With more and more professions seeing the benefits of acupuncture, the concept of Dry Needling is becoming more and more popular. Many patients have even had an experience with Dry Needling before trying acupuncture! At Acu Chatt, Dry Needling is used regularly to treat patients with acute or chronic pain. In the case of recent injury, Dry Needling can be very effective for speeding up the healing process and reducing the likelihood of becoming chronic. Often these patients have pulled a muscle, sat in a car too long, or had a minor accident such as a fall. In the cases of chronic pain, Dry Needling is combined with whole-body acupuncture to heal the affected area and support its long-term resolution. Patients who have physically demanding jobs, chronic neck or back conditions, or a pain that hasn’t had results with any other therapies often see great results with Dry Needling our practitioners.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a technique in acupuncture in which the practitioner identifies points on the body where there is chronic pain or a lack of bloodflow. The point in Chinese medicine is often identified as an “ah shi” point, and is treated directly to benefit the patient. It is often used as part of “Sports Medicine Acupuncture” or “Structural Based Medical Acupuncture” to treat muscles directly. Modern application of ah shi points also note specific trigger points for each muscle. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these ah shi points are often used in combination with other points on the body to achieve lasting results.

Physically, the point where Dry Needling is applied is released so that the muscle tension is let go by the body. This feels like a small muscle jump followed by relaxation – patients typically describe the experience as surprising, but not painful. This also will increase blood flow to the affected muscle so that it may begin to heal. And there is often a slight endorphin release due to the procedure!

The term Dry Needling came to be as physical therapists wanted to utilize this technique without undergoing the 5 years of training required of an acupuncturist. While there are examples of excellent PT’s performing Dry Needling, the vast majority undergo a 60-hour course to become certified.

Dry Needling By An Acupuncturist: The Difference

When performed by an acupuncturist, Dry Needling can look a little different. Not only do Acupuncturists target the injured part of the body, but they also will treat the entire system so that the injury doesn’t return. Working with the muscle chain that is supporting the injured muscle reduces the risk that the injury will return. And supporting the body’s ability to heal overall will increase the positive outcomes for patients. In many cases, patients find Dry Needling with an acupuncturist to be less aggressive and more comfortable. Most acupuncturists avoid breaking up or damaging the tissues as much as possible while releasing a stuck muscle. This often leads to a more comfortable experience. And, when combined with acupuncture, a more relaxing treatment and longer-term results!

Our Practitioners are Extensively Trained in
Dry Needling

Dr. Jes even spent a year working with a top specialist in Sports Medicine Acupuncture (Brian Lau). During that time, she learned both the mapped-out trigger points for each muscle, as well as how to identify trigger points by touch. During this training, she became very skilled in Dry Needling for long-term results. She also spent time training under Dr. Ling Guan at the top Chinese hospital (301 Hospital in Beijing). Dr. Ling Guan is the founder of Structural Based Medical Acupuncture (SBMA), and focuses extensively on treating muscles and their corresponding muscle chains to achieve amazing results!


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