Legislative Alert HB 1039 – Physical therapists performing intramuscular needling!

Categories: Legislation
Published: January 4, 2023

Legislative Alert: HB 1039 – The profession of acupuncture and Eastern medicine needs your help!

HB 1039 has been pre-filed for the 2023 Legislative Session that starts on January 9th, 2023. Please start contacting your local legislators ASAP as this bill may be heard by the House Health Care Committee early in the legislative session.

WAEMA is opposed to low training standards for professions who want to do “dry needling” also known as intramuscular needling. This bill proposes only 150 hours of training for a physical therapist (PTs) to perform dry needling on a patient with just 25 hours of supervised patient contact.

Please let your legislators know that PTs need a higher level of training to perform acupuncture on their patients. Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Practitioners have a minimum of 2,000 hours of training to needle a patient with acupuncture needles. Patient safety is a high priority and we want to assure adequate training is involved if this becomes part of their current scope of practice.

To find out who your local legislators are please go to: Find Your District and enter in your home address. The names of your two state House of Representatives and Senator will pop up with their contact information. Please send them an email or call their office with your concerns. You can also schedule an appointment with them to talk virtually or in-person.

Time is of the essence! The PTs are already working hard to get this added to their scope of practice now that Representative Cody is retired and no longer presents strong opposition to the bill.

Thanks for your immediate attention in this matter! It will take all of us speaking out on this topic to stop physical therapists from adding acupuncture to their scope of practice with inadequate training.


Chaiya Sherman, DAOM, LAc
President, Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association
Chaiya Elisabeth Sherman, DAOM, LAc
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
President, Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association