February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Title: A Clear and Present Threat to Qigong: Massachusetts SD1840

NOTE: Massachusetts Bill SD1840 is Now S168



Massachusetts S168 (formerly, SD1840), is now a bill currently under consideration in Massachusetts that would severely restrict anyone not licensed as a bodywork therapist to practice any form of Qigong. The bill is now under consideration by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

The following are bullet points affecting all Qigong practitioners:

  • No representation for Qigong on the board of registration of massage therapy and bodyworks. Lines 4-13 describe the appointment of 7 members, 3 licensed massage therapists, 2 licensed bodywork therapists, 1 law enforcement representative and 1 a consumer who is familiar with massage or bodyworks therapy fields. 

Note: the board would dominated by massage therapists 3-2 over bodywork therapists. 

  • Lines 38-40 state: “Bodywork”, “bodyworks” or “bodywork therapy”, as the practice of a person who uses touch, words or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body, or the affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or Qi meridians of the human body.

-This states: a person who uses "words" to move qi – This might include guided meditation.

-This also states: a person who uses "directed movement" to move qi – This might include dynamic qigong.

  • On line 47 specifically mentions Qigong as a bodywork modality.
  • Section 5 would require the Qigong practitioner to refer to their establishment as a “licensed bodywork school”
  • Even with a license, a person could not use the word "qigong"in advertising, including on his office sign.  He could call himself only a "bodyworker", "bodywork therapist", etc. [Section 14(b) of the bill, 2nd paragraph, (iv)].
  • Indeed, if you look at the definition in Section 4 of the bill, it would require a license in order to instruct a qigong class at the YMCA.
  • Massachusetts S168 would repeal the current Section 228 and would require a "bodyworker" license in order to practice clinical qigong.
We encourage you to contact the Massachusetts Legislators below and share your thoughts.


The National Qigong Association is a 501c3, volunteer led, non-profit corporation whose mission is to educate people about Qigong, in its many forms, providing opportunities to come together, share, explore and grow as a community. Our volunteers are the heartbeat of the association and help us fulfill our mission which includes protecting the energetic arts we love from those who seek to control or eliminate our ability to practice and teach in our communities. Please consider joining us and help keep Qigong available for all who seeks its many health benefits.

Questions, or want to help with Qigong related legislative issues?

Please contact our Legislation Committee Chair: Tom Bowman

Contact Email: [email protected]


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