want to ensure that we can combat human trafficking however it manifests in our communities, we do not want to burden legitimate practitioners with arduous training and education requirements or redefine industry standards for their modalities,” Beth Keeley, chief of the Human Trafficking Division in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, told the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure at a hearing on Monday.

    Keeley said Healey — who worked with Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford, in writing the bill — will submit a redrafted version.

    The bill, S.168, would license and regulate bodywork businesses. Bodywork can include things like acupressure, aromatherapy, Reiki, reflexology, tai chi, Ayurveda, biofeedback, Shiatsu or a host of other practices, often those that involve moving energy around the body.

    The bill is aimed at cracking down on illicit “bodywork” shops that are actually fronts for human trafficking or sex trafficking, where a trafficker recruits women who are paid to provide sexual services to clients.

    The issue gained national attention this year after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting a woman for prostitution at a Florida spa.

    While experts could not say at the hearing how widespread the problem is, Woburn Police Lt. Brian McManus, who oversees human trafficking cases there, said in investigations, he often encounters “bodywork” businesses advertising on websites known to sell sex, with the same language and emojis used to advertise prostitution.

    McManus said Woburn, with a large business district and easy access to two interstate highways, has a pervasive problem with prostitution. Between 2014 and 2018, he estimated that there were around 30 investigations involving bodywork businesses.

    According to Healey’s office, their investigations have led to the indictment of 10 individuals since 2012 for human trafficking at illicit massage or bodywork establishments.

    In one case, for example, a Quincy woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trafficking women at bodywork establishments in East Longmeadow, Hadley and Framingham. The victims, who were paid for providing sexual services, lived at the businesses and were dependent on the owner for necessities like groceries.

    Currently, Massachusetts licenses and regulates massage therapists but not bodywork, although some cities and towns have instituted their own regulations. “These exist in a no-man’s land where they are not being regulated,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. “We are asking that the same regulation that has been brought to bear on the massage industry be brought to bear on the others.”

    Montigny has called it the “bodywork loophole,” and said in a letter to the committee that loophole “has threatened consumer protection and the public health and safety.”

    However, at a hearing, bodywork practitioners said the bill as currently drafted would go far beyond cracking down on human trafficking by establishing onerous educational and licensure requirements, which would likely put hundreds of practitioners out of business.

    “What you’re doing right now, it’s madness,” said Clark Reddick, a stress relief and recovery specialist. “For every one person it might help, it promises to create 1,000 citizens of collateral damage.” For example, Reddick said it would not be financially worthwhile for his wife, who works with him part-time, to take an expensive training class in order to continue working.

    The bill as currently written would set up a seven-member board to regulate and license bodywork professionals.

    The board would establish standards for professional and ethical conduct, set educational qualifications, investigate complaints to identify deceptive or dangerous behavior, and penalize those who break the law.

    The bill would require practitioners to have undergone at least 500 hours of education or supervised training. Anyone convicted of a sexual crime or crime of “moral turpitude” could not apply for a license within 10 years.

    But those in the field testified that there is no reasonable way for a seven-member board to develop credentials for licensing what could include 150 or 200 different types of practices. Some involve touch; others look more like exercise; others include meditation.

    Carol Bedrosian, the publisher of Spirit of Change magazine, which writes about alternative healing, compiled a list of 167 practices potentially affected by the bill. Asked why regulating bodywork is different from regulating medicine, she said, “How could one board know what licensing qualifications are for an endocrinologist as well as a heart surgeon?”

    Rita Glassman, a Reiki master and executive director of Massachusetts Coalition of Holistic Practitioners, questioned a requirement that practitioners attend a state-licensed school to become credentialed.

    “No state-licensed schools teach Reiki. Reiki is taught in people’s living rooms, maybe in centers,” Glassman said. She said there are 64 major lineages of Reiki, a type of energy healing, and Reiki cannot be standardized into a single course.

    The bill, she said, “will wipe out the profession in Massachusetts.”

    Robert Nelson, a registered nurse from Holyoke and a Reiki practitioner, said the proposed licensing standards will “dramatically reduce health care options to the citizens of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Several speakers noted that hospitals ranging from Cooley Dickinson to Dana-Farber Cancer Center to Children’s Hospital bring in Reiki practitioners.

    Several speakers said licensing should be reserved for practices that can cause harm, like prescribing a drug or injecting someone with a needle. “Does Reiki pose a danger to the public? … How about a mindfulness-based stress reduction program of meditation?” Bedrosian said.

    The bill also raises potential questions of religious freedom. Laura Kandziolka, who teaches Quigong, a Chinese system of breathing and exercises, said she has no reason to touch anyone’s body during her classes. She considers Quigong part of a religious practice, and told the committee, “I don’t think you’re here to require a license to practice religion.”

    Several practitioners noted that if they do something wrong in their profession, they maintain liability insurance. But, they said, regulating irresponsible healing practices is far different from cracking down on illicit prostitution, which is what the bill is intended to do. Several people who testified pointed out that a 2013 report by a special state task force looking at human trafficking made numerous recommendations, but no mention of licensing bodywork.

