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Practice Briefing on Dry-Needling Techniques in Osteopathic Practice

12 February 2015

Osteopathy Australia released and published a Practice briefing on dry-needling and acupuncture related needling techniques in osteopathic practice. The Briefing is available from Association’s website in the members’ area. It is intended as a members’ resource designed to support safe needling techniques in osteopathic practice through applying a risk management approach and helping osteopaths comply with regulatory requirements. This briefing references relevant journal articles relating to safety and will be subject to periodic revision as the knowledge base develops.

In 2011 the Osteopathy Australia undertook a comprehensive survey of its membership on the use of dry-needling and acupuncture related needling techniques in osteopathic practice with approximately 40% of members using such techniques. The format and extent of training in needling techniques that osteopaths have undertaken varies greatly, as does the variety of approaches to needling techniques employed in practice. There are wide range of principles used for selecting the point for inserting the needle and a lack of a common language amongst the exponents of needling techniques to describe the modality. It is thus a challenge to produce guidelines for this area of practice.

In order to obtain informed consent the patient needs to understand what the proposed needling treatment involves. Explanations to patients are embedded in the osteopath’s wider clinical reasoning and when discussing risk it needs to be specific to the site being needled and the patient being treated.

Patient safety is the paramount consideration and it is important for osteopaths to reflect on their level of training and competence in the use of needling techniques.


Osteopathy Australia

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