N.C. Acupuncture Board files suit to end ‘dry needling’ by physical therapists

Junie Norfleet (left) and Cissy Majebe are leaders of the local and statewide acupuncture community. Photo by Leslie Boyd

An argument over a definition is headed to the courts as acupuncture practitioners in North Carolina contend the practice of “dry needling” by physical therapists constitutes acupuncture without sufficient training and is illegal.

“Both involve the use of FDA-regulated acupuncture needles,” says Cissy Majebe, founder of the Chinese Herbal and Acupuncture Clinic in Asheville. Also cofounder and clinician at Daoist Traditions College Acupuncture Clinic, she adds, “Both [techniques] pierce the skin — making them invasive — and both target specific points in the body to alleviate pain and other symptoms.”

On Sept. 2, the N.C. Acupuncture Licensing Board filed suit in Wake County, asking the court for a permanent injunction against dry needling as approved by the state’s Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

N.C. Physical Therapy Board executive director Ben Massey referred questions on the matter to the board’s attorney, Matt Sawcheck, who declined to speak on the record. Sawcheck did send a definition, as well as a copy of a study that was not peer-reviewed and was paid for by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

The definition sent by Sawcheck is similar to a position statement posted by the Physical Therapy Board in 2010 and revised last year: “Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT), which is generally referred to as dry needling, is defined as a technique to treat myofascial pain using a dry needle (without medication) that is inserted into a trigger point with the goal of releasing / inactivating the trigger points and relieving pain.”

Sawcheck’s definition also states, “Intramuscular manual therapy is not acupuncture, which is defined by [N.C. General Statute] 90-451(1) as follows: ‘A form of health care developed from traditional and modern Chinese medical concepts that employ acupuncture diagnosis and treatment, and adjunctive therapies and diagnostic techniques, for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and the prevention of disease.’”

In a written statement, Sawcheck adds, “Dry needling differs from acupuncture in important ways. North Carolina defines acupuncture as ‘a form of health care developed from traditional and modern Chinese medical concepts.’” He says that “dry needling was not developed from Chinese medical concepts. Also, dry needling does not use the same diagnostic techniques that acupuncturists use. These and other differences show that dry needling is physical therapy, not acupuncture.”

Majebe, who serves on the N.C. Acupuncture Licensing Board, disagrees. Acupuncture is part of Chinese medicine, she says, and dry needling is the same therapy as acupuncture, using the same equipment and the same trigger points.

“They simply created new nomenclature to circumvent North Carolina statutes governing acupuncture,” says Majebe.

Junie Norfleet, chair of the N.C. Acupuncture Licensing Board and clinical observation director of Daoist Traditions, says the only difference the Physical Therapy Board offers is that acupuncture is derived from traditional Chinese medicine. “But you are piercing the skin and you can cause muscle damage if you are not properly trained,” she says. “When you pierce the skin with an acupuncture needle, you are performing acupuncture.”

Majebe notes that she believes the Physical Therapy Board’s definition infers that Chinese traditional medicine is not based on science.

“That is absurd,” she says. “There has been a wealth of scientific study to back up Chinese medicine. Western pathophysiology is part of our education. Physical therapists do study anatomy, but not to the degree that is required for acupuncture licensure.”

North Carolina passed regulations governing the practice of acupuncture in 1993, requiring practitioners to complete a three-year postgraduate program that requires at least 1,800 hours of training for licensure.

In 2013, the N.C. Physical Therapy Board instituted a requirement of 54 course hours of classroom training for certification in dry needling.

“Fifty-four hours of study is less than what is required of a cosmetologist,” says Majebe.

In October 2014, Majebe mentions, King County Superior Court in the state of Washington banned the practice of dry needling by physical therapists after the South Sound Acupuncture Association sued the Colorado-based training company Kinetacore for presenting 27-hour weekend workshops and then certifying physical therapists to practice dry needling.

Some physical therapists are fully trained and certified in acupuncture, Majebe notes, and patients should ask to see certification before allowing any procedure.

“Our concern is for the safety of patients,” Majebe says. “If you have the wrong angle, if you pierce too far, you can puncture organs. You can argue that acupuncture is Chinese in origin and dry needling is not, but whether a person is in China or the United States, a person’s lungs are in the same place.”


