PTWA Legislative Committee Chair Emilie Jones delivered this eloquent testimony during yesterday’s dry needling sunrise review at the Washington State Department of Health.
My name is Emilie Jones and I’m a physical therapist and legislative chair for PTWA.
We are here today to discuss whether physical therapists can perform a singular technique – dry needling.
In the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture’s website, Dr. Joseph Helms describes acupuncture as “one discipline extracted from a complex heritage of Chinese medicine – a tradition that also includes massage and manipulation, stretching and breathing exercises, and herbal formulae.” Physical therapists do not desire to perform acupuncture. We do not want to treat patients for allergies, stress, fatigue, poor digestion, menstrual discomfort, hormonal issues, ileus, asthma, hiccups, constipation or sleep disorders. These patients are not seen in our practice.
Acupuncture is a well-respected profession with a long history and extensive body of knowledge.
We do not ask massage therapists to go to physical therapy school to perform manual therapy techniques.
We do not ask phlebotomists to go to nursing school to puncture veins.
We do not ask nurses or medical assistants to go to medical school to give injections.
None of these practitioners are performing acupuncture when they insert a needle into a patient’s arm to give them a TB test. They do not know whether they are interacting with an acupuncture point when they do this.
Physical therapists do not need to go to medical acupuncture school to perform a single technique just because the tool is the same. We desire to use our extensive background in anatomy, physiology and manual treatment techniques to assist the patients we are already treating with myofascial trigger points to get better, faster. This is allowing patients to receive care in the model they choose, helping the most patients by improving their access to care, and help us provide the most effective care to our patients with neuromuscular dysfunction.