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Archive for 2012

Happy Holidays and Thank You!

Ann Profile

winter holiday wallpapers 10474 1600x1200 Happy Holidays and Thank You!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to take a moment and say thank you for a successful 2012! Prana Physical Therapy would not be what it is today without your participation and support.

A little over a year ago I walked away from a steady job to follow my dream of partnering with motivated individuals to provide personalized, quality care. In one year, I went from an empty schedule to reaching my target goal of patients per week, all while running a 100% cash based practice. This is nothing short of a miracle, and happened largely because of the amazing people that chose me as their provider.

My practice has grown to include not only physical therapy, but also wellness services, nutrition and lifestyle consulting, mentoring and business consulting, writing, and presenting at conferences. I am excited and passionate about going to work every day, and I continue to meet amazing people every day through this work.

I wish you a healthy, joyful holiday season, and look forward to helping you achieve YOUR dreams in 2013!

Be well!

Ann

IF YOU HAD ANY DOUBT…

cutcaster-photo-100895961-Stop-Bullying

Since I posted my last article explaining the importance of supporting physical therapists in Maryland around the challenge to their state practice act, there has been a lot of discussion in social media regarding the dry needling issue. Detractors of dry needling seized this opportunity to launch yet another attack on the technique, with the same old arguments. My response on Twitter in particular has been to get across the message that whether or not you accept the evidence behind the use of dry needling, this is about an issue bigger than arguing the research behind one particular technique.

THIS IS ABOUT SUPPORTING COLLEAGUES IN OUR OWN PROFESSION AS THEY FIGHT AGAINST THE ABILITY OF OUTSIDE INTERESTS TO DICTATE OUR STATE PRACTICE ACT!

Did that come across loud and clear?

Make no mistake, the Maryland Acupuncture Society has sent out an alert nationwide to other state chapters encouraging acupuncturists to send letters to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They are encouraging their members to write letters to influence the decision being made. Don’t believe me? You can see it right here:

http://bit.ly/QyTJox

The problem is that they are asking for letters of support based on faulty information and confusion of the issue, as seen from direct excerpts of their letter to the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners:

“As licensed acupuncturists are already extensively and competently trained and duly licensed to employ the use of this procedure in their daily treatment of patients, MAS holds that there is little to no public need established to justify allowing physical therapists to conduct this invasive procedure with such minimal requirements for competent education, training, and regulatory monitoring as these regulations would allow. For these reason, we strongly suggest that these regulations be withdrawn for consideration until such time as they can be amended to more than meet the minimum standards as recommended by the Attorney General.”

The AG, unfortunately, is lumping the use of dry needling by physical therapists together with physician training for medical acupuncture, which requires 230 hours of training. Since dry needling and medical acupuncture are two different things, and physical therapists already have such a strong education in the assessment and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, these recommendations are absurd.

Additionally, the MAS states that:

“Of greatest concern to Maryland Acupuncture Society is the unwillingness of the PT Board to police its own licensees during this process. Physical therapists continue to offer and advertise dry needling services throughout the state. There are three courses offered in Maryland by three different organizations – all of which instruct their attendees that they will be able to immediately perform this treatment. The courses are 12 hours, 24.5 hours and 135 hours respectively – all falling short of the minimum 200 hours of training required of a physician performing the same treatment.”

Again, the training for dry needling doesn’t “fall short” of the training for physicians who are performing medical acupuncture – they are two different treatments. Same tool, completely different treatment.

The above statement is also false because the course on dry needling that is 12 hours is a course taught by a chiropractor for other chiropractors. The requirement for chiropractors to perform this technique in Maryland is apparently 12 hours. This is NOT the course that is taken by physical therapists, and it is misleading to acupuncturists and to the public for the MAS to make this statement. It is completely false.

The deceit behind this initiative makes my blood boil. I hate lies. I hate it that the MAS is manipulating their members and the general public based on false statements. I also hate it that another profession believes they have the right to dictate what should be included in the physical therapy practice act of the state of Maryland.

I have no issue with acupuncture, and no interest in trying to dictate how acupuncturists perform acupuncture; after all, I don’t know enough about it to form a well thought out opinion. But, after spending 10 years in school to become a physical therapist (4 undergrad, 3 working full time to take prerequisites, and 3 full time grad school), and after 14 years of practice, and 104 hours of post graduate training to perform trigger point dry needling, I am really certain that I can safely perform this treatment technique as part of my overall patient treatment.