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57 thoughts on “N.C. Acupuncture Board files suit to end ‘dry needling’ by physical therapists

  1. UninformedSwingVoter

    > “Fifty-four hours of study is less than what is required of a cosmetologist,”

    Don’t underestimate all the training the cosmologists have to go through!

  2. James G

    Physical Therapists can LEGALLY perform this technique and in fact have been performing nerve EMG studies , which also involves skin puncture , since the 70’s.This editorial is a poor attempt spurred on by the acupuncture board to bring up the topic in an area where hollistic medicine is very popular to gain traction.. “Physical Therapists don’t study anatomy to the extent necessary to perform dry needling”; A physical therapists degree is a 3 year post graduate doctorate , specializing in musculoskeletal anatomy .. I would advise anyone seeking treatment to make sure that a licensed PT had adequate training required to legally perform this technique in the state of NC. To make wide sweeping statements based on anecdotes from other states is unwarranted and only serves to devalue high quality care provided by licensed healthcare practitioners in the state of NC . As with any profession there are good and bad providers , but please don’t allow a highly effective service to be taken out of the hands of professionals due to the actions of other professions in other states .

    • J. S.

      It’s WRONG. PTs have NO right!

      The U.S. Board of Education finances Master and Doctorate degrees in Acupuncture/Chinese medicine to develop this expertise.

      Physical therapists are monkey mechanics.

      • Steve

        As the sole public member who spoke in front of the board in September of 2014 in favor of PT’s do dry needling I did some research. The one acupuncture school in NC that listed its curriculum as 330 hours of “Anatomy and Physiology”. PT’s have a pre-requisite of 120 hours of Anatomy and Physiology to apply for school. Gross Anatomy is another 60 hours and Neuroanatomy and Physiology is an additional 60hours. Consider kinesiology and/or functional anatomy and is roughly equal. When looking at the content, the “Anatomy and Physiology for the acupuncture students included the study of the meridians, time, space, and other non-Anatomy and Physiology subjects. The three years required to be an acupuncturist requires the study of herbs and other abilities that therapists are NOT doing. It is not the same, nor do most therapist advertise it is the same. As far as Physical Therapists being Monkey Mechanics, you may not want to put that into print. Sounds like it could be a libel statement to me.

        • J. S.


          Your response represents supreme ignorance.

          PTs DO NOT have at least 3 semesters of diagnostic classes specifically designed to teach needling practices, guasha, cupping, cupping with needles, moxibustion (again, with needles), etc. PTs DO NOT perform as clinicians in semesters 6, 7, 8 and 9 where they are ONLY performing acupuncture on 9-12 patients per week in addition to theory classes during the entire 3rd year applying Chinese medicinal pattern theory along with secondary vessels, Shang Han Lun, Earth, and Wen Bing schools of thought. If you don’t know what these medical-philosophical theory systems are, then I guarantee you that a PT will not!

          None of this includes the 2 years of herbology classes that comprise the masters degree and additional clinic hours above and beyond the acupuncture masters degree.

          PTs should not be a part of the medical system AT ALL! They are worthless personal trainers. They are not entitled to the Affordable Care Act at their current rate, and I along with others will lobbying against future funding to support that profession.

          Libel was the intention. Sue me! I dare you! I’m connected to the absolute best at the top of the federal government.

  3. Jessica F

    i am a high level Crossfitter and would have to say I love my PT!! He does such a thorough job of examining and testing my pain due to injury. One such treatment is dry needling. I would recommend it to anyone !!!

    • J. S.

      Me too…but not from a physical therapist! They are not trained to use a needle!

  4. Ryan F

    It is required that all Physical Therapists have his or her doctorate coming out of school. DPTs go through 7 years of largely musculoskeletal training. Instead of focusing on a turf war these ladies should focus on proving the theory of meridians & qi.
    To educate yourself on Research-based Dry Needling: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2015/5/DryNeedling/

    • Paul

      Ha ha! Doctor of physical therapy!!? Ya maybe to themselves; most will never considering PT’s to be real doctors…

      • Tom

        Considering your grammar i wouldn’t consider you close to a real doctor either…

  5. Brigitte

    This kinda reminds me of WHEN PT’s used to call chiropractors “quacks”, because they thought spinal adjustments were useless; that is until they we’re able to perform adjustments. To PT’s and MD’s It’s all “quackery” until it become profitable…. Hypocrites!

