Current Facts about Thai Yoga and Thai Massage Certification and Licensing
- What’s a Thai Yoga and or Traditional Thai Massage certificate?
- What’s a massage license?
- How are they different?
- When and where do you need them?
- How do you get them?
- What must you know to practice Thai Healing Arts legally in the US?
You will find all the answers right here! Forewarned, as the subject deserves a good solution, this post is long, and you may need to read it more than once.
Traditional Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage legal aspects
Many therapists, especially in the US, passionately argue for licensing. However, this article is not about opinions and preferences but strictly about facts and the legal side of massage vs. Traditional Thai Yoga Massage/ Thai Yoga/ Traditional Thai Massage and spiritual/energetically based, religious therapeutics, and healing arts in general.
Every practitioner of a religious therapeutic healing art needs to be clear and know the legal basis for their practice. We here at NAIC (Native American Indigenous Church Inc. Tribal Organization): Thai Yoga Center can answer the question and provide a legal basis for you to practice anywhere!
Certification versus licensing
We first need to understand that there is a difference between certification and licensing.
Certification Definition: the action or process of providing someone or something with an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement: a fundamental requirement for organic certification | the certification of teachers.• an official document attesting status or level of achievement: graduates who want to gain industry-recognized credentials. – certifies all or part of the following:
- You are qualified to practice Thai Yoga/ Traditional Thai Massage.
- You possess the necessary understandings (knowledge) and competencies (skills)
- You have had a certain amount of training: i.e., minimum standards apply.
Certification is only about qualification, skills, and training. It does not automatically give you the legal right to practice ANY healing art, Thai or otherwise.
Licensing Definition: “a permit from an authority to own or use something, do a particular thing, or carry on a trade (especially in alcoholic beverages): a gun license | [as modifier]: vehicle license fees.• formal or official permission to do something: logging is permitted under the license from the Forest Service. • Medical and or Allied Medical and or Massage License etc.
Many misbelieve that you can only do healing work IF you are “Licensed” by the state! First of all NOT TRUE! This myth is often perpetuated by “Massage Therapists” and State Massage Boards. Massage is legally defined as “Rubbing for Money,” regardless of alleged benefits. According to Massage organizations and State Massage Boards, Massage is very dangerous, and practitioners must be restricted and licensed by the respective states! Please note all states have these wacky rules.
Like a state licensing board, a legal entity generally issues a license. However, this Massage Therapy practice is defined strictly and has the statutory scope of practice rules and conditions! Thus a Massage License gives you the legal right to practice massage (Rubbing for Money) IF your jurisdiction has licensing laws (not all do).
Let me reiterate that some states still do not have licensing requirements for a massage at all! Please note, however, they may have local jurisdictional codes or rules by county, city, etc., which may have the same effect as a massage ordinance.
Additionally, all those laws change frequently.
The Fly in the Legal Ointment!
- Certification means you can practice massage or any indigenous traditional healing art, such as Thai Yoga or Traditional Thai Massage.
- Licensing (if required) gives you the legal right to practice massage.
The issue is that Traditional Thai Yoga (SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Therapy) and Traditional Thai Massage are NOT Massage or Massage Therapy as defined by law!
There are Special Rules for Thai Yoga Therapy and or Traditional Thai Massage
In the case of Thai Yoga, there are special considerations to consider. It depends on how massage and or bodywork is defined. Thai Yoga is quite different from massage and or massage therapy. It is an entirely different animal. Thai Traditional Yoga Therapy (“Ryksaa Thang Nuad Phaen Boran Thai- Reussi Dotton“) is Classical Ayurveda from Thailand. It is the manipulative discipline of Thai Traditional Medicine, Thai Ayurveda (including Thai Traditional Physical Therapy TTPT/ Tok Sen/ Tit Tar and Thai Traditional Naturopathy) (“Marmacikitsa/ Kayachikitsa“). Please read my earlier post for a deep discussion on What Thai Yoga is. What is Thai Yoga Part 1 and Thai Yoga Part 2?
Consider the State of Florida
Florida State Medical Board Exemptions
Consider the massage definition of the state of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Massage Law (If you want to read the entire law, click on the link)
“Nothing in this section shall prevent or restrict the practice of a person who uses touch, words or 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 while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics, but such services shall not be designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy.
