Dry needling, or Western medical acupuncture, evolved from traditional Chinese acupuncture and is based on neurological principles instead of meridians and energy. It relies on anatomical knowledge, and is used to complement your osteopathic or sports massage treatment where appropriate.
It involves the insertion of fine needles and is usually used to help relieve pain and relax tight muscles. It has also been shown to help with nausea and stress.
Acupuncture needles are much finer than the hypodermic needles used in injections and are solid rather than hollow. The feeling is often described as a slight tingling sensation or a slight ache. Needles can be left in place for up to 10 minutes, or removed very quickly.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture helps to stimulate the nervous system and spinal cord, causing the release of serotonin and opioid peptides and inhibiting nociceptive pain pathways to the brain. It also stimulates descending inhibitory pain pathways leading to reduced pain levels. At a local level, it releases neuropeptides and increases local blood flow to the area, helping to reduce inflammation and to improve healing. It also helps to relieve pain from muscles and myofascial trigger points.