Speaking out for the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education

FGNA actively monitors and takes action on matters affecting Feldenkrais practitioners' right to practice. This work is funded through dues and fees paid by FGNA members, Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionersCM and accredited Feldenkrais professional training programs.

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has proposed a Model Practice Act (MPA) for the massage therapy profession in the United States. The Model Practice Act was created to give guidance to state legislatures and regulators of massage therapy by providing a template that includes model statutory language. This practice act is intended for use in states that do not yet require massage and bodywork therapists to be licensed, and as a replacement for state practice laws already in existence as they come up for review.

Because the proposed model language does not include any provision for exempting non-massage professions such as the Feldenkrais Method, we spoke out strongly in opposition to the MPA. Thank you to all of the FGNA members and Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionersCM who sent us copies of the comments that you submitted to FSMTB. These have been passionate, informative and insightful about the practice of the Feldenkrais Method.

Alerting Feldenkrais Practitioners and urging comment on the MPA is only one step FGNA will be taking in our work to monitor developments on matters that could affect Feldenkrais practitioners' right to practice. This work will progress in a number of ways.

  • We will monitor developments related to FSMTB and the Model Practice Act. We have many professional organizational allies who also have mobilized members to comment. The level of comment may an impact. Should there be opportunity to do so, we will work with our allies and the FSMTB to further influence the final version of the MPA.
  • A letter and packet of reference materials about the Feldenkrais Method will be developed and sent to Massage Therapy Boards in each U.S. state. In developing this packet, we will review and incorporate comments from the FGNA community of practitioners and trainers, in order to portray the depth and potential local impact.
  • FGNA will continue to monitor legislative and regulatory efforts where and when they arise. Local members are particularly helpful in helping to monitor, share information about, and respond to such efforts in their local areas.
  • In states where legislative action that may impact Feldenkrais practitioners is under consideration, FGNA will mobilize efforts to inform and persuade members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction, and other influential legislators, about the potential impacts of inappropriate regulation of valuable services such as the Feldenkrais Method.

Thanks to the Governmental Relations program initiated by Michael Purcell, and due to the efforts of countless volunteers, the practice of the Feldenkrais Method is exempt by name or by reference to movement practices, in over twenty of the 34 states that regulate massage therapy. We will continue to oppose efforts to turn back the progress made in recent years. This is an extremely important issue for all Feldenkrais practitioners and trainees and your responses have made a difference!