Cancel this class Aug 17 dry needling is not in scope for PTs or ATs in MA by rule or law.

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Please stop this 27 hour class on Aug. 17-19 at Boston University College of Health and Rehab Sciences teaching Dry Needling, the unregulated and unlicensed practice of acupuncture to allied health professionals, PTs ( physical therapists) and AT (athletic trainers), who DO NOT have the ability to practice the procedure of acupuncture in their practices by rule or law.  The Board of Registration in Nursing in MA ruled in June of 2017 : “Dry-needling”, “micro-needling”...are procedures involving acupuncture and not within the scope of nursing practice;”

Nurses have the regular use of needles in their practice.  There is nothing in the PT practice act or AT practice acts that allows the insertion of needles for therapeutic release nor the practice of acupuncture.  

In addition to biomedical training, licensed acupuncturists receive at least 1365 hours of acupuncture-specific training, including 705 hours of acupuncture-specific didactic material and 660 hours of supervised clinical training. Further, many states also require even physicians wishing to practice acupuncture to have substantial training. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) has set the industry standard for a physician to practice entry level acupuncture at 300 hours of postdoctoral training with passage of an examination by an independent testing board. The AAMA expects that physicians choosing to incorporate acupuncture into practice will pursue lifelong learning, including formal and self-directed programs.

In contrast, there are no independent, agency-accredited training programs for “dry needling,” no standardized curriculum, no means of assessing the competence of instructors in the field, and no independently administered competency examinations. Neither physical therapy nor athletic training entry-level training includes any meaningful preparation for the practice of invasive therapeutic modalities such as the insertion of acupuncture needles. Training in these programs is generally limited to external therapeutic modalities. This entire class is 27 hours. This is being done under the name “dry needling.” This standard presumes extensive, pre-requisite training in invasive procedures [including underlying structures, contraindications for skin puncture, clean needle technique, anticipated range of patient responses to invasive technique, etc.], the differential diagnosis of presenting conditions, clinical infection-control procedures in the context of invasive medicine, management of acute office and medical emergencies, and advanced knowledge of human physiology and evidence based medicine.

The AMA, American Medical Association issued the following statement: Our AMA recognizes dry needling as an invasive procedure and maintains that dry needling should only be performed by practitioners with standard training and familiarity with routine use of needles in their practice, such as licensed medical physicians and licensed acupuncturists.

Please do the right thing and cancel this class until: 1. There are meaningful standards for didactic hours, clinical hours and a national third party psychometric exam for dry needling and 2. It is within the scope of practice for PTs & ATs by law.  Thank you!



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