What is dry needling?
Let me begin by telling you first what dry needling is not. Dry needling is not acupuncture and although the needles used for both are often the same, the application and goal of these two treatments are very different. Dry needling is the use of a very fine needle to address and treat muscle pain, tension, range of motion and activation. Acupuncture on the other hand involves the use of fine needles to stimulate meridian points and improve energy flow.
How did we get to this point? Who figured out that sticking needles into the muscles makes them feel better?
It all began back in 1940’s when physicians Janet Travell and David Simons were researching the benefits of injecting saline and other substances into trigger points (wet needling) – what most people know as “knots”. Further research in the 70’s expanded on this and found that the positive effect of needling was possible without needing to inject any substance and so “dry needling” emerged as a technique for muscle management.
And how does it actually work?
A knot in a muscle is essentially a little pocket of tissue that has not been able to relax after being used. This little pocket of contracted tissue then becomes deprived of fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients because it’s locked so tightly, causing aches and pains and compromising the remainder of the muscles ability to work to its full capacity. When the needle is inserted into the knot, the tiny lesion causes blood to pool around the needle and relax the knot also giving it access to fresh oxygen and nutrients. The result is a noticeably more relaxed muscle!
Dry needling is minimally invasive and many of my clients report that it feels less painful than traditional deep tissue release of knots with a thumb or elbow. The needles are inserted into the tissue for a maximum of 10 minutes with the goal of provoking an aching feeling. Sometimes the muscle might let off an involuntary twitch, which is very exciting because then we know we’ve found the heart of the trigger point! Needling is particularly effective on muscles that feel constantly tight and restricted or through areas with chronic pain but can benefit anyone feeling muscular aches.
Legge, David. (2014). A History of Dry Needling. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. 22. 10.3109/10582452.2014.883041
Jenna's approach is tailored to your needs and she sees a client base that includes athletes, pregnant women, people with soft tissue injuries and individuals who just want a good massage! She’s driven and committed to her clients’ health as well as her learning and professional development as a practitioner.
Jenna is available every Tuesday and Friday and every second Saturday.