Assessing The Legal Risk Of Unregulated Yoga Therapy

Law360, New York (January 5, 2016, 11:10 AM EST) -- With the rise in integrative and holistic medicine, a new branch of yoga has emerged — yoga therapy. While the yoga community can agree that yoga has general therapeutic benefits, some yoga teachers have sought to apply yoga training to the treatment of particular conditions. Health care in the United States is heavily regulated, and medical professions have established discrete scopes of practice. As yoga therapy emerges as a specialized discipline within the yoga and health care communities, the scope of yoga therapy practice must be defined to distinguish the specialization from the practice of yoga and also from other health care disciplines. Without an appropriately defined scope of practice and necessary state authorizations, the teaching and practice of yoga therapy invites enforcement actions for the unlicensed practice of medicine, and further, threatens the entire yoga community with being swept under a regulatory scheme....

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