Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice


The purpose of the following Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice is to provide values and principles that guide the practice and education process of NAIO™.


The goal is to promote the safety and wellbeing of people whom NAIO™ practitioners and educators work and interact with in their roles as members in good standing of the NAIO™ Practitioner Guild.


The Code provides guidelines and expectations for ethical behavior, professional competency and conduct for NAIO™ Practitioners, and Educators towards Clients, Colleagues, Trainees, Health Professionals and society at large. It is the responsibility of practitioners to understand the content of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAIO Practitioners, Educators, Trainees and Guild Members agree to follow this Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Definition of NAIO™

NAIO™ is a holistic awareness process using somatic education principles to support well-being. Our personal selves are a microcosm of a macrocosm, a vast cosmic plenum of creative flow. A dynamic wholeness in flux, permeated by an ordering principle, an Open Order. As the earth itself, we are water-based life, in a process of Physis, Ancient Greek for Being and Becoming. The flow of life is a continuous process of becoming, made explicit through our biology; that is the earth, nature and our bodies. Open Order can be conceived as a Matrix, with emergent coherent ordering, that is the bodily expression of being, implicit within the becoming. NAIO™ supports awareness and engagement with this process.

The natural orchestration and flow of life reveals itself as wave-form, a dynamic polyrhythmic flow, with varietal periodicity, in enfoldment and unfoldment generating lived experience. From the pulsing of cells to the murmurations of birds in flight we can see various expressions of wave-form. This flow, with its waves, rhythms, pulsations, vibrations, undulations and spirals is the vital dynamics of life. Underlying these expressions is what Ancient Greeks called the Logos - an Open Order within Dynamic Wholeness. We can look at health in this context, we can explore its etymological roots from Proto-Indo-European meaning, complete, total, unbroken, whole.

Open Order can be considered a cosmic generative intent that is eternal, life giving, affirming, sustaining the underlying Being - orchestrating constant movement, change, and evolution - Becoming.

Listening and appreciating the flow of life, can connect us to a deepening sense of being alive. NAIO™ listens, acknowledges, and co-operates with the subtle polyrhythmic expressions that can be sensed, and experienced within the whole body as an ordering and organizing coherency, an immanent quality of health and well-being.

NAIO Practitioners procure open awareness and compassionate connection. They use gentle touch to guide clients' engagement of their experiential and sensory capacities. This supports awareness of the polyrhythmic and varietal movements of life - organizing, conducting and maintaining lived experience. The movements are often non-linear, spiral, wave, circular, pulsing, undulating, fluctuating and effulgent. People often encounter a sense of innate flow, spaciousness, relaxation and harmony.

NAIO™ supports movement awareness, self-awareness, self-regulation, co-regulation, creativity, resourcing, reorganizing, and renewal which the underlying flow of life wisely orchestrates.

The trained practitioner has refined their capacity for self-regulation and coherency, holding an orientation to wholeness and health. At the same time, they acknowledge the interdependent nature of our existence, and any conditional forces occurring.

They honor their client as a sentient being with multi-dimensional experience such as the transpersonal, the imaginary and symbolic, the inter and transgenerational, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and more.

NAIO™ is a way to orient with the immanent ground substrate of existence and engage the generative living processes that support a greater sense of well-being.


NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators agree to:

1. To honor the Standards of Practice and Scope of Practice of NAIO.

2. To be honest in dealing with the public, clients, and colleagues.

3. Never diagnose or prescribe for medical conditions or psychological ones. Nor represent oneself as a medical professional, massage therapist, psychotherapist or physical therapist.

4. Work within practitioners’ scope of practice.

5. To uphold the safety and professional conduct outlined in Standard 9. Client - Practitioner Relationship.

6. To refrain from any behavior that demeans or disempowers the client or trainee.

7. Avoid the exploitation of the trust and dependency of others, including clients, trainees, colleagues, contractors and employees.

8. Recognize that the intimacy of the therapeutic relationship may stimulate sexual feelings, memories, or trauma and refrain from exploiting the client’s vulnerability as outlined in Standard 9: Section viii-xiii of Standards of Practice.

