Medical acupuncture is still acupuncture, but because some of the explanations of the points in Chinese are rather amorphous for the Western “Scientific” mind, they are boiled down into location related. Also, medical acupuncture does not take into account the entire meridian or how the meridians relate. Mostly, Medical Acupuncture uses the trigger point theory. In this theory, which can also be called Motor Point needling, Dry Needling or Dry Acupuncture. In this technique it was originally a hypodermic needle that was used with no medicine delivered to the trigger point (thus the ‘dry’ part of it). One of the main reasons that a hypodermic needle was used and not acupuncture needles is that hypodermic needles are readily available in a Western office setting, where as acupuncture needles were not. Acupuncture needles were also not trusted to be sterile or of good quality. Today’s needles are surgical steel and very sterile, blister packed and disposed of after every use.
So what actually happens? When the trigger point (very spasmed muscle) is located a very fine needle is inserted until a twitch response is seen. This means that the muscle is responsive and you have the right point for this muscle. Then the needle is left for a short time to allow the muscle to ‘re-calibrate’, moving of the needle, either in and out or twisting will cause more release of the muscle. This actually causes a little bleeding within the muscle fibers that attracts histamines, heparin, and other healing factors from the blood. This starts the whole process of healing over again and can make a chronic muscle spasm appear ‘new’ to your system and have the attention it has needed to properly heal. Generally this will take just a couple visits to see a difference, after you may feel achy or have small bruises, these are to be expected and are good signs of healing for that muscle. Although it is not a ‘Silver Bullet’ it can show dramatic results quickly. Give it at least six visits to really see the result and since all muscle injuries are different as you are, every case has a different time line. Some may need follow up visits every few weeks to keep the spasms in check. We can only determine that after we have evaluated your individual case.
Call or text us now for a consult to see if Dry Needling will work for you. 720-325-9886