“The release I get is deeper
than any other therapy.”
Few dispute the effectiveness of dry needling. But
controversy circles around who is qualified to do it.
Many acupuncturists argue weekend courses aren’t
enough to qualify physical therapists to needle people.
“Acupuncturists aren’t just throwing a needle into one
muscle to get a twitch response, but we’re needling into
a bunch of different things,” says acupuncturist/physical
therapist Bianca Beldini. In fact, several states have ruled
that dry needling is outside the scope of practice for a
physical therapist because it involves puncturing the skin.
Yet some in the physical therapy community
feel they are qualified, since they are myofascial and
biomechanical specialists. “Physical therapists have been
treating trigger points and myofascial restrictions with
their hands for decades, and the filiform needle is simply
an extension of this,” argues dance medicine specialist
Erika Johnson. In fact, Johnson feels that becoming a
practitioner of dry needling has helped her develop a
greater appreciation for when acupuncture is a better
treatment, and regularly refers dancers to acupuncturists.
In a perfect world, every dry needling specialist
would have training in both practices, but this is a rare
combination because both specialties require extensive
training. Make sure that anyone treating you with a
needle has been trained to use it and has experience with
physically active clients like athletes and dancers. —KM
may not be