Friday, January 25, 2013

Sept 4th, 2012 - New Massage Licensing Law



     “NJ Massage Body Workers & Somatic Therapists”
That was the title of the coalition that was formed back in 2003.  Ten different organizations got together and worked on putting together a comprehensive licensing “Bill” that would be submitted to the legislature for their review and implementation.  Finally, Jan 13th, 2008, then Governor Jon Corzine signed the Bill into Law.  However, that wasn’t the end of it.  For the law to be enacted, it had to go through three phases.

     First, at the signing of the bill, the so called board of massage under the board of nursing would be dissolved.   
     Second, a new board of massage would be formed under the division of consumer affairs.  It was a governor appointed position that would be offered to 9 people to sit on the board.  I was asked, along with all the members of the Coalition, but I turned it down.  It meant going to Newark every time would meet.  Having done this before, I did not relish the idea of the three hour drive each way and the headache with the traffic getting into Newark.  

     Third Phase was marked by the publishing online, the new application for the massage license itself.  That took place September 4th, 2012.

     “NJ Massage Body Workers & Somatic Therapists”
Each organization in the coalition sent a representative to work on this Bill.  The Coalition actually allowed our organization to send two people.  I was one and Rena Margolis was the other.  Together we represented, “Associated Bodywork & Massage Practitioner” known as “ABMP.”  We were both given the title of “Government Relations Representative.”

     We met with other organizations on telephone conference calls, in person, and when necessary we went to the source.  We visited Newark, where the then board of nursing was in charge of massage, then the “New Jersey Legislature,” also known as the “State House.”  We met with legislators, and tried to bring our thoughts and objections to various parts of the Bill.  Overall, it was a great experience.  I now see that one person can make a difference.  When they wanted to make “Reiki” part of the Bill, I argued that no one should have to take a 500 hour massage course to do Reiki, when the course itself can be an eight hour certification course in itself.  Reiki was not massage and should not be part of the Bill.  I got it!  I also argued for the implementation of a board of massage with diversity on the board.  No one organization should dominate the board and tell others what to do.  I got it!  The system does work sometimes.

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