Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Physical Therapy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Physical Therapy [18 VAC 112 ‑ 20]
Action Practice of dry needling
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 7/26/2019
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7/22/19  4:20 pm
Commenter: Laura Baldwin

In favor of dry needling / intramuscular stimulation

As a physical therapist who practices in under-served rural areas, who also spent six years as a regulatory investigator for the Department of Health Professions, I am in favor of continuing the practice of dry needling by physical therapists and including the Commonwealth of VA  among the jurisdictions of that practice for the following reasons: 

At a time of opiod misuse crisis, our commonwealth should be availing ourselves of safe, opiod alternatives to chronic pain management including acupuncture and dry needling.

Overcoming healthcare access obstacles of cost and healthcare provider availability, especially in rural areas, demands that our healthcare professionals practice at the top of their license. This should not be impeded by professional turf battles that do not put the needs and safety of the patient first.

Claims of lack of qualification on the part of physical therapists by non-physical therapist licensees are particularly troublesome falsehoods because they invoke the logical fallacy that the many hours spent in dry needling courses are the only relevant education that physical therapists have. Such claims fail to consider the seven years of prior education including three professional years that include anatomy, physiology, infection control, wound care, and pain among other professional healthcare topics.

I am aware of testimonials of chronic pain sufferers being helped by dry needling performed by physical therapists, and no testimonials to the contrary.

Dry needling is not acupuncture by the Department of Health Profession's own definition. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles, and supported by research done in part by Physical Therapists.

Thank you.

Laura Baldwin


CommentID: 73782