  6. Darron

    Hypocrites is RIGHT! As a chiropractor; the NC BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS requires you pass a PT proficiency board exam; that’s in ADDITION to 4 other boards exams ( anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, public health, general diagnosis, neuromuscular diagnosis, diagnostic imaging) yet if you advertise that you offer PT services to the general public; you eventually get a letter from the NC physical therapy board of examiners threatening to sue you… Laughable, but this actually happens!

    • Jenn M

      They’re trying to stop Chiropractors from needling as well. I know many of my chiropractic colleagues who do this are also getting resistance from the acupuncture board . I understand your frustration big please don’t speak for all of us

      • Darron

        Are they trying to stop DC’s from doing acupuncture; which the NC Board of Examiners allows once we complete 200 hour extra credit hours or are they trying to stop DC’s from “Dry NEEDLING”? Because, Dry needling is when they use a needle to break apart a trigger point…. Acupuncture places needles to redirect energy flow. Please clarify.

        • Chad

          So your saying there’s no muscle underneath the “energy flow”?…that the Chinese didn’t know about muscles 2000 years ago and they just saw pure energy flowing in perfect lines? Maybe Keanu Reeves could do us a follow up on this

      • Darron

        NOPE; “Dry needling is not within the scope. The only exception is if the DC is certified in acupuncture.”
        -THE BOARD

    • robert

      Way off topic here. The term ” PT” is exclusive to our profession and therefore illegal to use in the state of NC unless as a licensed PT, regardless of your ” exam” . I can’t take an exam on manipulation than call myself a ” chiropractor” , it’s illegal. There are plenty of people who benefit from PT and chiropractic , no need to lambaste a profession on a message board based on your inaccurate information and personal beliefs

    • robert

      Great example Derron! No one profession holds exclusivity on treatments . A PT can’t prevent chiropractors , massage therapists , acupuncturists or personal trainers from performing neuromuscular re-education or rehabilitation techniques. They cannot however advertise they are doing ” PT” but may be very well trained and capable of doing said techniques with training. There are many highly skilled chiropractors I consider colleagues and collaborate with in a regular basis. PTs aren’t advertising they do acupuncture because it’s very different with a completely different application in rehabilitation .

  7. Greg

    I hope the N.C. Acupuncture Board HAS DEEP POCKETS; because it took deep pockets to have legislation passed to allow PT’s to “dry needle”…. Gotta love our political system! It’s ALWAYS SOLD to the highest BIDDER

  8. Edward Jarvis

    “ Language-written,spoken,signed,or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualised perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicated our personal experiences.”
    An example, stomach 36 in TCM gives us the benefit of balancing energy and treating gastrointestinal symptoms. In dry needling the point is used in treating the top of the ankle joint and the big toe of the foot, the specific trigger point referral pattern to the muscle needled. Yet it is exactly the same acupoint/motor point in the tibialis anterior muscle. Both systems of acupuncture use of the same tool, a solid, extremely fine, stainless steel needle. Acupuncture does not mean oriental acupuncture or occidental acupuncture to the well informed person, practitioner. Both these styles benefit the general population. My individualised perception is that in treating acute, but more especially, chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions, dry needling is of considerable clinical value to the patient. Perhaps even the language in contemporary acupuncture can help update and enhance the acupuncture nomenclature in general. Medical acupuncture, contemporary acupuncture, dry needling are all a type of anatomical acupuncture. Oriental acupuncture, because we have styles from all over asia, are vested in philosophical concepts of energetic lines that run up and down the body, meridians. Both speak a very different language to arrive at where to insert the needle.
    We as acupuncturist should help all health professional, with adequate anatomical training, in the use of dry needling. I take offence when reading that “acupuncture” has won a battle when hindering physical therapist, nurses or chiropractors from using this tool.

