The question regarding the difference between dry needling by a PT as an adjunct, and going to a state licensed acupuncturist that has a post graduate degree and had to pass board exams, was brought up and I’d like to put my opinion out there.
Here’s the difference. The history of dry needling by unlicensed acupuncture professionals was developed twenty nine years ago by an MD with a syringe in 1979. Currently allied healthcare workers like PTs illegally use an acupuncture needle instead but refuse the training. They recommend 25 to 50 hours of training for dry needling. Acupuncture needles as mandated by the FDA, should only be used by a licensed acupuncturist. To learn this you must study to be a skilled master and it takes years for basic competence.
The system of medicine it was developed under dates back close to FIVE THOUSAND YEARS. The oldest known books date back to 475BC, and are still used today to study the full scope of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
So the question becomes who do you want doing your needling; a 29 year old experiment or a complete medical system that’s 2500 years old?
To find a Licensed Acupuncturist, check your state's regulatory laws. In Florida, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is regulated and licensed as a form of Primary Healthcare under FS457.
Don't be an experiment, make sure your Acupuncture is preformed by an acupuncture professional with YEARS of EDUCATION in the Full System of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to get the BEST results.
Here's a quick question you can ask so see if they have at least the bare minimum of competence: "How many channels run through the wrist?" If they don't answer "6" immediately - find someone else. Asking this question is like asking a child how many fingers they have. If it's something they have to think about, they haven't been fully trained.
It's like asking a nurse what's a normal blood pressure or heart rate. It's a fundamental of Western Medicine. Knowing how many channels run through the wrist or ankle is fundamental to a competent Acupuncturist.
Know your providers credentials and the AMOUNT of education specifically in Acupuncture... Some allied healthcare providers are doing this with only a few hours of training, stating the their western medical education is enough - it's not.
Acupuncture professionals spend YEARS training in order to get licensed and achieve the BEST results. Don't you deserve they best that Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has to offer?
As a culture, its important for us to all be our own patient advocates and ask questions and check credentials - regardless of who or what you are doing. Taking the same amount of time and effort in your healthcare choices is vital to get the best results from any path you decide to take on your own health journey.