What is acupuncture?
Western Acupuncture, also known as Dry Needling, is an effective treatment modality which consists of inserting acupuncture needles in tight muscles.
Its benefits include restoring muscle function by improving tissue healing; when combined with conventional treatment options, dry needling can be an effective method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function.
The exact mechanisms of dry needling are complex and not fully understood; research studies suggest that it affects the electrical and chemical communications that take place in our nervous system. These include inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in our spinal cord and increasing the release of our own pain-relieving chemicals within our brains.
Are Dry Needling and Acupuncture the same?
Dry needling is based on Western anatomical knowledge and practice principles; it focuses on muscles, their function and tissue health. We use it to treat musculo-skeletal conditions as part of physiotherapy and sports therapy sessions.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is based on Chinese Medicine principle and the use of ‘energy flows’ and ‘meridians’ derived from ancient Chinese philosophy and culture, with traditional acupuncture needles inserted into defined acupoints, intended to unblock energy meridians and help create balance within bodily systems. Advocates of traditional acupuncture promote its use for treating a range of physical and psychological problems.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and often the needle insertion is not felt; at times you’ll experience a ‘twitch’ response from the muscle, which stimulates your neurological system to relax the muscle fibres in that area relax, reducing inflammation and improving circulation. During treatment, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling or relaxation.
At times, there you may get an achy/tired feeling in the area up to 24hr following the treatment; the feeling is similar to what you’d experience after a massage or training session and it’s part of the physiological processes that your body will undertake to heal the area.
Can Dry Needling help me?
As a result of the physiologic processes described above, dry needling can address muscle, tendon and myofascial pain and dysfunction by facilitating your body’s healing processes.
Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.