So, regardless of your personal opinion on the research behind dry needling, understand that the APTA has come out with a position paper in support of the use of dry needling. Understand that physical therapists in Maryland have been safely performing dry needling since 1987, with no adverse effects or safety concerns reported to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. And make no mistake that the MAS is seeking to dictate what we as physical therapists can do in the treatment of our patients.

If you think this doesn’t apply to you, just think about how you would feel if there was a challenge against your state practice act calling into question your ability to safely use exercise in your treatment plan. Or another form of manual therapy. Or taping. Or patient education. Or neuro re-education.

Food for thought.

 

Immediate Action Needed!

Ann Profile

Immediate action needed!

The Board of Acupuncture in the State of Maryland is demanding unreasonable regulations and educational requirements for physical therapists utilizing trigger point dry needling as part of their practice. Dry needling has been included in the physical therapy practice act in Maryland since 1984. The Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners has been patiently working with the Board of Acupuncture to resolve this issue; however, their work is in jeopardy of being undone if feedback from the public is not received by September 28.

This is important because we can bet that it will happen in other states if this Board of Acupuncture initiative is successful in Maryland.

Let your voice be heard – demand that physical therapists retain the right to use dry needling in their scope of practice!

Information via Kineticore’s website about background and what to do:

http://bit.ly/OPbCPw 

Information from the State of Maryland about what to do, with email addresses, fax numbers and phone numbers to let your voice be heard:

http://1.usa.gov/So7TYQ

Template of letter to email, fax, or snail mail:

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please help in showing support for the Board of Physical Therapy and the right of qualified PTs to perform this technique. We need individuals (both PTs, patients, and even other providers) to submit written comments via email or hard copy letter to the Secretary of Health.

 

Step 1.  Draft your comment letter.  Please see the below template and suggested talking points.  It is vital that comment letters stress the advantages to public health of physical therapists performing dry needling. In addition comment letters need to emphasize that the proposed training and safeguards by the Board of Physical Therapy are more than adequate to ensure safe practice.

 

Step 2.  Submit your comment letter.  Send comment via email to: regs@dhmh.state.md.us

Or mail them to:

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Attn: Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination

201 W. Preston St., Room 512

Baltimore, MD     21201

 

Step 3. Please be sure to send a copy of your comment letter to APTA of Maryland at: aptamd@gmail.com

 

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28.

 

Again, even if you do not personally perform dry needling, it is imperative that we show our support for our PT colleagues that do perform it!  We encourage you to submit letters of support to the Secretary of Health’s office before the deadline of September 28.

 

Thank you for your support and dedication to the PT profession!

 

APTA of Maryland

 

 

TEMPLATE AND SUGGESTED POINTS FOR COMMENTS

 

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Attn: Michele Phinney, Director

Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination

201 W. Preston St., Room 512

Baltimore, MD     21201

 

Re:  Proposed regulations on dry needling

 

Dear Secretary Scharfstein,

 

As a licensed physical therapist and resident of the state of Maryland, I strongly urge you to allow the proposed Board of Physical Therapy regulations on dry needling be allowed to move forward in the regulatory process.  I strongly support the ability of qualified licensed physical therapists to perform the technique of dry needling in Maryland, and believe that the proposed regulations ensure public protection, and will benefit patients.

 

Personalize the letter – explain briefly who you are, where you practice, and where in Maryland you live or work. If you perform dry needling, explain the benefits that your patients have seen from it.  

 

Use four to five of the following suggested talking points; be sure to personalize your letter by adding your own information, experiences, and opinion:

 

  • The proposed regulations are more than adequate to ensure public protection and the safe performance of dry needling by qualified physical therapists.  They are more stringent and prescriptive than any other regulations governing PTs and dry needling in the country.

 

  • The Board of Physical Therapy went through a thorough process to formulate the proposed regulations.  The Board of Physical Therapy formed a special task force to gain input from stakeholders and other providers – including acupuncturists. The proposed regulations are a compromise that provide for public safety while also ensuring PTs meet tough standards. Given all the time and work that the Board did to formulate the proposed regulations, I am concerned that the current opposition to them is nothing more than smokescreen meant to undermine the ability of PTs to perform dry needling.

