California court Issues Temporary Injunction Stopping Companies from Dry Needling in CA following CSM 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (206) 856-9737
California Court Issues Temporary Injunction Stopping Companies from “Dry Needling” in California and Enjoining
Sales of “Myotech Dry Needles”
Orange County, CA – Late last week, the Orange County Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order against several out-of-state companies and their owners after plans surfaced that they intended to insert acupuncture needles and distribute acupuncture needle samples at a physical therapy conference in Anaheim, California. The Defendants lacked state licensure as acupuncturists or medical doctors and were not registered under California’s Pharmacy Law. Kinetacore, a main Defendant in the case, engages in training workshops marketed primarily to physical therapists for what they refer to as “dry needling.” US Dry Needling, another main Defendant in the case, sells acupuncture needles under the brand name “Myotech Dry Needles,” while failing to identify the needles as acupuncture needles. Dry needling is highly controversial since it involves the insertion of FDA-regulated acupuncture needles through the skin and into acupuncture points, which are located in muscles or connective tissue, for therapeutic purposes by physical therapists or chiropractors who can have as little as a weekend of training in acupuncture.
Those practicing “dry needling” claim that they are not practicing “acupuncture” and, therefore, are not required to comply with the strict state safety, training, and licensing requirements that apply to the practice of acupuncture. California acupuncturists, for example, are required to have at least 3,000 hours of formal training in acupuncture, whereas Kinetacore’s weekend “certification” workshop in “dry needling” is just 27 hours. There have been a number of high-profile injuries in recent years where physical therapists or chiropractors have punctured the lungs of their patients upon incorrectly inserting acupuncture needles. Courts in Washington and Oregon have permanently enjoined physical therapists and chiropractors, respectively, from practicing “dry needling” by finding it was outside their legal scopes of practice.
“The insertion of acupuncture needles by physical therapists or other persons who have little or no training in the safe and effective use of acupuncture needles constitutes a significant threat to public safety,” says Dr. Amy Matecki, who is the medical director for the International Center for Integrative Medicine, which filed the lawsuit last week. “Physical therapists are not trained in the safe use of acupuncture needles and are not legally authorized to use acupuncture needles in the State of California.”
The lawsuit was filed by the International Center for Integrative Medicine in Oakland, California, and alleges that plans by Kinetacore’s owner, Edo Zylstra, to insert acupuncture needles as a part of a dry needling demonstration violates California’s Acupuncture Licensure Act and Medical Practice Act. The case challenges plans by US Dry Needling and its owners, Paul Killoren, Austin Woods, and Edo Zylstra, to distribute samples and accept on-line sales of the “Myotech Dry Needle,” which is an acupuncture needle. The lawsuit also alleges that distribution of such needles constitutes a violation of California’s Pharmacy Law.
A copy of the injunction can be found here (http://docdro.id/Kuk6GiY). And a copy of the argument in support of the injunction can be found here (http://docdro.id/kaizQ5P).
The temporary restraining order will stay in effect until mid-March, when the court will consider issuing a preliminary injunction that would continue the injunctive relief until the case can be decided on.
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