April 23, 2003

Well tomorrow should be interesting. I will be appearing before the Board of Massage over my application to teach Reiki and give CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to massage therapists. I had applied three months ago based on my teacher’s insistence that I was qualified.

After two months of not hearing anything, I called the Board and inquired as to the status. I was told that my application was being sent to the Board itself to be discussed in their quarterly meeting. The problem seems to deal with my qualifications.

There are several qualification standards that need to be met for an instructor to be approved to teach as well as course content for a class to be approved. And here is where I got myself caught in a battle I had no intention of fighting. You see, I was told that since Reiki is a massage technique, I was not qualified because to teach a massage technique, I need to be a licensed therapist for three years.

On my teachers prompting, I wrote to the executive director of the Board explaining my position. I gave her the definition of massage I had learned in school, and the definition that is stated in the laws. ("Massage" means the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with the hand, foot, arm, or elbow, whether or not such manipulation is aided by hydrotherapy, including colonic irrigation, or thermal therapy; any electrical or mechanical device; or the application to the human body of a chemical or herbal preparation.) I then gave her the definition of Reiki which I took from my site and that of the International Center for Reiki Healing. (Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve health and enhance the quality of life. Reiki is holistic healing (relating to or concerning the whole body and mind) where universal life force energy is channeled into another person for the purpose of healing.) Basically, I stated that I was confused to see how Reiki could fit into the definition of massage as stated in the laws. In truth, I had found out that several years ago, the Board had seen a demonstration of Reiki and made the opinion that it was massage. If I understand it correctly, this had to do with the fact that the subject was touched, and even the lightest touch manipulated the soft tissues. At any rate, my letter defended my position and asked guidance as to the reason things were like they were. It also asked how an opinion that was only documented in some meeting minutes yet not in the written laws could be considered law. I basically asked that I either a) be allowed to teach and give CEUs, or b) get my money back even though it was supposed to be non-refundable. My point was that I could not have known of this opinion and had I known, I would not have applied.

Well, cross your fingers. I am going in to fight two battles and could lose them both.