Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Article by John Miller
Acupuncture and Dry Needling are useful modalities to provide pain relief and assist injury rehabilitation.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China over 5000 years ago. It's based on the belief that health is determined by a balanced flow of chi, the vital life energy present in all living organisms.
According to acupuncture theory, chi circulates in the body along twelve major pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. By inserting very fine, sterile single-use needles at specific points along the meridians, your acupuncturist can redirect and reposition the flow of energy (chi) for the purpose of relieving tension, stress, and pain. The uninterrupted and balanced flow of energy along these meridians contributes to one's overall health. However, blockages and imbalances result in pain and illness.
Acupuncture for Pain?
The most common use for acupuncture is pain relief. Most commonly back pain. However, acupuncture can be used to treat nearly all sources of muscle and joint pain. We find that acupuncture can provide great relief for neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, elbow pain, hand and wrist pain, back pain, hip and leg pain, knee pain, ankle pain and fibromyalgia.
At PhysioWorks we've been using acupuncture combined with other more conventional physiotherapy techniques since the mid-1990's with great effect. For more information whether acupuncture can help you, please ask your physiotherapist or one of acupuncturists.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a technique developed by Dr. Chan Gunn and is extremely effective for relaxing overactive muscles, which contain trigger points.
In simple terms, the treatment involves needling of a muscle's trigger points without injecting any substance.
The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles. It should not to be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture. However, since the same filiment needles are used in both dry needling and acupuncture, the confusion is understandable.
Is Dry Needling Effective?
Dr Chan Gunn in his I.M.S. approach and Dr Fischer in his segmental approach to Dry Needling strongly advocate the importance of clearing trigger points in both peripheral and spinal areas.
Today specifically trained physiotherapists and acupuncturists are using dry needling effectively and extensively within their practices for the treatment of Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction.
Most physiotherapists at PhysioWorks have dry needling training. For more information, please ask your physiotherapist or acupuncturist.
FAQs about Acupuncture & Dry Needling.
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