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  5:15 pm
Commenter: Darren Beilstein, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

In support of DPTs use of dry needling

Dry needling has been used by physical therapists in Virginia for approximately 2 decades. Within that time frame, the profession of physical therapy has evolved to a doctor degree (DPT). 

The foundation of a well trained physical therapist's education is in human anatomy, physiology and neurology.  All physical therapy treatment methods are derived from this foundation. "Dry Needling" is a "method" by which physical therapists are able to help reduce pain and restore function. 

In addition to the hours of education in anatomy, physiology and neurology, Virginia requires additional post-graduate training in the "method" of dry needling. This ensures safe application of dry needling techniques. The current additional hours of education for physical therapists are appropriate and warranted.

Americans view "acupuncture" as an eastern medicine approach. This is not disputed. Physical therapists are not practicing acupuncture, purporting use of eastern medicine, nor do they advertise or suggest in any way that they are performing "acupuncture." In accordance with Virginia  State law, DPTs communicate verbally and in writing to all clients who receive dry needling that they are NOT receiving acupuncture.

Personally, I believe it would be a disservice to the health of the citizens in the community to remove dry needling from a DPTs scope of care, especially in light of the ongoing opioid epidemic. Studies have shown that the inclusion of dry needling during a course of physical therapy helps people use less pain medications and often recover more quickly.  This fact should be taken heavily into consideration and suggest Virginia's current laws are adequate and do not require any further alterations. 

Dry needling by physical therapists serves a useful purpose to the community and it is beneficial. The research and the numerous individuals who have receive dry needling care from a physical therapist, trumpet its benefits and can speak to its safety.

Thank you.

Darren Beilstein, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT


CommentID: 73796