Dry Needling is an invasive procedure whereby acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myfascial triggerpoint. These trigger points consist of multiple contraction knots; these knots contribute to the production and maintenance of pain in the body. This technique is based on Western anatomical, neurophysiological and biomechanical principles, unlike traditional Chinese Medicine techniques of acupuncture.
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems, for which muscles are thought to be a primary contributing factory.
For soft tissue injuries, the dry needling works as follows: the needles make lesions directly in the painful tissues and these lesions locally activate the neuroendocrine, immune and cardiovascular reactions around the needling sites in the area of the painful tissues. These local “needle reactions” desensitize the painful nerves and repair the damaged soft tissues. This process of desensitizing and repair can be triggered immediately by the needle reactions at the needling sites.
The Chinese have an old saying that nine out of ten diseases produce pain and according to statistics, 85% of the pain in our daily lives is soft tissue pain. This is why dry needling is seen primarily as a form of pain management in Western societies. While modern biomedical principles are applied both in theory and in clinical practice, the major principles of oriental medicine are also retained:
- Restoration of physiological homeostasis (balance within the body)
- Maximising self-healing without side-effects
- Treating both the symptoms of the disease and the cause of the disease