|It’s been 10 years since I’ve had to write a newsletter like this. |
Tummy Temple prides itself in being a sanctuary; a place where you can forget about the world for an hour or two and focus on restoration. However, sometimes outside realities threaten our ability to provide this healing space, and we must rally our wellness warriors to help us protect our rights. Now is one of those times and urgent action is necessary.
In 2009 Tummy Temple practitioners were issued cease and desist orders from the Department of Health (DOH) for practicing colon hydrotherapy. Translation – we were told that we could no longer practice colon hydrotherapy and threatened with fines and disciplinary action against those with medical licenses. We organized, hired a lobbyist, spent a considerable amount of time in Olympia and worked with legislators and the DOH to find a solution. After many conferences, much political action and a lot of education we were granted permission to return to work.
In the spring of 2018 we began reliving that nightmare with a new round of investigations by the DOH, who claim no recollection of previous terms. Instead, they have issued an “intent to cease and desist” not only for colon hydrotherapy but also the decongestive lymphatic therapy provided by any staff member that is not a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).
The claim is that the only practitioners allowed to perform these therapies are physicians. Even our staff doctors were attacked for delegating these therapies to our experienced, professional non-ND staff.
Although we have presented plenty of supporting evidence that we are working according to DOH terms set forth in 2009, they are moving forward quickly with shutting down these services by non-physician practitioners. Yes, that means your beloved and vastly experienced practitioners such as Heidi, Nedra, Janell, Juliette, Tobyanna and myself would no longer be able to provide these services.
We need your support to preserve the right to access these valuable therapies from the experienced professionals you know and trust. We all know that there are only a handful of few physicians who provide these services. If the DOH continues with their intended shut down of these therapies, many people will lose access to these services and others will be priced out of affording them. And, sadly, many expert level Tummy Temple practitioners will be out of work.
URGENT ACTION IS CRITICAL
During the last week of July the first practitioner was given an intent to Cease and Desist (stop working and pay a fine) deadline of August 13th. She responded back with a denial of charges and fines. The clock is ticking, so your immediate action is critical and very much appreciated. There are 7 other practitioners under investigation and in line for the same action along with 2 Naturopathic Doctors that are under investigation and more to come.
PLEASE FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES
Find your legislators here. Contact all 3 legislators in your voting district.
Call after 6pm and leave a voice mail ~ 1 minute in length. Use a respectful and appreciative tone. They work for you! Send a follow up email.
Streamline your message. State your name and confirm you are a constituent, express your gratitude, your concern and encourage them to take action. Refer to the following examples and then authenticate your voice. DO NOT USE THE SCRIPTS BELOW as your message. Every message needs to be UNIQUE and from the heart.
EXAMPLE 1: Hi, this is a message for Rep. Davis. My name is Kristi Zimmer and I am a voter in your district. Thank you for your service to our community and WA State. I am calling today to inform you of a serious concern regarding access to safe and valuable therapies and dire threats to the livelihoods of experienced practitioners, who are mostly well educated women. The DOH is ignoring a resolution process from 2009 and sending letters to local clinics and their practitioners threatening to shut down their practice of colon hydrotherapy and electro-lymphatic therapy. They will tell you that we are confused and that they have had a policy in place since before 2009 and to dismiss these calls. The current leadership was not present in 2009 and are misunderstanding what transpired. I have been a client of one of these clinics for 10 years and can personally attest to the safety, professionalism and importance of these therapies and the practitioners who perform them. Please lend your support to ensure that these practitioners don’t lose their jobs and that we maintain access to these therapies. Contact the DOH to request a stay on activity, as there is no clear safety risk and no harm has been done, till this can be handled in the legislative branch through creating law. I appreciate your help and will send a follow up email for your reference.
EXAMPLE 2: Hi, this is a message for Representative Ryu. My name is Tim Zimmer and I’m a voter in your district. Thank you for all that you do for the citizens of WA State. I am calling today to ask for your help with a serious matter that will affect my health and wellness practitioners that I know and trust. I have uses colon hydrotherapy and electro-lymphatic therapy for many years to stay healthy. Recently, the DOH began investigating a local clinic that I use for these therapies and is now threatening to shut down their practitioners claiming it is the practice of medicine. This is entirely inappropriate and will have a dire impact on my health and the livelihoods of these professional and compassionate providers, most of which are women devoted to the well-being of their communities. The DOH is ignoring a resolution process from 2009 whereby these professionals were allowed to work under the indirect supervision of Naturopathic Doctors. Now, even their doctors are being threatened for working with these practitioners. They will tell you that we are confused and that they have had a policy in place since before 2009 and to dismiss these calls. The current leadership was not present in 2009 and are misunderstanding what transpired. Please work to ensure that these practitioners maintain their jobs and that I can maintain access to these valuable and safe therapies. Contact the DOH to request a stay on activity, as there is no clear safety risk and no harm has been done, till this can be handled in the legislative branch through creating law. Thank you for your service and I’ll follow up with an email.
OTHER IMPORTANT TALKING POINTS you may feel inspired to expand upon:
1) With economic issues such as homeless conditions and statewide budget constraints, threatening the livelihoods and unemployment of these women is unacceptable.
2) This is an industry comprised almost entirely of women. This is a direct threat to a way of life for many educated and experienced women who support the wellness industry.
3) The DOH is responsible for the safety of the public. There are NO incidents of harm in the history of these therapies in WA state, so why such an aggressive response? These therapies are proven safe and we need access to them.
Refer to the WAACH website for accurate and up to date information on this issue, including legal documentation of the resolution process from 2009.
We hope these examples will inspire your authentic and empowered voice. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Give us a call at 206-729-6211 for guidance or let us know how it’s going.
And, remember that time is of the essence here.
More Political action updates to come!
Share widely and often!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
With grace, grit & a wild passion for wellness
|Kristi Zimmer Co-Founder of Tummy Temple|
Image credits: Shutterstock – “Angry and malcontent citizens calling to action” by Desdemone72