AOBTA® has been working in coalition with the National Qigong Association to protect our professions in Illinois and Massachusetts. Together with Thai Bodywork representatives, we drafted an Illinois bill to license Traditional Asian Healing Therapy (TAHT), which encompasses Asian Bodywork Therapy, Clinical Qigong Therapy and Thai Bodywork Therapy. Once passed, this will allow our members in Illinois to retain their right to work, and not be forced to study massage in order to continue to practice ABT. We have secured sponsors and bipartisan support in the Senate and House, and our TAHT licensing bill has been filed in the Senate.
We are now waiting for our draft to be assigned a Senate bill number. Soon we will be asking all our members in Illinois to call their respective Senators to support a bill that appropriately regulates our profession. This will both protect our profession and our right to work in Illinois.
In Massachusetts, we created a redraft of S.168 so that it would only license Traditional Asian Healing Therapy – specifically for Asian Bodywork Therapy and Clinical Qigong Therapy – and would remove the generic “bodyworks” licensing that would inappropriately regulate all currently non-regulated touch therapies. Our redraft was well-received by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, who sent it to study. They were impressed with our work and encouraged us to resubmit it in the next legislative session, in collaboration with the original bill sponsor.