Dry Needling FAQ


How is dry needling different from acupuncture?

Besides the use of the acupuncture needle itself, dry needling does not share a theoretical foundation found within traditional Chinese acupuncture. Instead, it is based on the general principles of Western medical science, requiring formal medical education with comprehensive training for both the understanding and practice of the techniques. Athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners and medical doctors all have this fundamental training. Through extensive training, these health care practitioners are qualified to do dry needling according to the rules and regulations of their state board in the state they practice. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is rooted in the theory that energy flows through pathways, or meridians, in the body. There are some similarities between these meridian channels and the physiologic/ anatomical structures of the body, but they are very different. The Systemic Dry Needling approach may have originated in traditional Chinese methods, but it has since developed to become a modern medical practice rooted in evidence-based thinking and practice.

Is Systemic Dry Needling painful?

Most of your athletes or patients will not feel anything when needles are initially inserted through the skin. The athlete may feel a sensation described as a deep, uncomfortable ache, or they may feel nothing at all. Local twitches and shooting sensations are both common and favorable responses. The patient can be sore after the procedure for an hour to a couple days after treatment. This is due to the body responding to the lesions created by the needles, and initiating a self healing response.

Is the procedure safe?

Clinicians trained in Systemic Dry Needling undergo extensive hours of didactic and clinical training, including patient safety. Every needle used is both sterile and disposable. All treatments are provided in a safe manner, protecting both the patient and the practitioner.