  9. Jarred H

    great read , but as a general consumer am disappointed that one profession would hold a particular treatment as their own. I want the option of seeing whomever , whenever I want. It’s my choice to see a PT , Acupuncturist for said treatment then I assume the consequences. I’ve never had anything but great care from PTs and Acupuncturists

    • Phil

      You have no ideA!! American “for profit” healthcare professions are vipers when it comes to scope of practice boundaries…. It’s every bit as litigious as pharmacology trademark patents!
      Gladly I’m out of practice!!

  10. I would like to see if the box of needles they use says “Dry Needles” on it or if it says “Acupuncture Needles”. Can a PT post a picture or send a link to a “dry needle” box? I’m not sure they exist!

      • Michel Czehatowski

        Thanks for posting the link. My next question is what do they look like?

        • John

          They are similar to accupuncture needles but more firm so they can be inserted directly into a muscle belly w/o bending.

          • Acupuncture needles come in many gauges 28-34. I use a 30 gauge which doesn’t bend easily but even a 34 gauge can be inserted by hand without bending. So if the “dry” needle doesn’t bend then I assume PT’s don’t use insertion tubes?

        • Outside Observer

          Really, you want to know what they look like? I see your white lab coat and your picture “looks” like a MD. Certainly hope you’re ready to get a new “look” since you are not an MD

  11. Jason

    Ive always considered Pt’s EXERCISE BABYSITTERS or Glorified Personal Trainers… They certainly fill a niche, but they seem to only exist, because they do what MD’s don’t want to do. Kind of like Podiatrists; MD’s don’t want to clip toenails all day

  12. Daren

    Physical therapists have much training but no where near the same ball park as a trained Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner would have in the understanding of qi, meridians, life force, and cause of disease. Obviously its acupuncture with a new spin on the name, a cheap misconception of a true master than can sustain life for over 200 of years if practiced right with herbology which TCM extensively covers, not to mention ectensive knowledge of energy medicine, and more advanced massage techniques. They take an ancient art that took thousands of years to develop and sell it in a cheap package for the layperson who doesn’t know the difference between piece of shit and a chocolate kiss. like Quantam healing or “angelic Reiki” or any of this other “garbage that sounds good” it just discredits the age old practice and spiritual component that almost every western medical practice is direly lacking in study.

    PT holds no water to TCM. it is a joke they should be sued for all that they’re worth and i fully object to the “dry needle” practice, its a disgrace. These people are novice at any conception of the true practice and not to mention all the PTs that end up using the meridian system anyways are just a far out sad cry from anything authentic. I Boo these people, and hope they ban all PT from practicing a therapy they dont understand. How dare they try to seize the role of an acupuncturist while discrediting that its not backed up by science, pure garbage…

    • Barton

      You are 100% correct that we, as PTs, don’t have the knowledge of TCM like you would have. We don’t study it and we don’t understand it. The good thing is that we are not treating it. Our use of a needle is for musculoskeletal conditions. We follow anatomical trigger points and locations (tendons and ligaments as examples which don’t have trigger points) and treat accordingly. Good thing we have extensive training and experience in that area!

      Remember, not everyone who uses a needle is an acupuncturist just like not everyone who uses a calculator is an accountant!

      • Carol

        Actually, in my school we learn myofascial systems along with TCM. It’s orthopedic acupuncture. But we also treat the underlying condition affecting the imbalance to prevent further issues. The fact that you don’t think Acupuncturists use the muscular system makes you ignorant. The fact that you have NO idea/care about the energetics you are effecting in your patients is even more disturbing. Get educated!

        • Barton

          Carol – it isn’t that I don’t care about the energetics. And it most certainly isn’t that I don’t know that you use the muscular system. Why can’t you just realize that more than one speciality can and should use a thin filament needle to treat conditions? One can read any law in any state and make whatever they want of it, but ultimately that is not patient focused. You, your ilk, and anyone in my profession (PT), or other professions like chiropractic, that tries to hold down a “competitive” profession from performing a safe service (again, cite me evidence that PTs harm people at a greater rate than acupuncturists) is NOT patient focused. It is focused on territorial protections. That cannot and will not stand when we are talking about helping a patient improve. You can’t tell me that you have helped “cure” or “fix” or even substantially improve every patient who has walked through your doors any more than I can tell you that I have. So, you shouldn’t have exclusive domain over treating patients (with our without a needle). People respond differently to different treatments and practitioners. Get off your high horse and let whomever can help the patient try to help the patient!

