This year Massachusetts (MA) and seven other US states are slated to consider bills that will regulate the practice of Reiki and ten other modalities: clinical intuitives, cognitive somatic energy practices, dowsing/radiesthesia, full spectrum practitioners, laying-on-of-hands, natural practitioners, shamans, spiritual healing, tai chi and qigong.
The current MA draft legislation states that regulation is necessary if there is demonstrated evidence of risk to public safety. The NIH (National Institute of Health) clearly says there is no evidence that Reiki practice is harmful to the public.
Yet, it’s likely that if this legislation passes, it will have a domino effect. Historically, when licensing passes in one state—and this is an eight-state rollout—it tends to be taken up by legislatures across the country unless met with strong opposition.
How did this happen?
Two private sector organizations, the National Association of Energy Practitioners (NAOEP) and its sister organization, the National Certification Council of Energy Practitioners (NCCOEP), have been organizing for several years. They plan to introduce their legislation this year in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Arizona, Oregon, and New York.
These organizations stand to benefit by being the sole licensing agent in every state, controlling whom you can receive treatment from, whom you can learn Reiki from, how you practice professionally, and what you teach.
This affects all of us
Licensure limits diversity and freedom of choice for clients and students.
Given the cost of licensing, practitioners and teachers with a smaller clientele may be forced out of the marketplace, causing lost personal income and fewer healthcare options in local communities.
Emphasizing unrelated academic requirements and technical skills threatens to weaken our focus on Reiki as spiritual practice.
What else will this mean for those who practice and teach Reiki?
- The NCCOEP will license you (for a fee).
- Curriculums—what you teach— in first degree, second degree and Reiki master training must be submitted to and approved by the licensing agent, the NCCOEP.
- Required coursework includes anatomy, physiology, CPR, ethics, child & elder abuse reporting, suicide assessment and referral. The NAOEP would provide these classes (for a fee).
- You may be required to pass a series of tests that measure your ability to “direct” energy—something we do not practice in Reiki.
- No one would be grandfathered in regardless of how many years you have practiced.
- You would not be allowed to practice publicly without a license.
- Practicing or teaching in multiple states appears to require a license for each state.
- Licensing is required for everyone teaching in the US who lives outside the US.
One Silver Lining
Licensure provides an unexpected and welcome opportunity for clients, students, practitioners, and masters from all Reiki backgrounds to work together to oppose legislation, mutually supporting Reiki practice and one another.
As the bills are introduced in the eight state legislatures, we will have the opportunity to come together to mount a strong opposition.
What Can You Do Right Now?
There are three things you can do to help:
First: Alert your students, friends, colleagues, Reiki organizations—and practitioners from the other modalities. You’re welcome to send out this letter. Be sure to include this sign-up link so that everyone stays informed as this critical situation unfolds.
Second: Take a stand. Join with others in your state to express your opposition to regulation.
We’ll be creating an on-line site with tips on tracking bills, talking with legislators, testifying, and organizing to build a strong opposition.
Third: Read the attached documents for a clear understanding of the seriousness of the situation.
In community and caring,
For more information—
1. Massachusetts draft legislation
2. Melinda Connor, founder of NAOEP and NCCOEP, describes her national licensing plan. Click on day 1, the last keynote address. https://worldcongressonqigong.com/day-1
3. The empirical testing suites: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1550830720302287?dgcid=rss_sd_all
4. Sign-up and stay informed about regulation: https://reikiinmedicine.infusionsoft.app/app/form/protect-reiki?cookieUUID=09f24df1-70e3-43e6-ad46-f50ad9cda887