Dry Needling: an Age-Old Practice, at Your Fingertips

Originating in China over 5,000 years ago, dry needling is the practice of repositioning the flow of energy (chi) to relieve pain and tension.

According to this practice, interruptions and imbalances in chi is what causes pain and illness in the body.

Much like the philosophy of physiotherapy, dry needling looks at the human body as a whole. If you are experiencing back pain, while working on the back itself will be beneficial, it is necessary to look at every other part of your body and psyche to really make you healthy again.

As many have seen, dry needling is performed by placing thin needles into trigger points on the body to relieve stress.

It is easy to understand the initial fear going into an dry needling treatment, but the process is generally painless—you’ll be surprised by how good you feel!

Can I Benefit From dry needling?

A multitude of ailments can be relived by dry needling, including:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Strains and sprains
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Weight gain
  • … and even jet lag!

If your symptoms can be helped with dry needling, your therapist will suggest it to you—but if they don’t, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask since it can be incorporated into many recovery programs.

How Does it Work?

dry needling works through "meridians" in your body. There are 12 primary meridians, 8 extraordinary meridians and about 400 dry needling points, not including bilateral points. In total, there are over 2,000 acupoints in the human body!

A meridian system is a channel system through which chi flows. This system is more conceptual than the physical vein system.

However, to get an idea of meridians, it is helpful to picture the veins in your body and how they connect to everything. Accessing one of these points will have an effect on everything else connected to it.

But Does it Hurt?

This is the most common question asked by Elevate Physical Therapy clients considering dry needling treatment. The majority of clients report no pain, and those who feel anything when the needle is being placed, report only minor discomfort.

This isn’t to say you will feel nothing—be prepared for a deep heaviness or numbness, referred to as “Deqi”. Your therapist will ask you to inform them when this is happening. This means the therapy is working.

dry needling treatment does not cause bleeding due the fineness of the needles used, however if you’re a hemophiliac it is important to inform your therapist of this so they can proceed with caution.

One of the many benefits of dry needling is that it has few risks or side effects. Sterile and disposable needles are always used. dry needling is a safe therapy.

Will One Session Cure Me?

An dry needling session usually lasts 15-20 minutes. Some clients will experience relief after one session.

Whether this relief continues is determined on a per-client basis. Chronic or complex conditions may require several weeks of return appointments.

If you're currently a client at our clinic, don't hesitate to ask your therapist about dry needling.

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