What is Acupuncture / Dry Needling?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment used in both Traditional and Classical Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is based on the principle that there are energetic pathways, or channels, throughout the body that influence associated internal organs and structures. Energy from these pathways surfaces at various points on the body, identified as acupuncture points. Each of these acupuncture points serves as a tunnel, or access route, to the deeper circulatory channels within. Extremely fine gauge needles are inserted at selected points, stimulating these points and thereby activating the body natural healing abilities.

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Studies have found that painful tight areas in muscles almost always harbour trigger points, which are surrounded by numerous chemicals known to cause inflammation and pain. Muscles which contain these Trigger Points are also known to have abnormal electrical activity called “end plate noise”, which sends abnormal, (noxious) electrical impulses to the spinal cord . This abnormal chemical and electrical environment severely affects the muscle’s cellular metabolism resulting in muscle contraction and compression of local blood vessels & nerves. This causes an “energy crisis”, resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle of pain, inflammation & contraction.

How does it work?

When a needle is successfully inserted into a trigger point it causes a local twitch response – LTR, studies have shown that once the LTR has been elicited the electrical and chemical environment within the muscle returns to normal and the muscle “lets go”. This normalises blood flow and allows proper cellular function to return. There is also a release of specific chemicals which help repair and rebuild damaged tissue in the area.

Many people experience fairly immediate changes after treatment as the muscle begins to relax and “lets go”. The full effects of a dry needle treatment are usually realised in about 8 -10 days as the effected tissue completes a repair and regeneration process. In some cases it may take up to 5 to 10 sessions to eradicate all active and latent trigger points. Chronic conditions that have been concurrent for years, will have more wide spread changes in muscle and soft tissue structures due to compensatory movement and holding patterns, which usually require a more comprehensive rehabilitation program.

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