I was in a car accident a year ago and went to physical therapy to relieve my injuries. While PT was making progress on my injuries it was not until I was dry needled did I truly see drramatic results. My mobility increased and the pain decreased and it made the PT that much more effective. For someone in a lot of pain willing to try anything I am so glad I did. It made all the difference in my recovery. I'm so glad to see this technique recognized in the paper so others can learn about it.
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1) Look at the documented pneumothorax cases between acupuncturists and physical therapists. 2) During my dry needling training (yes I am a PT) there were two lovely acupuncturists in the course. Unfortunately the struggled a lot with palpation and anatomy (Most PTs have far more years of advanced anatomy and cadaver labs). 3) Sticking a needle in someone is the easy part. You could teach a monkey to do that. The skill comes in the clinical reasoning piece. Knowing exactly where you are going (3D anatomy), why you are introducing a needle to that area (clinical reasoning from a thorough musculoskeletal exam), and how it will improve function is key. Physical therapists are movement experts. I've talked to and treated multiple acupuncturists. And each one has told me our philosophy and treatment goals are completely different (although the tool is similar). No one profession can own a tool. A carpenter does not own the hammer. Acupuncture uses similar needles, but its roots are grounded in traditional chinese medicine. Dry Needling by Physical Therapists is entirely different. We are trying to elicit a local twitch response to decrease spontaneous electric activity in that muscle (as evidenced by emg studies), as well as eliminate Substance P, acetylcholine, calcium, etc. It has nothing to do with restoring energy, chi, or acupressure points. I love my fellow acupuncturists and have sent patients to them, but the dry needling done by qualified and skilled physical therapists is ENTIRELY different than traditional acupuncture.
Every day when patients ask me how acupuncture works, I explain to them that for pain, we've found there is an electrical charge built up in that area, and since acupuncture needles are metal, they are helping the electrical current flow through the fascia more normally. There is research (on acupuncture) to support this. And, this is just one of the things that is happening. There is also a release of endorphins which results in short term relief, and it has been "found that adenosine, a neuromodulator with anti-nociceptive properties, was released during acupuncture in mice and that its anti-nociceptive actions required adenosine A1 receptor expression." [http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v13/n7…].
Just because some one tells you that "dry needling" isn't acupuncture, and that it is "firmly rooted in Western science," (implying that there is no western scientific explanation for acupuncture and how it works) doesn't make it true. It also sounds like your PT doesn't have a great grasp on the mechanisms behind what he is doing, unlike an acupuncturist who has years of training. Much of what we study is western science, in addition to the traditional theories and classical theories (among others!) for acupuncture practice and application. We use electro-stim devices (both hand held and those that attach to the needles. We regularly deeply needle "ashi" points, which are usually trigger points. I use needles ranging in size from 1/2" to 3" daily, and I have larger needles for certain applications and certain patients. And I am a western trained acupuncturist. Go to China, and they are not messing around. It would make your PT's trigger point needling seem like "snorkeling," as you say. Oh, and that sensation you mentioned? Yep, we call it De Qi. If you don't experience that sensation on certain points during acupuncture, it's likely they're not doing what they're suppose to.
1) The needles used in this video are acupuncture needles.
2) The techniques used in this video are acupuncture techniques.
3) The equipment used in this video are acupuncture needle simulators, for acupuncturists....
Therefore you should not be going to someone who is not an acupuncturist to do acupuncture. Research the difference between a physical therapist's requirement to do dry needling and an Acupuncturist's training; you would go with an acupuncturist.
Didn't a physical therapist in your state just puncture someone's lung? Really, maybe you should stick to methods that don't penetrate the skin.
So, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but dry needling is acupuncture. The PT community has done a brilliant job of pulling one over on law makers and the public by calling it "dry needling." I was trained in this technique (utilizing motor points) in acupuncture school, and it uses needle manipulation firmly rooted in Chinese medicine tradition. It concerns me that someone with very limited training can practice acupuncture simply by calling it a different name.
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