9. Foster supportive and collaborative collegial relationships; refrain from actions and behaviors that are competitive, dominating and/or disrespectful to colleagues. Identify and give credit to ideas, techniques, and principles derived from other people, disciplines, and modalities when teaching or sharing them in presentations and/or teaching materials.

10. Not discriminate against anybody for their age, race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, politics, socio-economic or social status, religion, disability or health condition.

11. Continue to develop life awareness, which includes self-awareness and self-care in order to coherently and clearly engage with natural life intelligence; so as best to support their clients' process.


There are 17 Standards of Practice that establish expectations for the professional conduct of NAIO™ Practitioners.

Standard 1: Intention

NAIO™ is used to support holistic awareness, well-being and health for each client. Client safety, educational needs, and well-being are safeguarded by the practitioner. Practitioners are facilitators and guides who listen and cooperate with the subtle movements of Dynamic wholeness and natural life intelligence. Practitioners approach their work and clients with humility, awareness and professionalism.

Standard 2. Moral and Legal Standards

i) NAIO Practitioners must follow the laws of the state(s)/province in which they are offering NAIO. Practitioners will maintain the appropriate business licenses according to their state/province requirements.

ii) Practitioners will follow regulations in regards to obtaining or maintaining a license to touch or practice non-licensed health modalities. Those that have a professional license are expected to understand how touch either is or is not included or restricted in their scope of practice and follow accordingly. They must differentiate clearly the service they are providing.

iii) NAIO Practitioners will carry liability insurance according to state/province, federal and professional laws to protect themselves and clients.

iv) NAIO Practitioners must be sensitive to the impact of their professional and public behavior upon the community’s trust in the profession. They must respect the civil, human and legal rights of all clients, students or colleagues.

v) NAIO Practitioners shall be aware that personal values affect their conduct in providing services and education. They work toward an inclusion of people, ideas, perspectives and cultures, and establish participatory approaches that respect the contributions, dignity and worth of all people.

vi) The Practitioner shall immediately inform NAIO™ International of any misconduct, lack of competence, drug, and child or fraud offenses, assault, and pending legal actions or actual convictions. Decisions will be made in the light of the circumstances in each case.

Standard 3. Professional Representation and Honesty

i) NAIO™ Practitioners are credentialed and in good standing with their respective legal licensing or credentialing bodies. They represent themselves to the public honestly and in accordance with their credentials, professional qualifications and affiliations.

ii) Practitioners shall not use titles or descriptions suggesting medical, academic or educational qualifications, unless they possess them. They must not mislead the client into believing that they are a medical doctor unless they are legally recognised as such within the country they are practising. Those possessing doctorates in other subjects whilst using the title of doctor must make clear that they are not medical doctors. They must also make clear what subject their Phd or credential is in - so as not to blur the perceptions of areas of expertise in subject matters.

iii) They must display or present their certificates or credentials when asked or if required in their jurisdiction.

iv) NAIO Practitioners must state that Naio does not require the removal of clothing.

v) NAIO is never offered in the place of conventional medical treatment.

vi) NAIO Practitioners do not give a diagnosis of a medical condition to a client in any circumstances as part of NAIO.

vii) NAIO Practitioners do not prescribe or sell remedies and health products as part of a NAIO session.

viii) The fees charged for services are clearly advertised in all promotional materials including electronics. Practitioners inform their clients of the fees for the session, before engaging their client or providing the service.

