Dear Senator Messmer:
Thank you for taking interest in the consideration of the practice of acupuncture as affected by HB 1384. The American Society of Acupuncturists is the largest national association of Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. We have dealt with this issue extensively, and have learned much. A few points are clear – Dry Needling is merely an acupuncture technique. It is not a stand-alone practice, and its definition as anything but a form of acupuncture is incorrect. In many states, now Indiana, various licensure groups have been working to skirt existing acupuncture practice laws by framing “Dry Needling” as a distinct, non-acupuncture modality. In reality, these groups are using textbooks such as “Biomedical Acupuncture” by Yun Tao Mahttps://www.elsevier.com/books/biomedical-acupuncture-for-pain-management/ma/978-1-4557-3402-3. They also have not standardized any curriculum for Dry Needling, nor have they developed an independent testing protocol to assure objective minimal competency prior to practice on the public. If Dry Needling were to be approved, we urge you to define it very clearly. Illinios recently went through this process, and my serve as an example.
Allowing Dry Needling into the scope for Chiropractors is allowing acupuncture in every practical sense. 200 hours to practice an invasive procedure, as the current Indiana requirements outline, is still an extremely low bar to set for this invasive practice, defined as a surgical technique in Indiana. This move to lessen the hours further through this newly proposed loophole is unnecessary. It creates a false dichotomy between Acupuncture and Dry Needling, and makes existing laws put into place for the safety of the public impotent. We urge you to remove this language from HB 1384.
Thank you for your kind consideration, and it may be helpful to reference our organizational statement on Dry Needling, which can be found athttp://www.asacu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/American-Society-of-Acupuncturists-Position-on-Dry-Needling-_9_14_16.pdf.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if we can be of further assistance. Jennifer Stone, LAc is our representative in Indiana, and has been the primary connection and representative to the acupuncture community there. She also is an excellent source of information.
David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists