What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling (also known as “modern acupuncture”) focuses on:
· releasing muscle tension by treating specific trigger points
· alleviating nerve tissue irritation by reducing the nerve impulse
· stimulating local blood supply where it may be naturally poor, for instance at the junction between tendons or ligaments and bone.
It should be distinguished from traditional Chinese acupuncture, which aims to influence “Chi” or “Qi” energy flow throughout the body’s meridian system.
Dry needling is often a highly useful adjunct to osteopathic treatment.
Most frequently, needles of varying lengths are inserted directly into muscle mass. The needles are lightly manipulated to elicit a dull local sensation of numbness, heaviness or “pins and needles” – the sign that muscle tissue is responding to treatment.
Up to a dozen needles – occasionally more - may be used per treatment, and may remain in position for anything between 5 and 20 minutes. New sterile needles are used for each insertion, and immediately discarded into a hermetic container.
Although many patients are nervous about the thought of a dozen needles being “stuck into them”, the treatment is often largely painless, and many patients fall asleep during treatment. Also, provided a few simple rules of hygiene are observed, the risks of infection are negligible.