Yes, more on dry needling. More about education will have to wait.
Five things to know —
- The Oregon Ruling did not (despite the Acupuncture Today headline) determine that “Dry Needling is Acupuncture.” For a full exploration of the case, read this post. In summary, the ruling of the court was that Dry Needling is not physiotherapy.
- On April 1st Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 367, legislatively adding Dry Needling to the scope of Physical Therapists.
- On April 24th Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1154, legislatively adding Dry Needling to the scope of Physical Therapists.*
- On March 25th Massachusetts HB 3972 advanced. This redraft of acupuncture bills HB 2051 and SB 1107 was necessary because the bill could not advance with the language that “dry needling is acupuncture.”
- At the end of April the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation issued an informal ruling that dry needling was not within the scope of practice for Physical Therapists “as the acts are currently written.” That last phrase is important. From what I can tell there are about 550 LAcs in IL and over 9,000 PT’s. The PT’s aren’t ready to call it quits. Time will tell if the victory for the LAcs is a lasting one. The PT’s could well look to Arizona and Utah and work for a legislative change.
(A colleague practicing in Delaware recently told me of the urgent phone calls and emails she’s been receiving — she must get involved in the fight against PT Dry Needling! Delaware is a state in which a few LAcs on the Advisory Board refuse to grant licenses to qualified acupuncturists. There are so few LAcs (less than 40) that they can’t maintain an association and citizens are far more likely to get acupuncture from a DC or an MD than an LAc. Now the profession wants to take on the PT’s? If there’s an urgent need for action from the LAcs of DE, perhaps it should be action to bring LAcs to the state?)
For those who insist we must do something about this serious risk to our profession, here are some suggestions. They would do far more to benefit our profession than this ongoing battle with the PT’s.
* One of the acupuncture profession’s strategies from the start of the Dry Needling issue was to argue, as the AAAOM wrote in their 2013 position paper,– “the addition of TPDN to physical therapy practice is being determined by physical therapy regulatory boards, deleteriously circumventing transparency and public health safety protections provided by standard legislative process.” This was a mistake. Given the relative political strength of the PT profession and their MD supporters legislative victories are likely. Had we been willing to work with our health-care colleagues in the regulatory arena we might well have had input and influence in the use of this procedure.
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