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Proposed Assembly bill would end hypno-war — and more

If it passes, a bill introduced this month in the Assembly by Washoe Republican Randy Kirner would put an end to the kibosh that the Nevada Board of Psychology Practitioners attempted to put last year on biofeedback professionals and hypnotherapists practicing without a state license. In fact, the bill, AB295, would free all practitioners of so-called alternative medicine to ply their trades, repercussion-free, provided they abide by a list of conditions.

The law is backed by the National Health Freedom Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group whose goal is to make it safe and legal for herbalists, hypnotists and other “healing arts” professionals nationwide to treat clients without crossing state-run health boards, such as those that license and monitor dietitians and psychologists. The coalition argues that more than a third of Americans seek and benefit from complementary medicine, so there should be a way to provide it without breaking the law.

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Rather than defining specifically who is covered, the bill opens the door to anyone who “provides health care services” but isn’t licensed, certified or registered as a health care provider. These providers are free to go about their business, the bill proposes, so long as they adhere to a list of “Don’t”s: setting bones, taking X-rays, prescribing medicine, diagnosing diseases and so on. In addition, each practitioner has to post a sign in his practice clearly describing what he does, stating that he’s not a licensed health care provider and recommending that clients get their health care providers’ blessing before receiving the services they’re there for.

The bill had an initial hearing Monday, March 23, and several hypnotherapists testified in favor of it, according to reports on their Yahoo forum. These hypnotists, life coaches and ministers are still rolling with the momentum they gained last year, when they banned together to fight what they perceived as an attack on their livelihood by the psychology board. They succeeded in getting the psychology board to withdraw cease and desist letters it had sent that would have prevented them from doing biofeedback and hypnotherapy without a psychology license.

AB295 is now in committee.

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