Dry Needling


The SCPT Regulatory Bylaws define specialized physical therapy procedures to include dry needling, and section 18 of those bylaws prohibits members from performing dry needling unless they have completed an educational program recognized by the council. Part of the requirement included in the bylaws is specific to a 90 hour theoretical and practical course instruct ion component. It should be noted that this 90 hour requirement may be met with course instruction hours, independent study pre-course and/or with prerequisite acupuncture related requirements.

Recognized Educational Programs

The following educational programs are recognized by the council:

  • Dr. Chan Gunn’s Dry Needling Course (Intramuscular Stimulation-IMS) for myofascial pain. (It is noted that Chan Gunn’s Course may be taken by Physical Therapists who have completed their PART A’s, as outlined in the curriculum of the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, but may not necessarily have completed a post graduate acupuncture training program.)

  • Gokavi Transverse Technique (GTT), which is a dry needling course taught by Cynthia Gokavi, or a certified instructor. (It is noted that this course is currently recognized by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI) but is not part of its core curriculum. Prerequisites for this course include being a member of the AFCI and having successfully completed the AFCI certification examination or equivalent.)

  • Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling. Must have completed either:
    • Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling Level I and Basic Acupuncture prerequisite (AFCI certification or equivalent) OR,
    • Both Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling Level 1 - Applications for Pain Management & Sports Injuries and Functional Dry Needling Level 2 - Advanced Applications for Pain Management & Sports Injuries (Note: Therapists are not permitted to dry needle following completion of level 1 only. This may apply to individuals who have been certified to practice these techniques through licensing in another jurisdiction in Canada.) OR,
    • Successful completion of Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling Level 1, Kinetacore Functional Therapeutics, and Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling Level 2 (Note: Therapists are permitted to dry needle only the muscle taught in level 1 following completion of both Level 1 and Functional Therapeutics for the purpose of completing their 100 hour practice log for level 2.)

  • Certification in Biomedical Dry Needling (instructed by Scott Gallant, PT, COMT, FAAOMPT). Requires completion of Course I, Course II, and all associated examinations.
  • Myopain Dry Needling Seminars. Must have completed either:
a) DN I and Basic Acupuncture prerequisite (AFCI certification or equivalent) OR,
b) DN I, DN II, AND DN III (Note: If they do not hold basic acupuncture prerequisite, therapists are not permitted to dry needle until completion of all three levels is achieved.)

  • Certificate of Integrated Dry Needling (IDN) (Course by Whitmore Physiotherapy Consulting) including all associated written and practical examinations and required prerequisites of:
    • Acupuncture Certification from AFCI or equivalent OR, 
    • A minimum of level 2 upper and lower courses from the Diploma of Manipulative Therapy program run through the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association

  • Dry Needling Program Acupuncture Canada; Requires completion of Dry Needling Level 1 and Dry Needling Level 2 and all associated examinations.

  • Foundations of Functional Needling (Instructed by Dr. Mahmoud Zaerian) 
NOTE: The Advanced Functional Needling course instructed by Dr. Mahmoud Zaerian does not meet standards for an introductory course in dry needling. It is intended for professionals who are already certified in dry needling. If you are interested in taking this course, you must have completed one of the above introductory Dry Needling courses prior to taking the Advanced Functional Needling Course.

Standards of Practice

Practicing acupuncture or dry needling techniques on patients is not permitted until the physical therapist has demonstrated competency through successful completion of the approved course and is able to provide proof of their educational requirements to SCPT if requested.

Physical therapists that have successfully completed a recognized educational program and are practicing dry needling are expected to use professional judgment and act within their level of competence.

Apply for a Specialized Educational Course

If you are a SCPT member and are interested in applying to have an additional course included on our list of council recognized courses for the practice of specialized procedures please click on the button below to access our application for specialized procedure educational course approval form.