A great question! “Dry-needling” (DN) is a term used for inserting a needle (typically an Acupuncture needle) into specific areas of the body, deep in muscle fibers known as Trigger Points or Motor Points. There are 2 goals: needle into an area to cause a release of tight / knotted muscle fibers, and needle in a manner that creates little micro traumas.
The theory is the micro traumas will trigger a healing response from the body to the area in distress. For example, hamstring pain with muscle tightness, DN would typically be deep in the affected hamstring area hoping to create a release of the tightness while triggering the body to heal the injured area. DN is a symptom based approach.
But what if the hamstring is tight and painful because of an issue with the pelvis, hips, low back or quadricep muscles? What if the hamstring is not the real issue but the result of another area of the body not functioning properly?
Acupuncture takes a more holistic approach using a proven system of treatment that dates back thousands of years. Our bodies are designed to protect us from foreign invaders and to heal us when sick or injured. As a licensed Acupuncturist, I am trained to determine why a certain area of the body is susceptible to injury and what’s preventing the natural healing process. Often, other areas of our body / systems are a contributing factor(s) to current pain / injury. If we only treat the area currently in distress i.e. the hamstring, chances are we would be missing a big piece of healing process. I often incorporate Trigger / Motor Points to support the treatment, when it makes sense, but treating the root cause of the injury / pain is a critical piece necessary to achieve lasting results!