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  11:59 pm
Commenter: Beth B.

Acupuncturists’ Hysterical Objections to Dry Needling is Based in Self-Interest and Not in Science

As a formerly practicing massage therapist, I strongly support the proposed commonsense regulations for Physical Therapists using Dry Needling. 

Acupuncturists’ misguided objections to Physical Therapists’ use of Dry Needling are based in philosophy and not supported by Science. They are not offering rational, scientific explanations in support of their opposition. 

Dry needling by Physical Therapists in the Commonwealth requires a medical doctor’s supervision and is is only done within the scope of a medical doctor’s prescription.

I am very familiar with and have benefited immeasurably from both Chinese-style Acupuncture and Physical Therapy Dry Needling. 

The only common denominator these two professions share is the use of the filiform dry needle as a tool. 

Other than this one filiform dry needle tool, and despite acupuncture community’s vociferous claims to the contrary, dry needling is not acupuncture. The purpose and functions served by Chinese Acupuncture and by Physical Therapists’ use of the dry needle are vastly different. 

Licensed Physical Therapists are highly trained and fulfill more educational and practical requirements than acupuncturists,’ and PTs are already heavily regulated by the Commonwealth. It is absurd to demand that they should also be subject to additional regulation by the Acupuncture Board.

Dry Needling Triggerpoint therapy was developed by Western Trained Medical Researchers. It was never designed to be a form of ‘Chinese-style acupuncture’

Contrary to acupuncturists’ assertions, the training for Physical Therapists’ Certification in Dry Needling is extensive and they must pass rigorous face-to-face examination before they are certified in the use of Dry Needling. 

As I know from my own experience, Physical Therapists' use of Dry Needling is immeasurably more effective in resolving trigger-point pain resulting from injury and/or chronic musculoskeletal dysfunction.  

And, as I know from my own experience, Chinese-style Acupuncture practitioners are largely incapable of effectively addressing the types of musculoskeletal problems that Physical Therapists are trained to routinely resolve.  

Sadly, the acupuncturists on this forum are unwilling to accept the validity of a scientifically-based form of therapy that does not conform to their philosophical belief system about the physical body. 

In an effort to force the rest of the world to conform to their narrow and myopic belief systems, these acupuncturists are promulgating the same type of turf battle that Chiropractors faced with entrenched interests in the medical industry. Their claim that PTs use of dry needling is outside the PT scope of practice, in combination with their insistence that PTs must take 3000 hours of acupuncture training to perform this simple and effective technique is nothing short of ludicrous. 

If the acupuncturists commenting on this forum truly cared about the human condition or the well-being of people who suffer from pain and who get benefit from PTs use dry needling, they would be highly supportive of PTs and their use of Dry Needling. If they truly cared, they would be interested in working cooperatively with PTs for the benefit of patients.

Instead, the only interest these acupuncturists are demonstrating is self-interest; they are merely, selfishly and hysterically trying to protect their bank accounts by blocking patient access to PTs use of a safe, effective, and therapeutic method of trigger-point release. 

These acupuncturists should be ashamed.

CommentID: 74544