Important News Regarding Dry Needling

May 1, 2014

Dear Colleagues:
One of the primary missions of all of the Illinois professional acupuncture organizations is to work to assure that the public of the State receives safe and effective acupuncture treatments, and that providers using acupuncture needles are well trained to provide that service.  It has been our contention for over six years that Intramuscular Manual Therapy (aka “Dry Needling”) as performed currently by physical therapists does not provide safe and effective treatment to the citizens of Illinois.   The addition of this practice to the scope of Physical Therapists was felt to be an expansion of scope needing action in the legislature, rather than an addition that should be made via administrative interpretation.  Addition of this technique without proper channeling would not provide for any educational standards or meaningful oversight of the practice, and would expose the public to undue risk of harm.  We have been in coalition on this matter with the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS), the Illinois Chiropractic Society (ICS), and the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society (IOMS).On Friday last week, we received word that after thoughtful, detailed, and carefully considered review of the Acupuncture and Physical Therapy Practice Acts, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation agreed with the concerns of our coalition of groups, and determined that the practice of Dry Needling was NOT in the scope of practice of physical therapy as the acts are currently written for Illinois.We thank the Department for its attention to this issue, as well as to all the groups and individuals who have helped in this effort.  It is our heartfelt belief that this determination is of great service to the people of Illinois, assuring the safety and quality of medical care available in the state.  Particular thanks on this effort are extended to Steve Morrill and Curt Fiedler of Morrill and Associates who have helped guide our communications and who have spearheaded this work for all of the professional communities, as well as to Jeannette Hoyt who spent many hours organizing and promoting this effort, and Mary Rogel for being a champion of our community for many years.   In addition, we thank the members of the Illinois Acupuncture Federation (IAF):  ILaaom (the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), AAAA (the Asian American Acupuncture Association), and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for ongoing support and leadership.  We thank the ISMS, ICS, and IOMS as well for supporting this effort, as well as the senators and representatives of Illinois who contacted the Department on this matter.We will vigilantly continue to monitor this issue, and advocate for best practices.  Our hope is to maintain high levels of training and standards for Illinois, so as to continue to assure our citizens of the best available care.Sincerely,
David W. Miller, MD, LAc (President, Illinois Acupuncture Federation; Legislative Director, ILaaom, member, ISMS)Claudette Baker, LAc, Past-President:  ILaaom and IAFLindy Camardella, LAc, Board Member, ILaaom
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