Tennessee Attorney General rules against Dry Needling in PT Scope of Practice

By Brett Windsor, PT

As of June 19, Trigger Point Dry needling is officially ‘not within the scope of PT practice’. This is according to an Attorney General opinion that was released late last week. You can read the opinion by clicking HERE.

A sad day to be sure…but now we just have to keep fighting and support efforts to change the law for the better.

Best regards


One thought on “Tennessee Attorney General rules against Dry Needling in PT Scope of Practice

  1. Oh goodness, I doubt that the attorney general even understands the difference between dry needling and acupuncture because if he did he would not include the following sentence in his report when comparing acupuncture to dry needling..

    “practice of acupuncture’ means the insertion of acupuncture needles and the application of moxibustion to specific areas of the human body based on oriental medical diagnosis as a primary mode of therapy”

    Yes I agree that that is what the acupuncturists do but those of us who practice dry needling do not claim to be doing acupuncture. We are NOT treating an oriental medical diagnosis. The vast majority if us are manual therapists and the needles are an extension of our hands. We use the needles to facilitate or inhibit muscles to restore function and decrease pain – not to treat systemic dysfunction as the acupuncturists claim to do. We use the needles to save our hands – not treat allergies or gastrointestinal issues.

    Once again it boils down to needing to educate those in the position to make decisions. It is along the same lines as the battle for manipulation in Washington State. Other disciplines feel threatened by what we do – which maybe we should take as a compliment, because if we were doing it poorly then people would stop coming to us for those various services and instead utilize other practitioners.


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