Dry needling is becoming increasingly popular—and with good reason. The name may seem intimidating to some people, but its multiple benefits outweigh the uncomfortable thought.
- What is it?
- Dry needling or acupuncture?
- The Benefits
- Does it hurt?
- Is it right for me?
- How often should I have it?
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling involves a procedure in which an acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. The therapist uses a single use thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate a trigger point in your body. The overactive muscle should respond with a twitch (a healthy muscle will not have the same twitch reaction). This will relax the trigger point muscle fibers and release tension, pain, pressure, and/or inflammation.
What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
Both dry needling and acupuncture involve the insertion of thin needles into certain parts of the body, based on clinical reasoning, but that’s where the similarities end.
Acupuncture is founded on the traditional Chinese medicine belief that our health is determined by a balanced flow of ‘chi’. Chi is the vital life energy present in all living organisms. According to acupuncture theory, chi circulates in the body along 12 major pathways, known as meridians.
People may turn to acupuncture when there are such blockages or imbalances in our state of ‘chi’. Acupuncture is using acupuncture needles and inserting them into meridian points of the body to unblock the flow of chi in the body. This should restore the mind and body to its optimal state of function.
Dry needling is a modern and western treatment that uses acupuncture needles and which are inserted into trigger points of a muscle.
What are the benefits?
Many clients are trying this practice because there are multiple benefits. It is used to reduce pain, decrease muscle spasm and tension, activate muscles, improve muscle contraction, and relax tight muscles.
It’s a great way to loosen stiff and sore muscles while improving your range of movement. You will get better blood and oxygen circulation around the body. It can also give you faster results than other treatment techniques. The needle can penetrate through the muscle to achieve a twitch response whereas a therapist’s hands are limited by multiple layers of tissue.
Does dry needling hurt?
As the muscle reacts to the needle, you may feel a little pain or discomfort. Your therapist will have an open dialogue with you so that you always feel comfortable and safe during the procedure.
Just remember, if you feel okay moving forward, then keep going. If not, then that’s okay too—you can stop at any time. Your therapist will not perform this treatment without your consent.
Is dry needling right for me?
It’s for you if you want to speed up the muscle recovery process. Dry needling may be beneficial for those suffering from acute or chronic pain and/or having movement impairments. It can work well alongside physiotherapy treatment.
How often should I have this treatment?
The answer to this varies depending on your condition. Your practitioner should be able to advise you on your specific case. If you are still feeling sore from previous sessions though, then it is best to wait until these effects have subsided for your next one.
Dry needling treatment in action
- Dry Needling
- Dry Needling