Standard 4. Public Statements and Advertising

i) When making public statements about their services, NAIO Practitioners’ must utilize current relevant material and exercise their best professional judgment. They must distinguish their private opinions from those generally held in the somatic movement education and complementary health professions when appropriate. They must clarify that their personal opinions do not represent the official position of NAIO International, the Directors or the Founder.

ii) Members must be accurate about the efficacy of their work and that of NAIO™. They don't make unsubstantiated claims about NAIO therapeutic benefits to the public, on websites or promotional materials.

iii) The advertising shall be factual and not seek to mislead or deceive, or make unrealistic or extravagant claims. Advertising must not make claims of superiority or discredit any professional colleagues in health, wellness and education fields.

iv) Advertising content and the way it is distributed shall not put prospective clients under pressure.

v) Claims, whether explicit or implied, verbally or in writing, implying cure of any named disease are not appropriate for NAIO and should not be made.

vi) Follow NAIO™ Trademark and Copyright Guidelines. Take no action which may diminish the good name or goodwill of Naio™ International and its Service Marks and Certification Marks.

Standard 5. Informed Consent and Disclosure

i) Information is provided to the client on an individualized basis taking into account their expressed needs and personal situation. The Practitioner informs the client of her/his educational background in NAIO™ and any other related credentials they hold.

ii) Services are provided to clients within the parameters of informed consent and voluntary participation. When services are initially extended to individuals there is a signed consent agreement, which includes information on the nature of the service/s offered, the benefits and limitations of the service, frequency, and cost. This is provided to the participant(s) before the services/sessions begin.

iii) NAIO Practitioners also provide an explanation and discuss the process to the level of the client's understanding, and clearly and accurately inform clients of the nature and terms of the service. The Practitioner discusses the process as well as any relevant limitations or issues before sessions begin. Practitioners supply resources and/or additional materials that may support the client.

iv) NAIO™ Practitioners reach an agreement with the client at the outset of the treatment if any additional approaches or therapies are to be used in conjunction with NAIO™. They are clear from session onset that they are not offering a NAIO™ session only. Practitioners only use approaches that the practitioner is certified, credentialled or licensed in. Consent is also sought during the session prior to changing approaches.

v) In the case of providing a session or services of a minor and those without the mental capacity to decide for themselves, written informed consent of a parent, guardian or relevant medical practitioner is required. However, the wishes of the person must override any consent of a third party if they do not wish to receive a session.

vi) Only use film, tape recording or digital imagery of a client or trainee with the client or trainees’ clear, informed, written consent to the precise use of the material. The consent must be obtained prior to recording, within a decent time duration to allow the client or trainee space to decide clearly, and not exploit the power differentials that exist between practitioner - client or educator - trainees.

vii) NAIO™ Practitioners who present a clients personal information obtained during the course of professional work in writings, lectures, or other public forums shall obtain adequate prior consent to do so.

Standard 6: Professional Boundaries

i) NAIO™ is a complementary, holistic life awareness and somatic education process. Practitioners know the limits of their professional competence and do not go beyond these boundaries. They use the NAIO™ process within the scope of their training, background, current licensing and credentialing.

ii) Practitioners do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat medical conditions unless they hold a license that permits them to do so.

iii) They practice within the guidelines set forth by this Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice statement; the Scope of Practice and follow all state/province, local and federal laws and regulations.

Standard 7: Collaborative Care

i) Appropriate referrals to other health care, educational and therapeutic services and professionals are made when necessary.

ii) If a client seeks NAIO™ Practitioner services and has an existing professional relationship, it is important to work in collaboration with the other professional for the welfare of the client.

Standard 8. Professional and Collegial Relationships

i) Acknowledge and respect all practitioners and disciplines in the health, wellness and educational fields.

ii) Registered Guild members of NAIO™ International assure that appropriate standards of competence, honesty and integrity are maintained within Naio International Practitioner Guild.

iii) NAIO™ Practitioners shall seek continuing training or assistance from educators and colleagues to best serve their clients. They will offer assistance and foster an attitude of good will, respect and support amongst NAIO Practitioner Guild members and other professionals.

iv) Members shall give credit to those who have contributed to or directly influenced their work, writing, presentations or research.

v) NAIO™ Practitioners respect the tradition and practices of their colleagues and of other professionals within

the complementary health, somatic movement education and wellness fields.

vi) NAIO™ Practitioners work collaboratively and in partnership with the each other to support well-being and awareness regardless of age, race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, politics, socio-economic or social status, religion, disability or health condition.

