In other news —

I participate in conversations on various listserves and I often touch on topics I would like to share here, but don’t have time to flesh into a full post or make a proper introduction. I’m going to go for content over polishing and am hoping you all can manage to pick it up on the fly (which is how it was written) —

This is from a thread that began in response to the SNL acupuncture skit.  Some colleagues were upset that it would scare people away from acupuncture, which led to posts about how practitioners already have to reassure potential clients that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, which led to posts pointing out that sometimes acupuncture does hurt, which led to this post (slightly edited, and with some formatting issues I can’t correct. Sorry.) —

This makes me think of the conversations I have with acupuncturists about TPDN.  Often one concern is that “dry needling” is acupuncture and we acupuncturists are the best trained people to be doing this technique.  Another concern is that people go to PT’s and have this treatment and it hurts and then they think that acupuncture hurts.  Among the things I usually ask when I’m in this dialogue —
1)  Did you learn this technique in acupuncture school and were you using it regularly?  (I was not taught it at TAI and from the conversations I’ve had NESA Tri-State is the only [US] school where most students were learning the technique prior to when LAcs felt threatened by the PT’s “stealing” it.)
2)  If you used this technique didn’t you notice that it is painful even when done by an LAc?  After all, you are sticking needles into a tender spot and lifting and thrusting until the muscle releases.
3)  Since when are we guaranteeing that our treatments will be pain free?  Is this something we want to start regulating — if it hurts you can’t do it?
4)  If this technique is uncomfortable and gives people the wrong impression about acupuncture, why are we insisting that the PT’s use that term?  If you want consumers to think of acupuncture as pleasant and painless, isn’t it better to call this technique dry needling?
That’s this afternoon’s contribution to “In other news.”  Just some things to think about.