Animal Massage in Arizona: A Constitutional Fight For Rights

Anyone who has been acquainted with me for more than about 20 minutes knows I am inclined to explore a variety of non-medical (as in conventional western medical) approaches to caring for and healing horses. Why? Because in 46 years of owning and working with horses, I have found that while conventional veterinary care is essential in some situations, in others, it just doesn’t provide the answers I need to keep my horses healthy and happy.

I’ve written about this issue before, questioning the irrationally broad definition of what supposedly constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine in Arizona.

So I am very pleased to be one of three practitioners representing both my fellow certified animal bodyworkers and fellow horse owners in a constitutional legal action asking the state of Arizona to stop being so ridiculous as to consider animal massage to be “practicing veterinary medicine.”

Massage, both for humans and for animals, has become a mainstream healing modality both for elite athletes and for the general population. And I don’t expect there is a single sensible person who expects his or her own massage therapist also to be a physician.

So why does the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board seek to require animal massage therapists to spend the money and time to attend vet school where, incidentally, massage is not part of the curriculum? Good question.

All the Board’s interpretation of the Arizona statute really does is interfere with the livelihoods of people who seek a career in animal massage and limit the choices of Arizona’s animal owners seeking to provide the best possible lives for their horses, dogs, etc.

2 thoughts on “Animal Massage in Arizona: A Constitutional Fight For Rights

  1. Good for you, Stacey!! Alternative medicine is a very REAL necessity for not only our animals but ourselves, when traditional western medicines and practices fall short. Many of these healers have an intuitive talent not learned in 12 yrs, or even a lifetime, of sitting in a classroom. Other states are now experiencing rumblings of this ‘healers have to be vets/doctors’ idea, so all of us are watching Arizona for the outcome. Ha! No pressure!!

    Contrary to western medical opinion, alternative medicine IS necessary and slowly being accepted in the human community already, as my insurance company at work now pays bills from my acupuncturist and massage therapist.

    If anyone can hang in and fight strong, it will be you! Sending positive thoughts!!

    • Thanks for the good energy Allana! I had hoped after the Maryland case a few years ago that states would make changes. But still most states either explicitly or implicitly interfere with equine and other bodyworkers, infringing on their right to make a living and animal owners’ right to hire the healers they find appropriate. I’m counting on the Arizona case to be the catalyst!

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