vii) Practitioners refrain from being discriminatory towards colleagues. Discrimination with any form of verbal, physical, sexual social or professional mistreatment based on age, race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, politics, socio-economic or social status, religion, disability or health condition will not be tolerated.

viii) Bullying, harassment, gas-lighting, abuse that is physical, emotional or otherwise and intimidation is a violation of ethics and against all NAIO™ values.

ix) If a member knows of an ethical violation by another member, and it seems appropriate, they first shall attempt to resolve the issue informally by bringing the behavior to the attention of the member in question. If the misconduct is minor, an informal solution is preferable. If the violation is not minor and cannot be solved by the informal procedure, the member shall discuss this with the NAIO™ Director and/or appropriate professional, local or state ethics boards. The member then can follow the Ethics Complaint Procedure.

x) Intellectual Property Rights including copyrights and trademarks of others are respected. NAIO™ Practitioners do their best to create clear working relationships when collaborating regarding ownership and rights. When educators, trainees and colleagues develop projects, create new ideas or tools for teaching, in any form of media and not limited to written materials they remain the property of the individual who created them. It is the creators right to decide how the material will be used and shared, with who and under what circumstances.

xi) NAIO Practitioner may refer clients to another practitioner if they believe it is in the best interests of the client and the client has agreed to this. When referring a client or when a client is transferred to another practitioner or health professional, a NAIO Practitioner must be prepared to provide the professional with the relevant information about the client, ensuring client’s consent is obtained first. There may be circumstances where it is sufficient to provide the client the information for the new professional.

xii) In some occasions within a session a NAIO Practitioner may believe it is in the interests of the client’s well-being for the Primary Care Doctor to know. Naio Practitioner should advise the client to consult with their Primary or ask the client’s consent to inform the Primary Care Doctor.

xiii) A NAIO Practitioner shall not undertake services of a client known to be under the care of a fellow NAIO Practitioner and Guild Member without the consent of that member, except in an emergency or if satisfied that the former practitioner has been duly informed of the transfer. This requirement should be waived if the client has expressed a definite wish that the former practitioner should not be informed.

Standard 9: Client-Practitioner Relationship

i) NAIO™ Practitioners maintain high standards of professionalism. Clients and colleagues are treated with respect, courtesy, care and consideration.

ii) NAIO™ Practitioner takes standard precautions to insure professional hygienic practices and maintain a level of personal hygiene appropriate for a health setting. They follow city, county, state or national directives at minimum when communicable diseases are in the community, regardless of their personal beliefs.

iii) Clothing should be clean, modest, and professional.

iv) Under no circumstances does a practitioner provide services under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any mind altering substances of any kind. Or offer them to clients.

v) Practitioners respect their client’s individuation, personal beliefs, inherent worth, and dignity. The client is a participant engaged in their process. Practitioners respect and support the client to give feedback, alter or discontinue the session at any time. Practitioners shall ensure that the client is able to make informed choices with regards to their well-being.

vi) Practitioners recognize there is a power differential between Practitioner and Client, Educator and Trainee. They avoid exploitation of the relationship for personal, business, financial or other gain.

vii) Dual relationships are a natural occurrence in everyday life and communities. They are not inherently unhealthy. However, due to the influential position NAIO™ Practitioners hold, every reasonable effort should be made to avoid dual relationships when possible. When unavoidable, clarify the dual relationship as it could impair professional judgment or result in exploitation of clients, family members, close friends, or employees, students and/or colleagues.

viii) Acknowledge that the intimacy of the therapeutic relationship may stimulate sexual feelings, memories, or trauma and refrain from exploiting the client’s trust and vulnerability.

ix) Issues of dependency, trust, transference, and inequalities of power can lead to increased vulnerability on the part of the client. Engaging in sexual relationships with clients or students is expressly forbidden.

x) The impact of transference and countertransference between the client and the practitioner is recognized; practitioners seek supervision if experiencing confusion, difficulties or any feelings that can result in impairment of their professional abilities and role.

