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From: Randall Nikola
To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: HB 207
Date: 2014-02-13T07:46:19Z
Dear Representative Dunnigan,

My name is Randall Nikola. I am a licensed massage therapist, educator, and director of a massage school with campuses in Salt Lake and Cedar City with 25 years experience in the therapeutic massage field locally, regionally, and nationally. I am also a former president of the Utah Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association that took an active role in the writing and passage of our current Massage Therapy Practice Act, which might be affected by House Bill 207.

I am opposed to HB207 for the following reason:

• The language being used is flawed as it opens the law to interpretation so anyone can practice massage without formal training, certification, or organization approval as long as they claim to be performing reflexology or zone therapy. 

Several years ago, our profession and the Utah Division of Professional Licensing had a major problem when DOPL issued a statement that the modality of "Reiki" was not considered massage and therefore individuals practicing Reiki did not need a license to practice. They did this because of pressure from legitimate reiki practitioners. Soon after sexual fronts offering prostitution under the term Sensual Reiki popped up along the Wasatch front that took quite some time to shut down without amending the Massage Therapy Practice Act to give law enforcement agencies some real teeth to put these establishments out of business. 

HB 207 could do the same thing with the terms reflexology or zone therapy. These professions are time-honored and of therapeutic benefit as most massage schools throughout the USA offer them as part of their core curricula. However, to practice these modalities the person needs formal training; not merely a law that says they can touch people without proper vocational training and/or certification. Even the American Reflexology Certification Board – ARCB – feels strongly that public safety is better served by formal training and certification, which would be sidestepped if HB 207 is passed.

Reflexology or zone therapy, while modalities separate from swedish massage, share one thing in common: they involve one person touching anotherPublic safety is best served when state law restricts touch-related professions to fall under licensed professions. That is why, because these modalities are already taught at massage schools, should not be exempted from licensing. Right now they fall under the Massage Practice Act, and public safety is served by having laws in place to protect them from others with illicit intentions.

Thank you again for allowing to say I am opposed to HB 207. 

Sincerely yours,
RJ (Randy) Nikola, President & Director
Healing Mountain Massage School – Main Campus:
363 South 500 East, Suite 210
Salt Lake City, UTAH 84102
801-355-6300 office
801-350-0119 fax
800-811-0468 mobile

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