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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7/23/19  4:07 pm
Commenter: Noelle Ekonomou, One 2 One physical therapy

PT's should do dry needling with the right training!
DRY NEEDLING most definitely falls within the scope of physical therapy practice. As DPT's, we have extensive training in anatomy and physiology and recognize the power of performing dry needling for the improvement in our patients pain and myofascial restrictions. 

Dry needling is NOT acupuncture. I am VERY often referring out for "acupuncture" because I understand that these modalities are very different. As acupuncturists are using needles along a specific meridian line, often looking to open lines of "energy" in a body, including liver, gallbladder, etc., we as physical therapists are using dry needling specifically to release a myofascial trigger point. 

With participation and completion of credentialed continuing education courses for dry needling, a physical therapist (having already completed a 3 year doctorate degree with extensive background on human anatomy/physiology) should be qualified to perform dry needling on patients with written physician referral and signed consent.


I DO believe that physical therapists need extensive training and hours of practice prior to performing this procedure.  We should most definitely be regulated, but to deny our right to perform this treatment modality would hinder patient care and outcomes. At this time, physical therapy is HIGHLY more accessable to patients. Physical therapy is widely accepted by insurance, whereas acupuncture is not. Physical therapy uses traditional western medicine for treating muscle restrictions with dry needling, whereas acupuncturist are using eastern practices to open up energy meridian lines.  Please allow us to continue to use this modality for the greater good of our patients. 



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