          The funny thing is this: both of our professions are fighting against the American Medical Association and their control of the healthcare system as well as the insurance companies and their control and manipulation of payment. We don’t need to fight each other. Every second that we spend arguing about this topic is a second wasted on actually focusing on a non invasive (relatively speaking as compared to injections and surgery), non pharmacologic and SAFE set of treatments.

  13. Daren

    I do TCM and Bodywork and all doctors I have seen that attempt to try to heal the client have been colossal failures in treating the cause of disease and never having it come back. Most Md’s are lazy, and Pts just want to keep you on the hamster wheel, keepo draining your money

  14. Dee

    Let it be known that the PT profession is run by their “Federation”. The Federation is who determines what the profession’s latest “for business profit” “campaign to conquer” will be across the country. PT State Boards all follow the programmed rationale and lingo that they all (across the country) get drilled into their heads by certain members of their State Boards who are also representative devotees of the Federation. It is thru them that PT’s are then given the repetitive spin and who then keep repeating the propaganda to anyone and everyone, over and over…. with a big smile no less. The majority of PT’s who end up doing acupuncture/aka dry needling, are so excited because they actually believe that they are doing something different. They are taught to say that dn is basically a new western technique that they discovered/developed. They haven’t one clue about the “scientific” theories of “channels/meridians” and the “scientific” theory and explanation of “Qi” and so it is easy for them to spout out what they are programmed to say. The “ancient” technique that they have renamed ‘dry needling’ was discussed in an ancient chinese text by Sun Si Miao. Dry needling is an “acupuncture” technique …. an aggressive and deep needling technique…. no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Along with that, so called Trigger Points are over 90% “identical” to acupuncture points. Acupuncture/aka dry needling prompts the same neuro-chemical changes that the PT profession claims only they can do. The meridians, the points, the “Qi” are all associated to the “fascia”. It’s interesting how they are oblivious to the fact that the chinese terminology is from Pre – Western science (terminology) … it is from another culture, another language, and it is way way older than western science (terminology). It’s also interesting that they are oblivious to the fact that in China, the vast majority of TCM doctors are also western medical doctors…. and they can talk and explain circles around the PT propaganda… and end it all with the complete knowledge that they understand the true motivation of the PT profession (and others) in regards to tearing things down and then renaming and recreating lingo that they can better manipulate and profit from. That PT’s cynically try to denigrate the concepts within chinese medicine / acupuncture … in order to ensure their continued business profiting, does not change the reality that they are doing acupuncture…. and it would behoove them to go ahead and become a genuine student of the medicine and graduate and fulfill their state’s ACUPUNCTURE LAWS in order to in reality be qualified to do what they are doing after a few weekend seminars. Let it also be known that several of the texts that PT’s use are texts that clearly have the word ‘acupuncture’ in their titles, and over and over again throughtout those books. A couple of those texts are also titled by a Chinese acupuncturist(s). The issue is not that acupuncturists in this country are trying to stop other health professions from doing acupuncture …. the issue is that those who only take a few weekend seminars are doing it to boost business profits at the expense of the indiscriminating patient who puts their trust in the practitioner who they generally have built a relationship with. And in the process, everyone is being made a fool of … in particular the unassuming public… which all heath care professionals are by law supposed to protect. North Carolina acupuncture board has absolute support from thousands of fully trained and licensed acupuncturists across the country. And the PT “Federation” is very politically and financially connected…. very very financially and politically connected. They are conniving, and yes indeed they spout out the exact rationale that they train their licensees to regurgitate. Weekender PT’s … go to Acupuncture school…. become the real deal!!!

    • Barton

      You are 100% correct that we, as PTs, don’t have the knowledge of TCM like you would have. We don’t study it and we don’t understand it. The good thing is that we are not treating it. Our use of a needle is for musculoskeletal conditions. We follow anatomical trigger points and locations (tendons and ligaments as examples which don’t have trigger points) and treat accordingly. Good thing we have extensive training and experience in that area!

      Remember, not everyone who uses a needle is an acupuncturist just like not everyone who uses a calculator is an accountant!

