Safety is Paramount
PHYSIOTHERAPY GUIDELINES FOR SAFE ACUPUNCTURE AND DRY NEEDLING PRACTICE
In 2006 various physiotherapists who lecture in the areas of Acupuncture or Dry Needling formed a committee to create a guideline for Australian physiotherapists. The guideline was produced under the banner of the Australian Society of Acupuncture Physiotherapists (ASAP) in 2007 and was revised by Paula Raymond-Yacoub and Leigh McCutcheon in 2013, and more recently in 2018 Leigh McCutcheon and Paula Raymond-Yacoub along with Tristan Chai reviewed and updated the guidline. It is designed to be used as a safe practice guide for physiotherapists practicing acupuncture or dry needling in Australia. Acupuncture practice by physiotherapists in Australia may include Traditional Acupuncture, Western Acupuncture or Dry Needling.
The guideline was constructed via consultation with various Australian and International acupuncture guidelines, including the minimum standards set by the International Acupuncture Association of Physical Therapists (IAAPT). The federal governments Infection Control Guidelines (2004) and the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) were also considered along with the injection guidelines within the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Immunisation Handbook (2003 and 2017), Hand Hygiene Australia (2013) and the Standards of Practice for Acupuncture: Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations (1990). Relevant journal based literature was also considered. The guidelines will be reviewed and revised by the ASAP as required.
It should be noted that individual states and territories around Australia will have varying guidelines on skin penetration and infection control and physiotherapists are urged to view the relevant information from their local and/or state governing bodies. Physiotherapists are also advised to refer to The Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019).