N.A.I.C. Legal Shield:
Step #1 is not to be ignorant! “There is NO excuse not to know the law!” as the courts like to say to the chagrin of many medical, allied medical, and or complementary health providers and ministers of any kind…
I stopped being surprised at how little healing arts practitioners KNOW about the law in general and precisely what they base their and their family’s life and livelihood upon. I want to help, if possible, to sort it out and, more than this, at the end of this article, to offer some concrete solutions to bring light into your legal darkness! I will walk you through some legal basics and, depending on your starting place, advanced.
Read through to the bottom and click the “How To Win In Court” image and link.
- 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 U.S.A.?
You will find all the answers right here! Be forewarned, as the subject deserves a good response. This post is long, and you may need to read it more than once.
Traditional and SomaVeda® Thai Yoga/ Traditional Thai Massage legal aspects
Many therapists, especially in the U.S.A., 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.
Every practitioner of a religious therapeutic healing art must be precise and know the legal basis for their practice.
We here at N.A.I.C. (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, medical,l or therapeutic 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 support from the Forest Service. • Medical and or Allied Medical and or Massage license,e etc.
Many misbelieve that you can only do healing work IF you are “Licensed” by the state! First of all, it’s 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, not all states have these wacky rules.
A legal entity, like a state licensing board, 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! Please note, however, that they may have local jurisdictional codes or rules by county, city, etc., which may have the same effect as a message 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) or Traditional Thai Massage is NOT Massageorr 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 T.T.P.T./ 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 motion 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 but you are expressly exempted from the legal requirement!
In the Massachusetts example, under the 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.
However, if you want to practice Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage legally in the U.S., you don’t need a license but legal AUTHORIZATION! Remember the Florida Code and the exemptions I listed above? A religious exemption to practice is “on the books” in every state. 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 onto the light and develop your healing practice and career in the morning. Don’t risk yourself and your family working under loopholes, “under the table,” etc.
Time to make the shift to N.A.I.C. Legal Shield!
N.A.I.C. Legal Shield To continue your ability to practice Spiritually and or Energetically based Indigenous, Traditional, Natural, and or Native Healing and Wellness Services, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga, and or Thai Massage or related, you will need to become an active Member of N.A.I.C. according to your authorized scope of practice. If you practice any form of alternative, complementary, or spiritually-based healing work and either do not have a license or are practicing outside your mandated scope of practice, you are at risk! Many states actively pass laws restricting all forms of energy, indigenous, traditional, and natural medicine and healing. Take the new Maryland Law HB 1156 as an example:
The Elephant in the Room!
- Do you give health advice in your consultations or services? Food, Eating, Nutrition, Supplements, Juicing, weight loss relating to any condition or health issue of any kind?
- Do you ever assess or make ANY specific recommendations for alleviating, reducing, improving, remediating, controlling, or managing any diagnosed illness?
- Do you recommend any treatments, sessions, or programs, or do any treatments, sessions, or programs hands-on for any specific and or diagnosed health or medical condition at any time?
- Do you use any adjuncts, tools, mechanical aids, vibrations, light, sound, water, mechanical vibrators, or electro-acupuncture devices of any kind ever?
- Do you do ANY psychological, emotional, mental health, or wellness counseling? Including Tapping, E.F.T., A.O. Scan, Any Frequency Body Scan or treatment, B.E.T., T.F.T., “Energy Psychology,” etc.?
- Do you use or integrate ANY Native American Ritual, Sacrament, Ceremony, Herbs, Essential Oils, or any traditional indigenous medicine, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, Nature Cure, Yoga Therapy, or fitness recommendations into your healing, therapy, or wellness services?
- Are you subject to draconian and unreasonable State Health Department “Mandates, Suggested Guidelines” regarding your rights to practice or work? Mandates and Suggested Guidelines are not L.A.W. No Governor nor Health Department can make or unilaterally pass ANY law. It is a violation of their Oath of Office to do so! But what are your rights to practice or to engage in healing work or ministry?
Here are a few more questions:
- 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 in the U.S. legally?
- 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 and or Thai Massage, Indigenous Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure, or Shiatsu?
- 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 another regimen 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 unconventional herbal therapies for healing?
- Need legal protection and freedom from expensive 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, therapy, and wellness are human and constitutional rights?
- Are you concerned about laws and governmental authorities limiting you and your family’s 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?
If any of the above is true…
STEP # O.N.E.! Training pre-requisite programs/ seminaries that qualify for N.A.I.C. Membership: Thai Yoga Center
State and National Massage Therapy, Scope of Legal Practice, do NOT include many C.A.M. 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 A.M.T.A., A.B.M.P., etc., specifically state that in your practice outside your S.O.P., 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.
STEP # T.W.O.! Legal Resource!
Do you find yourself intimidated by the Law or Legal issues? Do you sometimes feel you need a lawyer but can not afford one? Do you sometimes feel disadvantaged because you don’t have adequate legal resources or the correct information? I have a solution for you. Become your own best legal advocate. The law was created for you, and you should know how it works and understand how it relates to you, your life, and your business.
This course is nothing less than impressive. Graduates qualify for a J.D. Degree!