Protect Your Right To Receive Alternative Healthcare in Colorado
Those of you who follow this blog know that I am part of a network of healers, which are as diverse as they are amazing, here in the Denver and Front Range area. This network extends far beyond acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths and massage therapists- but these are some examples of what it soon could be limited to.
Colorado House Bill 16-1320 has just passed the State House and on April 11 was introduced to the state senate and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill is said to have been constructed to help eliminate the possible existence of sex workers that could potentially be disguised as providers in the healing arts.
I fail to see how the bill achieves this. What it actually says and appears to do, is give individual municipalities the ability to create their own rules and potentially give DORA autonomy on regulating and licensing with the possibility of prohibiting energy workers and healers from practicing on a state level, unless they fit into an existing category of licensure.
Most energy workers and healers are not able to sensibly fit into DORA’s model for regulation. I am an acupuncturist and credit most of what I have learned about actually healing people to the energy workers who have groomed, influenced and guided me. Graduate school taught me the meridian system, diagnosis and where to insert needles to relieve ailments, but the energy healers, shaman, clairvoyants, reiki practitioners and intuitive healers have taught, and are still teaching me, how to help facilitate my patients healing more effectively and on a level I have yet to see touched in the western medical model.
Protect Energy Workers Right To Work
When you read the bill you may think, “You’re protected to practice if you have a valid nursing, medical, chiropractic or physiology licensure.” The problem then there lies, that if healers are restricted from their practices, or compelled to pursue credentialing and licensure outside of their areas of practice, our entire community will suffer. Most of the healers that will be lost will be the elders and teachers of the holistic community.
I also work in western healthcare. For about the last ten years there has been a very hard push for credentialing! We are losing nurses with upwards of 15 years of experience because the nursing school they attended, oh so many years ago, only granted them an ASN, instead of a BSN. Many of these professionals exceed their younger counterparts- all of whom have the right letters after their name- in competency, compassion, experience and critical thinking.
School is expensive and consuming of your life on every level. Could you imagine the exhaustion and frustration of having to put your life emotionally, physically and financially on hold, just so that you could continue to work in the same profession you are already considered to be an authority in?
Pushing for more credentialing, regulation and licensing does not necessarily result in the output or development of higher quality professionals. I do not want the clairvoyant energy worker who heals me, as well as teaches me, to be forced by regulation to go back to school for another master’s degree, just so that she may be allowed to practice.
Regulations For The Healing Arts Already In Place
Currently most energy and healing modalities in the state of Colorado are self-regulated because they’re so diverse. The general public and the alternative practitioners of Colorado are currently protected by the Colorado National Health Consumer Protection Act. This protects the consumer by restricting the scope of practice of complementary medicine and protects the healer by not over regulating them, while at the same time giving very clear boundaries of what licensure is necessary for and needing to be regulated by DORA.
Contact Your State Senator
Please contact your local state senators and demand that this bill not pass the state senate. Please do not make providers, whether they be alternative, complementary, traditional or even licensed massage therapists, as this bill would allow, be subject to arbitrary ordinances and even discrimination for simply being healing arts practitioners.
I understand that using the word discrimination may sound like a stretch, but it really isn’t. Being that I am also a work in western healthcare, I routinely hear snarky comments about the work I do outside of the hospital from my peers and other service providers.
I realize that as humans we only know of what we have been taught or what we have been exposed to. Some of these people I work with eventually come to my clinic and have a change of mind, but this takes time. All a healer can do, aside from healing, is to continue to hold space for communication and learning- just as other healers did for me when I would roll my eyes at them.
For this space to be held the healers rights to perform their services must be protected. Unfortunately though, the people that will be most likely making the rules to regulate our healers will not have experience or education surrounding the healing arts. Most of our regulators will likely be ignorant of or even bias to the healing systems in our community or even the notion of what it is to be a healer.
Anti-Human Trafficking & Anti-Prostitution Laws Already In Place
City and state anti-human trafficking and anti-prostitution laws already encompass what this bill is attempting to achieve. Please read the underlined links to the HB 16-1320 and to the already existing Massage Therapy Practice Act and realize what this bill could do to the healing community and how it would fail to meet any of its stated objectives.
Please contact your state senators. Demand that they kill House Bill 16-1320. I am very much in favor of legislation that protects our community through reasonable regulation and helps to stop human trafficking and prostitution. This bill unfortunately misses the mark. I do not believe this bill’s authors to be malicious, but nor do I believe them to have an understanding or even an awareness of the community it would inadvertently be removing right to work protection from.
There are already enough victims of these horrible crimes do not allow healers, energy workers, massage therapists and alternative medicine practitioners to be claimed as casualties by the same perpetrators. Please contact your state senate legislator and encourage a new bill, with communication from all communities potentially impacted, to help put a stop the victimization caused by human trafficking and prostitution, while protecting the communities offenders could potentially exploit.
Stop House Bill 16-1320
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Westminster, CO 80020