Acupuncture Alternatives
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The Acupuncture Community Needs Your Help

– Posted in: Special Announcements
Acupuncturist prepares to tap needle into patient

Whenever we seek out someone to help us with anything it makes good sense to look for the best- someone with proper education and experience — whether to get our car repaired, our roof fixed, our teeth cleaned – anything one can think of. This in mind, it makes perfect sense to want the professional handling Acupuncture for you to be the best trained also, doesn’t it? Of course it does.

As a professional licensed Acupuncturist, I and others in our profession need your help to insure that rules and laws are in place to protect the public from individuals who are not adequately educated being allowed to perform Acupuncture on patients and from “Acupuncture-like” techniques being used and called something else by poorly trained people.

Please sign the petition and encourage others to sign:

www.AzAcupunctureSafety.org

Here is more background on the issue and why the public needs to be concerned.

The Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine community of Licensed Professionals is trying to stop Physical Therapists in their attempt to restrict Licensed Acupuncturists from doing Dry Needling/Acupuncture in Arizona. Here are some facts:

“Physical Therapists are practicing “dry needling”, which is one of hundreds of styles of Acupuncture, after only 16 hours of weekend training. However, by redefining Acupuncture as dry needling it appears that not only will they be able to bill for this Acupuncture service, but they may also attempt to restrict Acupuncturists from doing or claiming to do ”dry needling”. This is evidenced by the fact that such a complaint was filed against an Acupuncturist with the Maryland Acupuncture Board in 2009 and the question was raised to the Colorado PT Board in 2012, as to whether or not an Acupuncturist is even qualified to practice dry needling.”

“Historically, Physical Therapists like to restrict other professions from using their billing codes; there are some codes that even Medical Doctors cannot bill for without a Physical Therapist. Is this what the Physical Therapist community has in mind for dry needling? Given the history of other instances where it has been – Licensed Acupuncturists in Arizona need your help to make sure it does not happen here.”

This is the National assault from Physical Therapists so far:

  • 15 States Permit Physical Therapists/Dry Needling by rule – including Colorado
  • 13 States Prohibit Physical Therapists/Dry Needling
  • 21 States are undetermined – including Arizona

Now Arizona is a key state in the battle ground for this issue and the undecided states are watching us to see what happens.

There is an upcoming meeting if you are interested in learning more about this:

Sunday, July 14th, Phoenix
1-4:00pm
Phoenix Public Library
1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. AZ

Again—please help to insure that you, as a consumer of Acupuncture services always are able to get the best trained and experienced professional.

Please sign the petition and encourage others to sign:

www.AzAcupunctureSafety.org

This the Coalition of Arizona Acupuncture Safety (CAAS) website which will be growing with abilities to learn more about the other non-licensed people performing Acupuncture, i.e. PT’s, OT’s, AT’s Tattoo artists, Massage therapist, Cosmetic & Permanent Makeup artists.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON “DRY NEEDLING”

Over the years there has been a gradual and purposeful taking from the body of Chinese medicine in the United States and elsewhere. Certain individuals and groups have taken parts of Chinese medicine, renamed them for marketing purposes, and then repackaged them as original discoveries. For example, gua sha has been renamed and trademarked as a soft tissue mobilization technique, and cupping has been renamed and trademarked as myofacial decompression therapy. In both of these cases, no credit is given to Chinese medicine. Finally, Acupuncture itself has been renamed and peddled as “dry needling” with credit given to Western medicine for the discovery of tender points (ashi points) and the pain relieving effect resulting from needling them. Non-qualified allied health workers are performing “dry needling” on their patients with as little as a weekend course. Even some athletic trainers are performing “dry needling” with minimal training.

In Arizona and throughout the United States, a rapidly growing number of allied health professionals are now performing the unlicensed and illegal practice of acupuncture under the guise of “dry needling” (which is ashi point Acupuncture) in clear violation of state legislative statutes. Instead of expanding their scope of practice through the lengthy and unpredictable legislative process, these allied health professionals are having their regulatory boards simply proclaim that “dry needling” is not Acupuncture and, therefore, within their scope of practice. These regulatory boards do not have the authority to expand scope of practice on their own- they must go through legislation. The public, unaware of this, is misled into believing that these regulatory boards are acting with legal authority – which they are not. Rather, they are operating in their profession’s own self-interest to the detriment of public health and safety.

These allied health professions would like law makers and the public to believe that the real issue is one of “turf wars” and that it is practitioners of Acupuncture that are trying to stop the free exchange of practices between allied health professions. This is a lie. In reality, these allied health professions are cleverly and methodically attempting to disallow practitioners of acupuncture from practicing asbi point Acupuncture. One state allied health professional organization has even gone so far as to boldly claim that practitioners of Acupuncture are not allowed to insert acupuncture needles into muscle, for that would be the practice of western medicine’s “dry needling.”

In order to stop this serious threat to public health and safety and our profession, your immediate response is needed. Only by learning about the problem and taking swift and meaningful action can this be accomplished. Only by the Acupuncture community coming together on this issue and acting in a sustained and focused manner, will we be able to succeed.

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Thank you.