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What is Dry Needling in Tempe Arizona?

The definition of dry needling is a complicated question and completely depends on who you ask. If you ask a physical therapists who advertises dry needling, they will claim that it is NOT acupuncture. They will claim that dry needling is a practice where needles are inserted in the body at myofacial “trigger points” to help reduce pain. This difference is made ONLY to allow a legal loop hole in order to avoid prosecution by practicing acupuncture without a license. They lure patients in with the promise that it’s covered under their insurance.

The Truth about Dry Needling:
Several organizations including The World Health Organization, American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
have all determined that dry needling is the practice of acupuncture.

The argument that “dry needling is the use of needles at trigger points and as such is not acupuncture” is a completely invalid statement. In the practice of acupuncture, acupuncturists will utilize “ashi” points, which is roughly translated as “tender points”. These points correspond to the “trigger points” that physical therapists claim to have exclusive rights to. Following this argument, virtually
ALL acupuncturists fully trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine also do dry needling, but with vastly higher level of training, expertise, and understanding in the use of needles.

Additional information to help clarify this confusion may be found here:
http://www.ccaom.org/downloads/CCAOM_Position_Paper__May_2011_Update.pdf

The Risk of Dry Needling:

Many states in the U.S. have recognized the risk and have banned physical therapists from doing this to their patients. Unfortunately, Arizona still allows them to try this on their patients. Physical therapists are putting both the patients and the practice of acupuncture at risk in two ways:

Lack of Training: Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been developed over the course of 4,000 years. In Arizona, Acupuncturists who learn this science are in school for at least 4 years (1850 hours) and have at least
800 hours of clinical training. To practice dry needling, physical therapists in Arizona are given 15 hours of clinical training.

Misrepresentation: With their lack of education and training, the care given by physical therapists during dry needling is considered sub-standard. Patients leaving this treatment unsatisfied will often believe that “acupuncture doesn’t work” without learning that physical therapists were trying to do acupuncture with very little training.

Getting dry needling by someone un-trained in acupuncture because it’s covered by insurance CAN be tempting. Are you willing to put the safety of yourself or your family at risk to save a few bucks? Only you can decide.



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