    Kandziolka said, “It’s not clear how requiring licensing of 150 or more additional specialties will cut down on human trafficking.”
    THREADS
    Qigong Regulation (not quigong )
    Yoga
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    More on S.168

    Trafficking concerns behind push for bodyworks bill



    By Katie Lannan / State House News Service
    Posted Oct 28, 2019 at 6:49 PM

    BOSTON -- The 2006 state law that set up a licensure framework for massage therapists left exempt “a wide variety” of bodywork practices, and created a loophole that human traffickers exploit to run commercial sex operations masquerading as legal businesses, according to Sen. Mark Montigny.

    Montigny, a New Bedford Democrat, filed a bill that would create a Board of Registration and Massage Therapy and Bodywork and require bodyworkers or bodywork therapists to be licensed by the state in order to offer therapies including reflexology, qigong, Ayurvedic therapy, shiatsu, reiki and other professions using “directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body.”

    The Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure held a hearing Monday on Montigny’s bill (S 168) and lawmakers grappled with questions around how to protect trafficking victims without burdening practitioners who said they provide an important health service and that training requirements would pose a challenge to their business.

    “I’m trying to get to the, ‘Does licensing work,’ right,” Sen. Paul Feeney, who co-chairs the committee, told a panel of police officers testifying in support of the bill. “Will this actually address the problem?”

    Rep. Tackey Chan, the committee’s House chair, drew applause from the crowd in Gardner Auditorium when he pointed out that human trafficking extends beyond the sex trafficking associated with massage parlors and bodyworks.

    “You’ve got things like nail salons, you’ve got things like restaurant workers, we have a textile industry, we have a machine industry, we have crate workers, we have shoremen, we obviously have a racetrack, we’ve got a lot of people migrating in and out of this state,” Chan told the same law enforcement panel. “I mean, one of the biggest cases that was busted about 10 or so years ago was Chinese human trafficking, but it was not sex-related, it was regarding manufacturing. So while I understand there is an enormous focus on one segment of the population, explain to me how you’re going to solve the rest of them.”

    Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said authorities have seen human trafficking operations set up in “virtually all of our communities” in Massachusetts. In Middlesex County, she said, the ratio works out to about five such operations in a bodyworks facility for each one operating in a licensed massage facility.

    She said Massachusetts has made bodyworks “an island that is not subject to regulation” and that passing the bill would send a message that the state is invested in both the welfare of trafficking victims and of consumers who want to know they’re patronizing a business that is safe and sanitary.

    “These exist in a no-man’s land where they are not being regulated,” Ryan said of bodyworks businesses.

    Rita Glassman, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition of Holistic Practitioners, said the bill has the potential to “wipe out” reiki -- a spiritual practice than can reduce pain and stress and stimulate the immune system. She said reiki, offered in many area hospitals, is not a practice that can be easily standardized, with 64 major lineages of reiki that each have their own sacred customs and are handed down from master to student.

    The bill would require someone interested in practicing bodyworks to have “successfully completed a course of study or supervised instruction at a licensed bodyworks school that has been determined appropriate by the board.”

    Rep. Donald Wong, a Saugus Republican who began studying tai chi, qigong and martial arts in 1965, told the committee he hoped the bill could be “readjusted.”

    Several practitioners expressed concern about the cost of training that would be required under the bill, and with the composition of the proposed board -- three licensed massage therapists, two licensed bodywork therapists, a consumer, and a law enforcement representative focused on human trafficking. Others recommended the Legislature instead implement the recommendations of a human trafficking task force, which in 2013 put forth a series of suggestions dealing with victim services, demand reduction, data collection, training, and public awareness.

    Feeney asked Clark Reddick, a stress relief and recovery specialist, if he would be amenable to a version of licensure that did not involve “onerous” training and instead consisted of a small fee and registration with the state. Reddick said no.

    “You are criminalizing non-harming healers by passing any form of occupational licensure,” Reddick said.

    Montigny, in a letter to the committee Monday, acknowledged that some practitioners “are skeptical, if not in opposition to, this legislation.”

    “However, a vague fear of government oversight cannot overrule our duty in the legislature to protect the public and hundreds of innocent victims,” he wrote. “Human traffickers are clever criminals who can quickly seize upon any loophole we create. They did so post-2006 and will certainly do so again if we do not effectively shut down the bodywork loophole.”

    Attorney General Maura Healey’s office worked with Montigny to draft the bill, and Beth Keeley, the chief of Healey’s human trafficking division, said they intend to submit a redraft that will address concerns raised in meetings with “numerous practitioners” and local and national associations.

    Keeley referenced recent cases in which traffickers represented their enterprises as bodywork businesses. Last month, a Quincy woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trafficking women from New York to Massachusetts and offering sex services between the women and buyers at businesses in Hadley, East Longmeadow and Framingham.

    “We see so many of these cases because for traffickers, it is a low-risk proposition,” she said. “Set up shop with the cloak of a legitimate ... industry, and escape the regulation and review that would result in law enforcement oversight and action.”
    Published the same day as the report above, just a different perspective on it.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #6
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    ‘Tackey Chan’?

    I practice energy healing within my massage therapy practice, so I’m glad I don’t live in MA.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 11-06-2019 at 07:41 AM.

  7. #7
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    roflmao

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    ‘Tackey Chan’?

    I practice energy healing within my massage therapy practice, so I’m glad I don’t live in MA.
    Wow, I read right past that. Hadn't had my morning tea yet. That's hysterical.

    And I know a lot of massage therapists that incorporate energy work in their practice, including my wife.
    Gene Ching
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