What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a relatively new method. Fine acupuncture needles are inserted into areas of excess muscle tension or muscular trigger points, facilitating relaxation of the muscle. It can also be used to help reduce the pain and swelling of acute strains and sprains.
How does it work?
The exact mechanisms that occur in the body with dry needling are not fully understood. There are many theories and there is scientific evidence to support several different effects. Some of these are that it changes faulty feedback loops between the muscle and spinal cord, reducing signals that are causing over-activation in the muscles, as well as reducing abnormal pain signals and allowing restoration of normal sensation. It has also been shown to have a mobilising effect on the body fascia and to facilitate the body’s natural healing process by bringing more of the chemicals and cells needed for tissue healing into the area.
Dry needling can be very effective and is gaining more and more widespread support and use.
Is it the same as Acupuncture?
Dry needling does differ from traditional acupuncture. Acupuncture is a system of affecting the subtle energy in the body by influencing its flow through various points and meridian systems. It is based on a philosophy of maintaining balanced energy throughout the body. Dry needling is not based on the points and meridians and tends to be more of a localized application near the musculoskeletal area that is not functioning well.