Posted on February 6, 2019 by Chapter Staff
Originally Published in HAPTA’s e-Newsletter, What’s HAPTAnin’ – February 2019

Legislation has been introduced on behalf of HAPTA that would allow PTs in Hawaii to use dry needling and would also specify that “promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations” is part of the definition of physical therapy in Hawaii. Introduced by Senator Rosalyn Baker and Representative John Mizuno, SB547 / HB701 await hearing in their respective committees.

Since testimony may only be submitted after bill hearings have been scheduled, testimony should be submitted at least 24 hours before the hearing or it will be marked as late, and the hearings are usually scheduled and announced just a couple of days before they will occur – we encourage you to sign up for alerts and get your testimony ready beforehand.

Here are the steps to take:
Step 1: Head to and click on Hearing Notification.
Step 2: Create an account or log in.
Step 3: Choose Hearing Notification again. Under Subscribe by Measure, add two alert subscriptions – one for HB701 and one for SB547. You will see the two bills show up in a list below. Choose Save and Exit.
Step 4: Create your own personalized testimony. Feel free to use talking points below, as well as this sample template letter.
Step 5: When you receive the hearing notice, click the Submit your Testimony link at

If you are able to, please also include a personal story about you or a patient that would illustrate the benefits of dry needling.

Some talking points for testimony:

  • The American Physical Therapy Association advocates for the development and promotion of best practices in prevention, health promotion and wellness for all individuals and populations. Over 25 states have updated their Physical Therapy Practice Act to reflect this movement.
  • Dry needling is a Western medicine technique that involves the insertion of a solid filament needle, without medication, through the skin into underlying tissue to treat neuromuscular conditions, pain, movement impairments and disability through myofascial trigger points, as described by Simons and Travell.
  • Dry needling is within the scope of physical therapy practice in all but seven states: California, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington.
  • Dry needling is safe when performed by physical therapists. In a study published in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in 2013, researchers reported that the risk of adverse effects of dry needling performed by physical therapists is less than 0.04 percent – lower than for common over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen.
  • According to an independent report commissioned by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and published in 2015, entry-level DPT programs provide more than four-fifths (86 percent) of the relevant knowledge requirements needed to be competent in dry needling.