      Oh, and the ad hominem attack on PTs just trying to make a profit is ridiculous. For our training, PTs make very little money. We go to undergrad and then take a 4 year doctorate degree after that. But, insurance companies rarely pay more than $100/hour for the service. That is less than most personal trainers make. Please cease the ad hominem attacks about profit, they come from a place of ignorance.

      • Dee

        Dry Needling “IS” Acupuncture …. no ifs ands or buts about it. Reread my commentary that is full of facts…. well over 90% of so called Trigger Points are “identical” to acupuncture points. Acupuncturists palpate / follow anatomical pathways and “acupuntcure” (or as you name them Trigger points), and all of this includes / involves tendons, ligaments, etc etc etc., and regardless of TCM scientific theories and whether treating musculo-skeletal issues …. they are treated accordingly. The fact that you pride yourself in knowing the musculo-skeletal system does not in any way erase the fact that the technique you have been taught is absolutely 100% “ACUPUNCTURE”. You simply don’t know that “you do not know” that you are doing acupuncture ….. and that you absolutely are affecting and very potentially harming the unassuming patient …. because you actually think that just because you claim to not be doing acupuncture, because you know anatomy, is a most ridiculous and ignorant piece of propaganda. And yes I agree with you…. not everyone who uses an acupuncture needle is an acupuncturist …. and there’s a whole lot of different health care workers who like to play with those acupuncture needles and make themselves and others believe that they are the experts of the newly discovered, newly created, newly named technique. (you’re the first PT who has actually admitted that you are using an “acupuncture needle”. Business profit or not …. the hierarchy of the PT profession isn’t rich because they’re nice and sweet…. it’s because they are expertly creative at distorting, disseminating, manipulating, and programming, and coaching on how to circumvent state’s acupuncture laws ….. and you can’t deny that is all based on making profit.
        No ignorance here, a whole lot of research has been done. Go to acupuncture school …. you’ll be much better and more effective, and yes, acupuncture schools are also granting PhD’s.

        • Barton

          Dee – I am not doing acupuncture. I am doing dry needling. I may stick a needle in a point that is the same as an acupuncture point, but it is for an entirely different purpose. I don’t stick needles in Liver 6 (or any other point named like that and I don’t treat disease with needles like you do. I use them to treat conditions like achille’s tendinopathy and various forms of low back pain. I don’t stick needles in the head or ankle to release the energy at the same time. I am most certainly not performing acupuncture.

          Do you do acupressure? Are you calling yourself a physical therapist or massage therapist when we do the same thing? Get over yourself. We are trying to accomplish the same thing: helping the patient. We have the ability to do that and we do it in a safe manner. There is no research to support that dry needling performed by physical therapists is a danger to the public. There is nothing to support it at all. Professionals like you are only trying to scare the public. Do an epidemiological study and show that it is a safety hazard to the public and let’s talk again.

          • Dee

            You absolutely are doing acupuncture….. and yes you absolutely do needle acupuncture points…. whether you are treating a muscular issues or not. Just because you no nothing about chinese medicine, does not mean you are not effecting neurochemical change… exactly as acupuncture does. Sorry, no matter how you choose to believe, nothing at all can erase the fact that whether you know what you’re doing or not, you are indeed doing an acupuncture technique. That is the issue dear man…. the PT profession should admit the truth…. that yes, they are practicing an acupuncture technique…. the very simple truth. But of course the PT profession will never admit to that…. because that would then admit that you have been circumventing state laws…. in other words, breaking the law…. in other words, practicing without a license. Go on with your brainwashed self. Peace, over and out.

          • Carol

            The fact that you have no idea what that point does to the body is what is the issue. Just because your intention is trigger point release, does not mean that is the only thing you’re doing. You clearly know nothing about acupuncture, and if you want to argue that what you’re doing ISN’T acupuncture, maybe you should choose to educate yourself.

        • Barton

          Carol and Dee – see my comment to Carol about the real fight and real battle.

          Also, I do understand what a needle does, and I understand that it does more than just treat a trigger point. The fact that I am not trained in eastern meridians does nothing to diminish my western knowledge. It also doesn’t mean that I should not be allowed to stick a needle into the body any more than a physician can’t be allowed to stick a needle into the body because s/he doesn’t understand what else that needle could be affecting.

