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Dry Needling

In dry needling or trigger point acupuncture, acupuncture needles are used to treat muscular trigger points or areas of contraction which feel like a knot and refer pain to other areas of the body. Dry needling was first discovered by a physician who had been injecting trigger points with local anaesthetic (‘wet needling’), and realized that the results he was obtaining were due to the needle being inserted into the trigger point rather than what he was injecting. Dry needling may be used to gain relaxation in the muscle following trauma, for longer term un-resolving muscle pain, or to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid with stretching and rehabilitation. Dry needling is thought to work by causing a local twitch response which breaks the bonds holding muscle fibres in a tight knot so that they can be stretched back out. It also works in the same way as Western acupuncture by stimulating the body to release neurochemicals, such as endorphins, melatonin, and serotonin, in order to aid pain relief and healing.


Sourced from: Physiotherapy Acupuncture Association of NZ

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