What is the Current Status of Dry Needling in Washington State?

Let’s start with some good news:

On May 1, 2023, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State signed Second Substitute House Bill No. 1039 into law, which will allow physical therapists to perform intramuscular needling (aka dry needling). The Primary Sponsor of the bill was Rep. Macri.

Does that mean that physical therapists in Washington can start dry needling?

Unfortunately, the answer is “not quite yet…..” You may ask, why not, and that is a fair question. Even though the bill adds a new section authorizing physical therapists to perform intramuscular needling, each therapist must first receive an “endorsement, ” which is why it will still take some time. The Washington Board of Physical Therapy will work with the Department of Health to implement rules to establish the license endorsement. For some reason, that process may take 12 to 18 months to complete, and in the meantime, intramuscular needling cannot be performed by any physical therapist in Washington.

However, physical therapists can start their dry needling education already to add dry needling to their practices right away once they receive their endorsement from the PT Board.

Even though some DN continuing education companies are implying in their advertising that they meet all the requirements in Washington, the truth is that while the rulemaking process is still in progress, no education company can claim that their DN courses have been approved.

While we also do not know whether our DN courses will meet the new rules, our courses have always been approved in every jurisdiction in the world where we applied! If for some reason part of our DN program would not meet the new regulations, Myopain Seminars will make any adjustment necessary and get you ready to start adding dry needling to your practice.

Note:  The APTA of Washington recently issued a press release that erroneously stated that DN reviewers need to be licensed in Washington State, which is not true!

Jan Dommerholt, PT, DPT, President/CEO, Myopain Seminars

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