          And, if you do bodywork (which some acupunturists do without a massage therapy or other license as associated with their acupuncture license), do you know everything about the effect of the bodywork? No one can know everything. It is when you do know everything, when you are closed minded like most of the acupuncturists on this forum, that is when you stop learning. That is when you stop being able to provide the best care for the patient. Sometimes acupuncture is indicated, sometimes physical therapy, sometimes neither.

          Let’s focus on the patient, not the professions.

          • Dee

            Sorry dude, you and all your ill informed cohorts are doing nothing but going in circles with your ill informed propaganda. You keep coming up with any angle of the same excuses you can think of. You are wasting your time, nothing you say… to convince yourself/ves that you are entitled to do ACUPUNCTURE… with just a couple weekend seminars on how to stick a needle into a body… and then proclaim that you are experts because your hierarchy told you so …. is something to be quite ashamed, not to mention embarrased about.
            This is not about your western training and you know it. And to also note…. acupuncturists are a hundred times more open minded than you obviously will ever know. As for physicians, the only reason they can do whatever on earth they want to do is because of their extremely powerful lobby, as anybody on earth knows. And just to note, most drs. actually openly say they know nothing about acupuncture/chinese medicine. It is only the few wild hairs like the wild hairs of the PT profession, who think they are above it all and that no one or nothing will stop them. And precisely like you said…. let’s focus on the patient….. indeed, let us/and all health care professions focus on the patient….. in other words…. focus on the Safety and well being of the patient.
            You are focused on experimenting with acupuncture needles…. at the expense of the trusting patient.
            And for the record…. the acupuncture profession is not opposed to anyone doing acupuncture. What the profession is opposed to is insufficiently trained people who circumvent the laws. Go to acupuncture school, and when you do, you will join the handful of PT’s who did and who got certified and licensed to do acupuncture…. and who all say the same thing…… absolutely without a doubt, dry needling is acupuncture.

  15. Edward Jarvis D.C.

    I do not have an economic interest in legalizing dry needling in any of the states in the U.S. My interest in TCM was very focused on the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders using acupuncture needles, meridian based. Comparing dry needling to TCM acupuncture for chronic and acute skeletal and axial extremity pain, dry needling has much better clinical results. If dry needling, medical acupuncture, contemporary acupuncture all types of anatomically based acupuncture is lost to medical practitioners in your state, your citizens are the real losers in my opinion. The truth be told entire books written by authors like Dr. Jan Dammerholt, a doctorate in physical therapy are proof of the highest level of academia. http://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Dry-Needling-Clinical-Based/dp/0702046019/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444311327&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=Jan+Dammerholt.

    It should be

    I suggest a board governing dry needling in every state , to seek prerequisite levels of anatomy, to license this method of practicing acupuncture. Many oriental practitioners I fear would need to strengthen their neuromuscular anatomy knowledge in order to gain entry into the benefits of this method anatomical acupuncture, it is not meridian based. I will repeat this once again, it is not meridian based, you have not a clue.

  16. John

    Rather than having turf wars, why doesn’t everyone just understand that there is overlap with all professions and that there are plenty of people that need and that can benefit from the services of each profession. Get out of the scarcity mentality. In regards to this article, while dry needling training may require 54 hours of training, what isn’t mentioned is the Doctoral level of training prior to that. Dry needling is based on Western Medicine philosophy and Acupuncture on Eastern Medicine Philosophy. While there are similarities, there are also huge differences. Let’s all get along and just focus on getting patients better together!

    • Barton

      Great, great point. The same goes for the turf battle between chiropractic and physical therapy. You betcha!

  17. Jason

    So every time you pierce the skin you’re practicing acupuncture? Umm…no. Next they will claim that treating trigger points with your thumbs is performing acupressure. Same tool, different application. A PT performing spinal manipulation is not practicing chiropractic. A chiropractor performing spinal manipulation is not practicing osteopathy.

  18. Michael Lytle

    I was sevrrely injured by a physical therapist using this procedure Im in constant pain down my leg Treated in the hip Right after a dry needling Cant sit . blood in urine a couple of times

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