As a registered Myotherapist, I am not able to do acupuncture. I do dry needling. But what is dry needling? Let me explain.
Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) doctors and Acupuncturists do acupuncture. Myotherapists do dry needling. We use the same tool, just a different technique.
Where TCM analyses your pulse, tongue and other part and areas of your body to determine what is going on with your health, Myotherapists’ use touch to feel for ‘tight’ muscles. When a patient is holding their breath, squirming under my pressure or grunting from pain and discomfort I offer dry needling as an option.
Dry needling isn’t as painful as it sounds. Using an alcohol swab to clean the surface area, I feel where I will insert the needle. I will mark the area specifically with the tip of a cotton bud that has been soaking in Betadine.
This gives me a clear indication of my insertion point and cleans the area more thoroughly, again, after the alcohol swab. I use needles with a guide tube because the needles are so fine, if there wasn’t a tube around it I don’t think I would be steady enough to insert said needle. This is beneficial for everyone involved. Especially the patient.
Dry needling is beneficially for a number of reasons. – DN treats the tightness more efficiently from the inside out. – DN is very comfortable for the patient. – DN is very specific, it gets into the deeper layers of the muscle without the pain and pressure of manual therapy. –DN can be used to treat one area while another area is being treated at the same time.
I explain dry needling like having a splinter in your finger. Your body recognises that it shouldn’t be there and starts sending blood and oxygen to the area (as well as other nutrients and healing properties) to flush out the foreign body. In this case the needle.
I generally leave them in for about 5-10 minutes, coming back to tweak the needle and insert it deeper sometimes into the same area. It doesn’t have to be in a long time to have a great effect, as little as 3-5 minutes can help ease pain and discomfort of tightness just as well.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of dry needling, so named because there’s in no fluid entering or exiting the body, I won’t do it. Some people have over-come their fear of needles by me doing this for them.
WE are trained to do this, so please don’t freak out when your Myotherapists suggests it as a form of treatment or part of their treatment plan for you. You just get to enjoy a relaxing, pain free treatment if you go with the flow.
This treatment is very useful for things like Carpal Tunnel, general muscle tightness and releasing muscular aches and pains.