What is it?
Acupuncture has been around for over 5000 years. It is the insertion of very fine needles into one or more of the 12 major pathways of energy flow in the body. Chinese medicine believes that our energy, or our Chi, circulates around our body in pathways called meridians. Each of these is connected to a specific organ or organ system. By redirecting Chi your acupuncturist is aiming to restore health and well-being.
Dry needling is crudely the western version of acupuncture. It is believed to work by acting on the muscle and muscle fascia (or covering). The same very fine needles are used and no substance is inserted into the body. The needles are put into muscle trigger points (which are normally painful) aka “knots”. We are aiming to elicit a “twitch”- a very hard sensation to describe! It’s a quick contraction of the muscle around the needle. Once this has been elicited, the muscle fibres around the needle will relax. At a cellular level, the needle may increase the release of compounds associated with pain relief (Substance P and CGRP).
What will you feel?
When the needle is inserted, you may feel a very minor “pin prick” sensation but most patients exclaim they don’t even feel it. The twitch creates a mild cramping or electric shock sensation. Following the treatment patients report heaviness in the area treated and sometimes these sensations can persist for 24-48 hours. Ice and heat (depending on the area treated) are the best way to manage symptoms.
Is it safe?
Yes! In capable hands. We are well trained in the anatomy and technique involved. The area to be needled is cleaned prior to treatment, preventing any possible infection risk. All needles are sterile, single use.
When to use it?
We use dry needling as an adjunct to your treatment. We incorporate it in to a thorough assessment, use soft tissue releases, joint mobilisations, education and exercise prescription to round out your individualised rehabilitation.
If you’d like more information or want to read out exclusion policy please give us a call or send us an email to discuss.
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