Dry Needling

Dry Needling in Brighton East

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a treatment by which a practitioner inserts sterile, single-use, fine filament needles (as used in acupuncture) into a muscle to release myofascial trigger points (muscle knots) to improve muscle function and decrease pain. The therapeutic effect of dry needling relies on the stimulation of precise reactions in the target tissue.

Dry Needling and Acupuncture

There are many similarities between acupuncture and dry needling. Both involve using very fine single-use acupuncture needles, with no injection of any substances hence the use of the word ‘dry’ as opposed to injecting a ‘wet’ fluid. Both are used for therapeutic treatment.

One of the key differences between acupuncture and dry needling is the diagnostic framework used. Acupuncture uses ancient Chinese medicine diagnostic processes to assess the patient and determine a treatment plan based on the Chinese medicine meridian system. On the other hand, dry needling is a more modern term and its basis is in Western medicine principles. In both cases, whether the needle is inserted using a Western medicine point of view or Chinese medicine point of view, the patient’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems respond to the insertion of the acupuncture needle, releasing neurochemicals, stimulating blood flow and endorphins.

We use different language to describe what is happening during the treatment, with dry needling stimulating myofascial trigger points in muscles often felt as muscle knots. In acupuncture we use palpation to locate ‘ashi’ points, literally translating to ‘ah yes!’. Ashi points are points of muscular tension that are tender to touch. Dry needling seeks to elicit a muscle twitch, whilst acupuncture of ashi points seeks to elicit the arrival of ‘de qi’, which can also be a muscle twitch, or other sensations including warmth, spreading or tingling.

Despite the language of acupuncture being Chinese and based on an ancient traditional medicine, the similarities of practitioner’s intention and patient response is clear, and both acupuncture and dry needling have been researched in modern times and shown beneficial in the treatment of certain conditions.

When is Dry Needling used?

Dry needling is predominantly used in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, whereas acupuncture is used in musculoskeletal conditions and a vast number of other conditions as well affecting every system of the body. So dry needling might be described as one of the many techniques that an acupuncturist uses.

Some examples of times when dry needling might commonly be used:

  • Muscle trauma caused by strain, injury or direct impact
  • Unfamiliar movements or new workouts that your muscles aren’t used to
  • Being immobile for long periods of time, such as wearing a cast or workers in sedentary lines of work

Dry Needling at Blue Wren Acupuncture Brighton East

Learning acupuncture takes several years, with over 650 hours of training before a practitioner is registered as an acupuncturist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Acupuncturists adhere to strict professional codes of conduct that include mandatory continuing professional development. In addition, being the primary methodology used in our practice means thousands of hours of clinical practice, refinement of technique, and a passion for using this method to help hundreds of patients every year, not as an adjunct to treatment but as a core pillar.

Shannon is fully qualified and registered with AHPRA, a member of ANTA, and is covered by all major funds for private health insurance rebates on acupuncture consultations.

If you have a musculoskeletal issue or any chronic pain, talk to us about how acupuncture and dry needling might help you. If you would like to learn more about dry needling and how it can benefit you, get in touch with us. Shannon also provides appointments for Chinese cupping, gua sha massage, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

To book an appointment at Blue Wren Acupuncture for Dry Needling in Brighton East visit our booking page or call Shannon on 03 9556 0299