Board of Registration of Allied Health Professionals: Rule that Dry Needling is not in the scope of practice for PTs in MA
  • Petitioned Michael Hawley

This petition was delivered to:

Board of Registration of Allied Health Professionals
Michael Hawley

Board of Registration of Allied Health Professionals: Rule that Dry Needling is not in the scope of practice for PTs in MA

    1. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts (AOMSM)
    2. Petition by

      Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts (AOMSM)

      Waltham, MA

On July 26th 2012 the Board of Registration of Allied Health Professionals will vote to determine if Dry Needling for Intramuscular Therapy is within the scope of practice of Physical Therapists. Dry Needling for Intramuscular Therapy by Physical Therapists is a public safety issue.

We petition the members of the Board of Registration of Allied Health Proessionals to rule that dry needling for intramuscular therapy is not within the scope of practice for Physical Therapists in Massachusetts

Physical Therapists performing dry needling is WRONG:
● A new rule on dry needling without any professional standards would directly contradict the licensing requirements for MA acupuncturists.
● Subcutaneous insertion is not part of existing professional competencies for physical therapists in Massachusetts.
● There is no required curriculum for teaching dry needling and no validly determined minimum requirements for safe practice.
● Dry needling training is as minimal as 40 hrs to begin performing clinically compared to the 2,300+hrs didactic and 700+ clinical hrs of training it takes for acupuncturists to perform needling in a safe and effective way.

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) have examined the practice of dry needling and found it to be consistent with and synonymous with the practice of acupuncture.

● The World Health Organization (WHO) defines trigger points as a subset of acupuncture points.
● Dry Needling for Intramuscular Therapy is a re-titling and re-packaging of a historically documented subset of acupuncture known as Ashi Point Needling.
● In a national survey, 82% of acupuncturists use trigger/ashi points for treating musculoskeletal pain.  Acupuncturists are well trained in all aspects of needling to provide this service safely and effectively.

Recent signatures


    1. AOMSM looking for financial support to fight dry needling effort by PT's

      We collect over 2100 signature on our petition which bought us time. In order to keep the pressure on the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts (AOMSM) has hired a lobbyist. For us to continue our efforts we need both and financial resources and people power. Please donate to the cause and volunteer your help and expertise. There is a lot yet to be done. To donate, visit our website and click Donate. To volunteer and be part of the action yourself, please contact Rebecca Schirber at Thanks, Rebecca Schirber, AOMSM Board President

    2. Reached 2,000 signatures
    3. Allied Health Board has postponed the vote on Dry Needling for PT's

      Under pressure from you and the nearly 2000 signatures on our petition, letters to legislators and the Governor, along with the work by our lobbyist (Dan Delaney) we sent a strong message to the Board of Allied Health that Dry Needling is not within the scope of practice for physical therapists. As a result, the Board has decided to postpone the vote that was scheduled for this Thursday.

      What does this mean? We have forced the PT Board to rethink their position and work closer with the Committee on Acupuncture, the AOMSM, and the acupuncture community before making their final decision. But the fight isn’t over! Until the Board votes NO on this issue we are still at risk.

      Members from our community, AOMSM and NESA are still planning to attend the meeting this Thursday 26th at 9am to keep the pressure on. Stay tuned and be ready to act with us later in the fall. Through your support we have shown that together we are strong. Keep the petition going!

    4. Reached 1,500 signatures
    5. 1000 supporters and climbing!

      Thanks to all of you who have signed and forwarded this very important petition! Within just 30 hours we've shown that together we can help protect patients and the integrity of the acupuncture profession. There is still work to be done!

      Please continue to forward the petition link so that we can show the Allied Health Board that we are strong and united in this common goal.

      Don't forget! The Board's monthly meeting when they plan on voting to allow PTs to perform acupuncture will be July 26th. You will not be allowed to speak but by attending we will demonstrate that we are a strong and united profession, and are not willing to sit idly by and let under-trained professionals perform acupuncture. The address is 1000 Washington Street, Suite 710 Boston, MA. NESA is organizing rides and car-pooling. If you wish to commute with us, please arrive at NESA no later than 7:30 am on that morning. Please contact to to offer rides or to sign-up for one.

    6. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Bette Glick BOSTON, MA
      • about 1 year ago

      I have had wonderful results with acupuncture and believe this specialty must be practiced only by true acupuncturists - not physical therapists.

    • David Bell PORTLAND, ME
      • over 1 year ago

      puncturing of lungs and maiming individuals is not a goo idea each acupuncture point has a specific depth and physical therapists do not learn this

      • over 1 year ago

      Dry Needling is in fact acupuncture and should be administered by acupuncturist that have completed the required education and testing for practice in this field.

    • George Leung BROOKLINE, MA
      • over 1 year ago

      Since I am a licensed practicing acupuncturist, physical therapy assistant, and an athletic trainer I know first hand that dry needling technique is another form of acupuncture technique. I have worked with professional athletes and patients who are generally being mistaken that they were getting acupuncture when in fact is was dry needling being done by their physical therapist. I must say I am ashamed of the APTA and no longer support them with my membership or PTs who does Dry Needling!

    • alissa stockton THATCHER, AZ
      • over 1 year ago

      I am an acupuncturist in AZ.


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