There can be a great deal of difference in education and clinical experience.
We hold the highest training one can attain regarding acupuncture and dry-needling.
A Licensed Acupuncturist MUST study and graduate by a Eastern Medical/Acupuncture program that trains specifically in using Acupuncture, taking over 3000+ hours minimum. During schooling, one must train under direct supervision throughout entire medical program and after this, they must still take several board exams and take yearly continuing education classes.
A typical dry needle seminar/class is usually 1-2 days long. No direct supervision, no board exam, no continuing education.
Many states (including Texas) do not offer clear guidance about how many hours of training in needling physical therapists must have in order to use the technique, with many states leaving it up to the individual physical therapist (or his or her employer) to determine whether they are “competent” with the technique. In the absence of a standardized dry needling credential or clearly defined training requirements for physical therapists, individual patients are left to ask careful questions of their physical therapist if dry needling is suggested. Questions patients should consider asking include:
- How many hours of training in the use of needles have you had?
- How many of these hours were hands-on versus classroom hours?
- How many patients have you treated under the direct supervision of a dry needling expert?
- How many patients have you personally treated with needles?
- Does your malpractice insurance policy explicitly cover dry needling?
In an effort to provide my patients with the very best care, in addition to 3000+ hours of acupuncture training, I have sought advanced training in advanced dry needling techniques in S. Korea.