Such practices shall include, but not be limited to, the Feldenkrais Method; Reflexology; The Trager Approach; Ayurvedic Therapies, Rolf Structural Integration, Polarity or Polarity Therapy; Polarity Therapy Bodywork; Asian Bodywork Therapy that does not constitute massage as defined in this chapter; Acupressure; Jin Shin Do; Qi Gong; Tui Na; Shiatsu; Body-Mind Centering and Reiki. These exempt practitioners may use the terms” bodywork,” bodyworker,” and” bodywork therapist” in their promotional literature. ”
In the first example, if you’re a religious practitioner meeting the qualification required, you not only do not have to have a license, you’re expressing exempted from them!
In the Massachusetts example, under secular rule, you can imply an exception, but it is not stated… furthermore as it is a secular law, it can be changed at any time!
Not only is this confusing, it still does not answer whether you need a license to practice Thai.
Maybe we are asking the wrong question. The question is NOT whether you need a license but under what legal basis you can practice regardless of having a permit.
The question of “Thai” comes from our community adopting Classical and traditional Ayurveda medicine of Thailand and Thai Yoga Therapy (Traditional Thai Massage) as authentic traditional, spiritually based healing methods or systems suitable for our tribal organization and members to practice. Because we are a Native Tribal and Indigenous Tribal Organization (Tribal Church- Faith Based Religious Organization) and Aboriginal community, we have been researching this issue and question for years. Many bright minds and experts have weighed in on our legal rights to practice.
We pass this wisdom on to you now!
First, if you define or call what you do Massage or Massage Therapy (rubbing on people for money), then GET A LICENSE!
Once you have that license follow the ethics and scope of practice, don’t cheat, and don’t violate the restrictive scope of practice, and you’ll be fine.
A religious exemption to practice is “on the books” in every state. However, if you want to practice Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage in the US legally, you don’t need a license, but legal AUTHORIZATION! Remember the Florida Code and the exemptions I listed above? Some conditions determine if you meet the criteria for exemption; however, we can show you the ins and outs of this process.
NO Loopholes! Come out into the light and develop your healing practice and career in the light. Don’t risk yourself and your family working under loopholes, “under the table,” etc.
Time to make the shift to NAIC
- Were your healing and natural medicine training apprentice style?
- Did you learn Thai Yoga or Thai Massage practice in Thailand and now want to practice legally in the US?
- Was your training in Native American and or Indigenous Medicine?
- Do you have a current license but are having issues with your full scope of practice?
- Do you practice Ayurveda, Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga, or Thai Massage?
- Do you practice Reiki, Pranic healing, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Spiritual Massage, or Crystal healing?
- Do you counsel and or advise on nutrition, food, diet, eating lifestyle, supplementation, nutrients, or other regimens to enhance wellness or address illness?
- Do you practice detoxification programs such as Pancha Karma?
- Do you practice emotional healing, energy psychology, traditional naturopathy, holistic psychology, or psychotherapy?
- Want to get out of the Massage Therapy licensing/ Taxed therapy Gerbil wheel?
- Do you use or recommend Herbs, sacraments,s and or unconventional herbal therapies for healing?
- Need legal protection and freedom from expense liability insurance issues?
- Do you practice Homeopathy, Radionics, Rife, or other energy-based healing?
- Do you carry or use Native American Sacrament, Birds of Prey feathers, in your healing work for yourself or others?
- Do you believe healing is a Human Right, as well as a constitutional right?
- Are you concerned about laws and governmental authorities limiting you and your families’ access to health care?
- Are you concerned about mandatory Vaccination issues for yourself or your children?
- Have you been hiding your healing work? Keeping it on the “Down Low,” avoiding marketing or advertising because of fear?
Training Programs that qualify for NAIC Membership: Thai Yoga Center
State and National Massage Therapy, Scope of Legal Practice, do NOT include many CAM practices and therapies such as Ayurveda, Pancha Karma, Detox Programs, Assessments, Psychological and Emotional Therapies, Thai Yoga, Thai Massage, Yoga Therapy, Spiritually based Massage, Food, Eating and Supplement strategies, personal and spiritually based Psychological Counseling, etc. They may expressly prohibit you from doing them! (Read your Scope of Practice State Massage Law!) More than this, if you’re practicing outside your Legal Scope of Practice as defined in your particular state, your Liability Insurance is not covering these practices in the event of an accident or claimed injury! Most Massage Liability Insurance programs, such as AMTA, ABMP, etc., specifically state that in your practice outside your SOP, the policy is “null and void” in case of a claim!
The Federal Gov’t and all Licensing States have hired additional investigators precisely to track down, investigate and prosecute/ persecute so-called “Unlicensed” practitioners. They have every legal right and mandate to do so. We recently received reports that unlicensed, out-of-scope-of-practice healers are being prosecuted, fined, convicted, and shut down because they did not have the foresight to plan and establish a legal basis for their healing work.
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