Physical Therapists Want to Give Their Patients the Dry Needle — Again

Physical therapists have relaunched a campaign to add "dry needling" to their list of services, just five months after New Jersey officials ruled the increasingly popular pain-relief technique was not within their professional scope of practice and should be left to acupuncturists.

On Thursday a Senate committee is scheduled to consider legislation that would expand the list of licensed physical therapy treatments to allow these professionals to legally offer the practice, a technique that is similar to acupuncture and involves using small needles to pierce the skin and stimulate "trigger points" in muscles.

Acupuncture, based on ancient Chinese principles, involves using these needles in many of the same regions of the body to activate nerve impulses to reduce pain or address other conditions, including complex issues like depression, addiction, and obesity. (Both procedures involve needles that are hollow-tipped but "dry," in that they do not contain any injections.)

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