 

  • Physical therapists are not performing acupuncture, nor will they claim to be acupuncturists. The technique of dry needling is not ‘owned’ by any one profession.  Qualified licensed physical therapists who meet the proposed tough standards will utilize dry needling within the scope of physical therapy practice, as part of a PT plan of care. 

 

  • Concerns that PTs will use dry needling for conditions like mood disorders is unwarranted, as treating mood disorders is not within the PT scope of practice. The proposed regulations even state that PTs may NOT utilize dry needling for the purposes of detoxification, smoking cessation, or stress relief.

 

  • PTs will not advertise or hold themselves out to the public as performing acupuncture; physical therapists must utilize the regulatory designation of “PT” and can only claim to provide physical therapy or physiotherapy.

 

  • This is NOT a scope of practice issue – Dry needling has been within the scope of practice for Maryland physical therapists for many years, and was confirmed by the Maryland Attorney General.  The proposed regulations simply ensure that all physical therapists who perform this technique meet the same criteria. 

 

  • The advantages of PTs performing dry needling to the public health are numerous – it is an effective technique utilized by PTs across the country that has been shown to greatly assist the patients we serve for a variety of movement impairments, and neuromusculoskeletal pain within the scope of PT practice. Dry needling by PTs ensures patients in Maryland have CHOICE and ACCESS to the care that they need.

 

  • The training and safeguard proposed by the Board of Physical Therapy are VERY stringent and more than adequate to ensure public protection.  The proposed regulations state that a PT must have at least 2 years of clinical experience just to qualify.  Plus the proposed regulations require 230 hours of instruction – 80 hours of which are very prescriptive and detailed on the theory and application of dry needling PLUS another 50 hours of practice hands-on experience. 

 

  • The performance of modern dry needling by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Physical therapists that perform dry needling do not use traditional acupuncture theories or acupuncture terminology.  The opposition by acupuncturists to the proposed board regulations governing the performance of the technique of dry needling by qualified physical therapists is unwarranted given the differences between the profession of acupuncture and the profession of physical therapy.

 

Again, I strongly urge you to allow the proposed regulations from the Board of Physical Therapy to move forward in the regulatory process.  Thank you for your consideration and for the opportunity to comment on this important issue to the PT profession and the patients we serve.

 

Sincerely,

 

What PT’s do

pt-meme

pt meme 300x225 What PTs do

Just a funny meme to start off the weekend! We had a great #socialortho chat (if you’re on Twitter, check it out!) the other night about preventing provider burnout, and the subject of documentation came up over and over. I will be doing a post on this soon – but for now, enjoy your weekend! (image via WebPT.com)

 

 

 

 

Power Supply – Delicious Paleo Meals

photo 3

In keeping with the theme of building community, I wanted to let all of you local DC/MD/VA readers know about a fantastic company right in our area, called Power Supply.

I was fortunate enough to meet Robert Morton (and business partner Patrick Smith) at AHS12. Through our conversation, I realized they were the geniuses behind the company Power Supply, which provides delicious Paleo meals delivered to over 20 local Crossfit gyms.

They describe the company as: “Two guys whose lives were changed by Crossfit/Paleo, a whole bunch of energy for helping others see the same results we did, a total jedi chef and awesome support from the local CrossFit community… that’s the ingredient list for Power Supply.”

Their chef, Rachelle Slotnik (a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Dave’s Alma Matter), prepares healthy gluten, grain, legume, seed oil free meals which are delivered twice a week to local Crossfit gyms for pick up during the gym’s business hours. Non Crossfitters can utilize this meal service, too.

This is a great idea for folks who don’t like to/want to/have time to cook every day, as well as families who want to have a few quick, easy, healthy meals in the refrigerator for busy week night dinners. I highly encourage you to check out their website to learn more about how this works. With back to school chaos right around the corner, I know that our household will benefit from having prepared, fresh, healthy meals on hand that Dave doesn’t have to cook and I don’t have to clean up!

photo 34 300x221 Power Supply   Delicious Paleo Meals

Robert (2nd from left, back row, next to Dave) and Patrick (2nd row, far right) with the DC Crew at AHS.

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