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FAN Arthur Yin1,2, XU Jun1,3, and LI Yong-ming1,3. Evidence and Expert Opinions: Dry Needling versus Acupuncture (Ⅲ) —The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016. Chin J Integr Med 2017 Mar;23(3):163-165

©The Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017
1. American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety,Greenwich, Connecticut (06878), U.S.A.; 2. American Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, Vienna, Virginia (22182), U.S.A.; 3. American Acupuncture Association of Greater New York, New York, (10016), U.S.A.
Correspondence to: Dr. FAN Arthur Yin, Tel: 1-703-499-4428, E-mail: ArthurFan@ChineseMedicineDoctor.US   DOI: 10.1007/s11655-017-2542-x
Dry Needling Facts AAPAS White Paper (3) In the United States and other Western countries, dry needling (DN) has been a disputed topic in academic and legal fields. This White Paper is to provide the authoritative information that DN is acupuncture to academic scholars, healthcare professionals, administrators, policymakers, and the general public by demonstrating the authoritative evidence and expertise regarding critical issues of DN and reaching a consensus. We conclude that DN is not merely a technique but a medical therapy and a form of acupuncture practice. It is a form of over-simplified acupuncture, an invasive procedure, and is not in the practice scope of physical therapists (PTs). DN has been “developed” simply by replacing acupuncture terms and promoted by acupuncturists, medical doctors, and researchers, and it was not initiated by PTs. In order to promote DN theory and business, some commercial DN educators have recruited a large number of non-acupuncturists, including in PTs, as students and customers in recent years. The national organizations of PT profession, such as American Physical Therapy
Association (APTA) and Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), started to support the practice of DN by PTs around 2010. Currently, there are probably more PTs involved DN practice and teaching than any other specialties. In most states, licensed acupuncturists are required to attain an average of 3,000 educational hours via an accredited school or program before they can apply for a license. The physician or medical acupuncturists are required to get a minimum of an additional 300 educational hours in a board-approved acupuncture training institution and have 500 cases of clinical acupuncture treatments in order to be certified in medical acupuncture. However, a
typical DN education course run only 20–30 h, often one weekend, and the participants may receive “DN certificate” without any examination. For patients’ safety and professional integrity, we strongly suggest that all DN practitioners and educators should have met the minimal standards required for licensed acupuncturists or physicians.
KEYWORDS dry needling, acupuncture, physical therapist, rebrand, education, regulation, evidence, expertise, consensus

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