xi) Refrain from any behavior that demeans or disempowers the client or trainee. Sexual harassment or intimacy is unethical behaviour.

xii) Touch is non-sexual and must be approached with care. Consent is gained first, prior to touching any area of the client's body. Touch in areas of genitalia or breasts is inappropriate, as is the use of touch on any part of the client’s body with which he or she is not comfortable.

xiii) Practitioners assess the nature and intent of the touch and the transference-countertransference implications. Touch must continue to promote the therapeutic aspects of the process and not lead to any other type of relationship. Be sure the client agrees to the touch in the context of the session together.

xiv) If a practitioner feels the client is not benefiting or the process is developing into an area in which they do not feel adequately trained or licensed, they must consider professional supervision and referral to another professional. This will best serve the client.

xv) Practitioners act with equal consideration whether being paid or in a voluntary capacity

xvi) Practitioners respond promptly and constructively to concerns, criticisms and complaints.

Standard 10. Sexual and non-sexual harassment

i) Bullying, harassment, gas-lighting, ill-will, abuse or intimidation is a violation of ethics and against all NAIO™ values.

It will not be tolerated.

ii) NAIO™ Practitioners, Educators and Directors uphold environments free of any form of inappropriate, disrespectful conduct of a dominant or sexually harassing nature. It will not be tolerated.

Standard 11. Considerations of Non-Ordinary States

i) When facilitating a NAIO™ session, the NAIO™ Practitioners is supporting the flow of wholeness within a person's bodily being. This is not limited to the physical body, it includes the possibility of the emotional, psychological, cultural, ancestral, collective, imaginal that are expressions of or that impact our biological processes. Deeply relaxed and meditative states may occur during sessions. Memories, images, symbolics and the metaphorical may emerge. It is important that the NAIO™ Practitioners be sensitive to this, and support each client in appropriately integrating the imaginal and metaphoric world in their lives when it emerges. It could include referral to professionals skilled in supporting these areas.

ii) NAIO™ Practitioners must not provoke symbols, memories, the metaphorical, or an emotional response or release. They simply support them if they arise with curiosity and without judgment.

iii) They must be sensitive to the various levels of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual experience and meaning that images can evoke, and not reduce them or pathologize them. They must be aware that Trauma can also emerge or be coupled in with non-ordinary states, meta-awareness and transcendent experiences for some people.

iv) NAIO™ Practitioners must provide adequate provisions to ensure a client's safety if they enter non-ordinary states. They must not exploit their clients' vulnerability or suggestibility when they are in these states.

Standard 12. Practitioner and Educator Safety and Rights

NAIO™ Practitioners retain the right to refuse or postpone a session or class, they must make the reason clear to the client.

Reasons could include the following but are not limited to:

  1. The practitioner is not able to provide a session for any reason.
  2. The client is under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering substances
  3. The client or trainee behaves in any way which may lead the practitioner or educator to feel unsafe, disrespected, or abused, including discriminatory or hate behaviors outlined in Section 11.4
  4. The client or trainee makes any sexually suggestive, inappropriate or abusive advances.
  5. In the case of late attendance of the client or trainee.
  6. Client or Trainee is affecting, disrespecting, disruptive or behaving in such a way that it is detrimental to other trainees, educators or employees.

Standard 13: Justice, Equity, and Interconnection

i) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators work collaboratively and in partnership with the client to support well-being and awareness regardless of age, race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, politics, socio-economic or social status, religion, disability or health condition. The client’s process and pacing are respected and supported.

ii) Under no circumstances will any form of discrimination towards a client based on age, race, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, politics, socio-economic or social status, religion, disability or health condition be tolerated.

iii) It is the NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators responsibility to seek personal and professional education about equity and social justice, so they may not intentionally or unintentionally discriminate.

iv) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators seek supervision and education if they cannot refrain from being discriminatory and/or refer the client to another practitioner.

v) In the case of transference and/or counter transference NAIO™ Practitioners seek supervision or support from a professional skilled in these matters. It may or may not be a failing of the practitioner, but if these issues cannot be supported or resolved, the practitioner must realise the limits of their capacity and role. It is in the clients best interest to refer them to a more suitable practitioner or other health professional.

