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  8:29 pm
Commenter: Dr. Kathy Pesavento, MSPT, DPT

Passionately supporting PT's to continue to dry needle as we've been doing for years

I fully support the passage of the proposed regulations to ensure the safe practice of dry needling by licensed and appropriately trained physical therapists.  Physical therapists have been safely performing the procedure of dry needling in Virginia for years.  The incredibly thorough and comprehensive training I received through Myopain has enabled me to perform professionally skilled and safe, cautious technique many thousands of times since learning the technique 9 years ago.  

This revived argument by acupuncturists that PT's are performing acupuncture when doing dry needling is absurd and exhausting already. Trigger point dry needling performed by physical therapists is but one technique we implement to release myofascial trigger points.  The needles are simply tools we use to achieve our goal and merely serve as extensions of our fingers allowing us to penetrate through other tissues to directly "touch" and release the trigger points within the muscle belly.  There is no similarity between acupuncture (Eastern medicine) and dry needling (Western medicine). We (PT's) palpate to locate randomly located trigger points and penetrate, deep into the muscle, one needle at a time.  We do not place needles in precisely mapped out Meridien points with many simultaneous needles superficially placed for an extended period of time to restore the energy flow within the body-- that is acupuncture.  

Physical therapists are experts in Myofascial trigger point release no matter what tools we use-- be it our fingers or needles-- thus dry needling is WELL within the scope of physical therapy.  The fact that there are only a handful of states where dry needling is not allowed to be performed by PT's, as compared to the handful of states that allowed it 9 years ago when I was trained, is indicative that it is a widely accepted and legal physical therapy procedure.  

CommentID: 74478