Dry Needling: Is It Derived From Acupuncture? How Did Nonacupuncturists Start Using It?

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Dry Needling: Is It Derived From Acupuncture? How Did Nonacupuncturists Start Using It?

Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Nov 08;:

Authors: Fan AY, Faggert Alemi S, Li YM

Abstract
Context: In the United States. and other Western countries, dry needling (DN) has been a disputed topic in both the academic and legal fields.
Objective: The research team intended to examine whether DN is a technique independent from acupuncture and also how nonacupuncturists, such as physical therapists (PTs), started practicing DN.
Design: The research team completed research, examined critical issues related to DN, and published a white paper in 2017 that discussed evidence and expert opinions from academic scholars, for health care professionals, administrators, policy makers, and the general public that demonstrate that DN is acupuncture. This article continues that endeavor.
Results: DN is not merely a technique but a medical therapy that is a simplified form of acupuncture practice. To promote DN theory and business, some commercial DN educators have recruited a large number of nonacupuncturists, including PTs, athletic trainers, and nurse practitioners, in recent years. PTs did not initiate the practice of DN and DN does not fit into the practice scope for PTs because it is an invasive practice. The national organizations of the PT profession, such as the American Physical Therapy Association and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, began to support the practice of DN by PTs in approximately 2010. Currently, more PTs are involved in DN practice and are teaching than any other specialty.
Conclusions: Acupuncturists and physicians must complete extensive acupuncture training in accredited programs and pass national examinations to become licensed or certified to practice acupuncture. However, a typical DN course runs only 20-30 h, often in the course of 1 weekend, and the participants may receive a DN certificate without any national examination being required. For the safety of patients and professional integrity, the research team strongly suggests that all DN practitioners and educators should have to meet the same basic standards as those required for licensed acupuncturists or physicians.

PMID: 31719212 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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