Caution! Beware of "Dry Needling"

While we deeply respect our colleagues in various interventions and modalities such as physical therapy and chiropractic care, there is a disturbing trend of many unqualified practitioners offering "dry needling" as a therapeutic intervention.  Over the past several years, there have more and more incidents of patient injury reported to various Boards after receiving  called "dry needling". 

 "Dry needling" is a term used by physical therapists and chiropractors in an attempt to differentiate the insertion of solid filament needles into the body for therapeutic effect, from acupuncture, and to circumvent the state requirements for educational and proficiency standards for licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors providing acupuncture.

But "dry needling" is not a different therapy. IT IS ACUPUNCTURE. However, unliked regulated acupuncture, "dry needling", as practiced by physical therapists and chiropractors has no current standards for education, clinical skills or testing in the state of Maryland. 

 In fact, a typical "dry needling" course is a weekend event consisting of approximately 30 hours. Even medical doctors are currently state mandated to receive 200 educational hours in order to apply to their board to register to perform "medical acupuncture."  By contrast, Acupuncturists typically receive at least 3000 hours of training, followed by approximately one to two years of clinical experience, and mandatory education testing in order to qualify for state licensure.

Here is an excellent link regarding this topic:

Below is a link to a letter from the National Chiropractic Council, which provides malpractice insurance to chiropractors and physical therapists, and they have refused to provide malpractice insurance for this practice for chiropractors and physical therapists.