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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7/26/19  9:54 am
Commenter: Jackie

Pro Dry Needling by Physical Therapists

I support this regulation being approved as many of my patients over the last eight years since I was trained in dry needling have benefited from the use of this technique to optimize their movement and reduce their pain.

There is often confusion surrounding the differences between dry needling and acupuncture. The use of the fine filament needle in both professions does not define the profession, but rather entry-level education, post-graduate education and training define clinical practice. Physical therapists do physical therapy and acupuncturists do acupuncture based on specific education and training. Physical therapists are well educated in anatomy, physiology and therapeutic treatment for the body at the entry level. Physical therapists who perform dry needling do so after obtaining post-graduate education and training on dry needling to assist in achieving a vision for their patients to optimize movement to improve their experiences. Dry needling is in the scope of practice of physical therapists. 

Using a paintbrush doesn’t make you an artist. Using a spreadsheet doesn’t make you an accountant. Using a knife doesn’t make you a chef. And using a needle doesn’t make you an acupuncturist or a physical therapist. The entry-level education, post-graduate education and training that medical providers put into their respective professions and the valuable tools they are appropriately trained to utilize does that.

CommentID: 74308