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MAS Public Relations
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is October 24th
It is estimated that as many as 43% of Americans have used or are currently using some form of complementary or alternative therapy such as acupuncture or Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, officially observed on October 24, is part of an effort to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. In recognition of this fact and in support of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, an acupuncturist in your area is sponsoring a free lecture.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is supported through a unique international partnership of organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The partnership includes professional associations, research organizations and educational institutions.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day Events:
DATE AND TIME OF EVENTS:
Past Celebration of AOM Awareness Day: October 24th, 2010
State associations and practitioners across the country worked to increase public awareness of acupuncture and oriental medicine on annual AOM Awareness Day, celebrated on Oct. 24th, 2010.
MAS sought to increase public awareness by sending AOM awareness press releases to local magazines and newspapers.
We also received the above public service announcement videos from our national acupuncture community. We encourage our members to distribute this video on their personal websites and email marketing to current clients.
There are lots of ways to celebrate! Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper explaining the benefits of acupuncture, creating posters or flyers for current patients to distribute to their friends, asking your patients for testimonials that you can share on your website, or even offering a special AOM Awareness Day free introductory or group treatment to your community!
To get more great ideas of how you can increase AOM Awareness in your community, visit the AOM Day Official Website at http://www.aomday.org.
MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL DECLARES DRY NEEDLING NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED IN PHYSICAL THERAPY STATUTES
Urges Physical Therapy Board to adopt rigorous standards of education and training for its licensees
August 17, 2010 (Annapolis): The Maryland Office of the Attorney General released its opinion today regarding the inclusion of dry needling under the scope of practice for physical therapists, stating that the Physical Therapy Board did not follow proper administrative procedures when it informally allowed its licensees to perform this act and therefore the statement that this procedure was within the scope of practice was without legal effect.
“This opinion serves to protect the health interests of Maryland citizens by assuring that physical therapists seeking to utilize the effective incorporation of needles for treatment of pain relief are held to the same rigorous standard of training and education as those other health professionals in the state authorized to offer this same technique,” said Tracy Soltesz, president of the Maryland Acupuncture Society (MAS).
Previously, the Maryland Board of Acupuncture (the Board) received a complaint that an acupuncturist was performing a physical therapy technique known as “dry needling”. In investigating this complaint, the Board determined that no substantive difference existed between that of acupuncture and dry needling. The Board therefore requested an opinion from the Attorney General to determine if the Physical Therapy Board had acted outside its authority by informally stating that physical therapists were permitted to use this technique because it was not specifically excluded from the regulating statute.
In a letter responding to the Attorney General's call for public comment on the issue, MAS stated: “We are deeply concerned by the lack of any common standard of training, education or required display of competency required in order for physical therapists and chiropractors within the state of Maryland to perform this invasive technique that is not included in the physical therapy scope of practice.”
The Attorney General agreed, stating in the opinion: “The Physical Therapy Board's informal statement that dry needling is consistent with the practice of physical therapy does not carry the force of law, as it is not a regulation adopted pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act.” The opinion went on to clarify: “In order to adopt a policy concerning dry needling that has legal effect, the Physical Therapy Board must undertake a rulemaking process … Any such process should consider standards of education and training that presumably would be at least as strict as those set by the Legislature for physicians who use acupuncture needles for similar therapeutic purpose.”
As noted in the opinion, Maryland requires that medical doctors wishing to use such acupuncture techniques as dry needling to obtain a minimum 200 hours of specified training in addition to completing a specific registration with their own medical board once completing this training. Licensed acupuncturists must undergo a graduate level education program typically consisting of 3000 hours of training and register for licensing through the Board of Acupuncture.
In contrast, physical therapists are not required by their Board to obtain any specified standard of training. “To date, it appears that no accredited physical therapy program teaches this coursework,” Soltesz explained. “The most extensive coursework available to these two health occupations seems to be a 52 hour course offered as a continuing education unit for already licensed professionals. Some courses offered in Maryland are merely one weekend’s worth of coursework, offering only 12 approved continuing education units to the participant and claiming that the practitioner will finish the weekend immediately able to use this technique on patients.”
The most notable opposition to physical therapists and chiropractors performing dry needling comes from The National Chiropractic Council (NCC). The NCC is the nation’s oldest chiropractic risk purchasing group, housed in California, which purchases physical therapy malpractice insurance on a group basis for its members.
In a letter concerning the subject, written in November 2009, NCC stated: “It is impossible to determine what is considered 'qualified education and experience' in dry needling. As stated above, to allow physical therapists to use needles on patients without sufficient training … constitutes a public health hazard (12).”
MAS board members are available to speak on acupuncture. To arrange for a speaker, email the following board members:
The following ads have been placed in local papers and magazines (Click on the images to see the ads in their full glory using adobe acrobat.):