Standard 14: Confidentiality and Record Keeping

i) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators gather only relevant personal information from the client, trainee including any relevant health information.

ii) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators ensure the records are honest, accurate and factual.

iii) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators comply with the current Data Protection Act and current relevant legislation in regard to the storage of data. This includes registration and keeping client and trainee information secure and confidential unless otherwise required by law. Clients have rights of access to their health records in accordance with the requirements of the law.

iv) Client confidentiality is protected at all times and records are kept in a secure and private place in accordance with state and federal regulations. The NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators also inform clients and/or trainees of exceptions to their confidentiality such as disclosure for legal and regulatory requirements or to prevent imminent harm or danger to clients or others. Client health information and treatment findings are documented appropriately and are specific to the practitioner’s background and setting. Information is shared only with client’s written permission.

v) Appoint a suitable person to undertake the proper security/disposal of all records in the event of any serious incapacity or death of the practitioner or educator.

vi) All training and class processes are considered confidential and all staff, instructors and students shall honor and maintain the confidentiality of the classroom.

Standard 15: Self Development

i) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators practice self-care to enhance their own personal health in order to provide optimal care for others.

ii) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators continue to review their work with clients, and engage their experiential and professional knowledge base and deepen their understanding of health, somatic education, self-awareness, life-awareness and evolution to support their professional competence.

iii) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators keep current in the practice of Naio™, Somatic Education and Complementary Health and Wellness and seek to continually improve their effectiveness as a practitioner

iv) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators endeavour to be aware of their own mental, emotional or physical health, and resolve any problems that may interfere with their ability to practice competently, and seek help as appropriate.

v) NAIO™ Practitioners and Educators utilize mentoring, peer support or supervision services as necessary.

Standard 16: Professional Responsibility

i) NAIO™ Practitioners, Educators and Trainees represent NAIO™ in a professional manner by exercising good judgment, practicing with integrity, and adhering to the Naio International Practitioner Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

ii) They consult a NAIO™ Educator, Director or Naio Ethics Council when an ethical issue occurs. The Naio International Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice will be the Naio™ Practitioners’ minimum ethical code when practicing Naio™.

iii) Non-adherence or violation of the Naio International Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice may result in reprimand, letter of censure, educational and supervision recommendations and/or suspension of NAIO™ Practitioner Guild Membership or expulsion, delisting and revoking of credentials and the rights to use Naio™ professionally. If the violation is particularly egregious it may result in reports to relevant legal authorities or other professional licensing bodies. The NAIO International Director along with the Ethics Advisory Council has the sole authority to determine continued certification or eligibility to study, based on compliance with the NAIO International Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Standard 17: Complaint and mediation procedures

i) A complaint can potentially be defamatory and unfairly damage a person's reputation, business and life. The complainant can also be affected by making a complaint. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance and will be upheld. Discussions, information and records will remain factual.

ii) The primary concern of complaint and mediation procedures is to protect the public and each person engaged in Naio™, including students, educators and colleagues. A director or representative of the Naio Ethics Advisory Council will encourage the resolution of differences between practitioners, educators and potential complainants. This can be done through informal mediation before entering into a formal complaint procedure.

iii) Misunderstandings and the breakdown of communication are the major causes of complaints. There may be some areas where there is no absolute right or wrong, in which case the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice will offer guidance and indicate areas where particular challenges may arise. When in doubt, practitioners are encouraged to seek advice from a supervisor, or from any organisations they are members of that govern their rights to practice professionally.

*For full description of the Ethics complaint process and penalties, see the Ethics Breach and Grievance Procedure

Affiliated and Collaborative Organizations

NAIO International is a member of the following organizations

Our program maintains the high standards of an Approved Training Program of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). Our graduates meet all requirements to become Registered Somatic Movement Educators (RSME) and Therapist (RSMT).