CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Wellness spas featured

In 'Wellness Spas: Separating the Quality From the Quackery,' the Washington Post featured key health care law and policy issues surrounding the increasing popularity of spa care.

'Can a therapeutic touch massage help you heal more quickly? Does acupressure massage provide the same benefits as acupuncture, and what good is that, anyway? In other words, how does one separate the bona fides from the quackery in the growing field of wellness spas?'

The article then quotes 'Marc Micozzi, a physician and author of "Fundamentals of Complementary and Integrative Medicine," a textbook used in many medical schools.' He is also my co-author in our new book on integrative medicine clinics, entitled, The Practice of Integrative Medicine: A Legal and Operational Guide. Micozzi is quoted as saying that relaxation therapies are probably fine, but: 'Be most skeptical of alternative treatments for complex, life-threatening problems such as cancer, unless they are simply complementing mainstream care.'

Another quoted expert gives the caution that: '"anybody that touches anybody" in the spa industry must be licensed and certified to perform whatever specialty treatment he or she might be offering. If you're in doubt, ask about the person's certification.'

The article does not drill down into medical spa legal issues of licensure and credentialing, malpractice (negligence), scope of practice, and supervision.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173