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I have been a massage therapist for almost 5 years now and my body is falling apart due to a lot of things but I would love to continue doing body work and have had huge results when receiving trigger point acupuncture and would love to provide that for my clients who have problem areas.
Does anyone know if we as Licensed Massage Therapist can do dry needling, or if that is for PTs and Chiropractors only?
Absolutely not - "dry needling" is acupuncture and only acupuncturists can do acupuncture, along with chiropractors in some states. I was never heard that PT's were doing it - where?
I do not believe as a Massage Therapist that it is within our scope of practice! I could be wrong, I have been before!
I have actually seen certification classes in Dry Needling, being offered to massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, etc. Even so, if you took one of these classes you still may not be able to use this in your practice.
You need to check with Your State Board to find out what certifications you would have to have. In some states it actually falls into another board for medical professionals so you may need to check with them also. Everyone on here can give you their opinion, but your state board is the only one that can give you the latest information according to your state laws
You may also want to look into classes for Acupressure! Acupressure utilizes the same principals as acupuncture without the needles.
Biggest thing is, take the time, maybe an hour, an entire day or even a week and do your own research to find the answer!
And for Kathleen, Yes there are some states that actually do allow Physical Therapists to perform dry needling. It just depends on whether or not the PT choses to take the certification class and use it or not. I can drive to Charlotte, NC to a PT and have it done.
I did quite a bit of research yesterday but I wasn't able to find if it was allowed in Texas for LMTs. I wanted the needles because my body is starting to hurt and I would love to get the trigger points with minimal effort, which seems to be what dry needling does. I'm pretty bummed it doesn't fall under our scope since it is muscular and deals with trigger points, But I'll ask my state board directly thank you for your advice.
Don't give up on it.
Acupressure does the same thing and is within our scope of practice! There are also tools you can purchase from Massage Warehouse that will take the strain off of your thumbs. I had a lady do this on me several months ago and it relieved the pain that I'd had in my neck and shoulders for months.
Don't forget arms and shins. I don't like the loss of direct touch with tools. Although I use a roller instead of hands for lymphatic drainage.
I know that at least in GA and in CO, PTs are allowed to perform dry needling.
Dry needling is a western concept of utilizing the acupuncture needles, and some acupuncture organizations voice their concerns over the spread of it among non-acupuncturists, I.e. PTs and DCs.
iStop.org is in Canada and does seem to let MTs take the course.
Dr. Ma in CO and Dr. Dommerholt's myopainseminars seminars in MD does not list MTs as eligible to take classes, which is a bummer. If I am correct, as an MT, puncturing of the skin is not under the scope of my practice, unfortunately, which means we' re not allowed to perform dry needling as of now.
I fully understand the concern of wanting to protect our fingers and joints, and be able to find effective tools. Feet are great tools and I hope Barefeet Sport or Fijian Massage and those will gain more acceptance from clients. I already worry about my joints, and I only got licensed in Late March. I am hoping to start selling myself as a therapist that works primarily with feet and tools rather than hands.
Massage Therapists are not allowed to go below the dermis of the skin. Dry needling is considered below the dermis.
From an article I found online:
Dry needling is practiced by physical therapists in many countries, including South Africa, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, physical therapists in several states perform the technique including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Physical therapists are prohibited from penetrating the skin or specifically from practicing dry needling in California, Hawaii, New York, and Florida, though many states have no regulations on dry needling. Additionally, chiropractors are legally allowed to practice dry needling in many states including Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
But why do dry needling when trigger point therapy is every bit as effective for pain relief and a helluva lot less bother. Anything that invades the skin can potentially cause infections, etc.
Massage Therapists generally are not allowed to do anything that penetrates the dermis. Add to that the fact that most classes on dry needling will only accept people who are already licensed for acupuncture, chiropractic (some states) and nurses (some states), just getting the proper training would be very tough.
As for personal pains, in addition to using trigger point, I'd like to suggest that you look into adding cold laser. I wish therapists in my state could license for it, I'd add it in a heartbeat. A few chiropractors use it, and it's very effective, especially for deep healing. Look up K-Line lasers, i think they have a list of qualified offices on their website.