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2017 Summer Legislative Update

The PT's are up to their shenanigans again.

  • Now please, don't get me wrong; I respect the profession of Physical Therapy - but when rouge individuals, try to bully their way into our profession with such disrespect and blatant adulteration of our beautiful medicine, it makes my "tiger" come out! (born 1962, year of the tiger) Here’s what happened:

  • On August 4th, in a small, 4 member Board of PT meeting, with no consumer members, a decision was made 3/1 to issue a declaratory statement to allow dry needling by the PT seeking the statement.

  • This is one more step towards their national political agenda.

  • In Florida, they’ve tried to get legislative changes, but they were stopped every time. This has been an ongoing issue for several years. We are watching for any bills that include dry needling in the 2018 legislative session.

  • We must stay on the offensive with our grass-roots educational efforts so this gets shut down before it gets any more momentum in FL.

The Opioid Crisis - An educational need.

  • As our legislators look closely at this issue, Federal mandates are being made and as a profession, we really need to be at that table. The only way to get to the table, without millions in political dollars to spend, is to get out there as individual practitioners and educate our personal legislators! As pioneers in a profession that has been blazed by sheer will and perseverance, we don't have that super PAC somewhere that's paying for all the branding and advertising to sway public opinion. The only way it's going to get done is if WE do it TOGETHER! Too many people are falling victim to this crisis. Our medicine is the only thing out there that can address the entire problem; from addiction to pain to improved health and wellness. We need to let our politicians and policy makers know we have an answer!

It's time for everyone to step up and make a few legislator office visits per year. It's not that hard, it only takes an hour or so, and, you may even end up with a new patient!

Here's the bottom line - there's 2 ways to make political changes, take your pick and participate!

  1. MONEY - In order to go this route, we need to have A LOT of it - millions - to spend in a variety of areas including advertising and branding campaigns, lobbying services, political donations, and super PAC's. As a profession, we barely scrape by on people's good will. Our profession doesn't have big business behind it, so it struggles.

  2. GRASS ROOTS - We do have lots of this, but we need more since legislators come and go, and policy is always being modified. The good new is, I’ve watched the system work with political activism. You’d be surprised at how well received you will be visiting your legislator's office. I was at a meeting today with Congressman Gus Bilirakis’ Deputy Chief of Staff, and she was VERY interested in what acupuncture could offer veterans and the opioid crisis. This was a perfect opportunity to educate regarding licensing and certification standards. I always like to move the conversation from "acupuncture" to "Oriental Medicine" as a licensed form of primary healthcare, independent of Western Medicine.

There’s still a few weeks left before state and federal legislators go back, so send an email or make a quick call and see if you can set up an appointment to just visit! Make sure to tell them you are a constituent!

Here's the Florida government web sites to look up your legislator.

Have a beautiful rest of your summer, and until next time, be well!

Dr. Mary Riggin, LAc, DAc, AP, DOM

President, Florida Society for Doctors of Oriental Medicine

"Protecting Florida's Acupuncture Licensing Law - FS457"

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