The training for dry needling is vastly different than the training for acupuncture. Many physical therapists who practice dry needling take a single weekend course consisting of just over 100 hours of training and 0 clinical hours. In NY, acupuncturists must complete at least 600 hours of training and at least 650 clinical hours.
It is also worth noting that in the State of New York, dry needling is specifically excluded from the Physical Therapy scope of practice, which means that it cannot be legally performed.
In general, the answer to this is no. Practitioners should take into account the medications that you are currently taking and devise treatments that will not interfere. This is especially true when prescribing herbal formulas or when patients are taking medications that affect blood coagulation such as heparin.
It is possible that as a result of treatment by Chinese medicine, medication doses may need to be adjusted. Many patients report changes in their lab values and a need to reduce medications that they are taking after receiving treatment from a Chinese medical practitioner. Patients should always consult their physician when adjusting the dosage of medications or when considering whether to continue taking pharmaceuticals.
panorama_fish_eye What training and certification are required to practice the use of Chinese herbs in the United States?
This is a complex issue that has two main issues that need to be addressed. There are two main categories of herbs that require consideration. The first are herbs that have inherent toxicity. The second are herbs that acquire toxicity through poor agricultural practices such as pesticides or heavy metal infiltration due to improper processing.
Some herbs (like some Western pharmaceuticals) have a natural inherent toxicity. Some herbs can be toxic if prepared incorrectly or if combined with the wrong substances. We have extensive training in the use of herbs that have toxicity and understand how to prescribe them safely, as well as how to instruct patients about what negative side effects to watch out for.
As for herbs that have acquired toxicity, we strive to avoid these herbs at all cost. In order to prevent this issue, we obtain our herbs from companies that do rigorous testing on the herbs that they import and certify that those herbs do not have toxicity issues. We also seek out sources of organically farmed herbs whenever possible. Even though this may increase the cost of some of our herbs, we feel it is important to use the highest quality herbs whenever possible to protect the health of our patients.