Alison Linn is qualified to to use acupuncture needling techniques for musculoskeletal, which she employs in combination with osteopathic techniques. This page aims to explain a little about dry needling – what it is, why we use it and what it feels like.
What is acupuncture needling techniques?
Acupuncture needling techniques is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China. It involves the insertion of fine stainless steel needles into the skin and underlying masses.
How does it work?
According to traditional Chinese theory, the acupuncture needling technique needles are able to influence the flow of energy in the meridians that form a network over and inside the body. These meridians work to regulate and support the body’s function.
A simple scientific explanation is that the needles provide a specific stimulus to the nervous system that provokes a response from the nervous system. The nature of the response varies depending on where the needles are inserted.
Why do we use it?
We use acupuncture needling techniques in this clinic because it can have profound effects on muscle tone, blood circulation, inflammation, repair and pain. We find that it adds to the effectiveness of our treatments.
What sort of needles are used?
Acupuncture needling technique needles are very fine and are made from stainless steel. Each needle comes, already sterilized, in its own sealed package and is disposed of after use.
What does it feel like?
There is usually minimal sensation as the needle is tapped through the skin. As the needle travels to the correct depth you will feel a dull spreading ache for a second or two. This is usually mild and feels more weird than painful.
This sensation is called de qi (pronounced: de chee). Occasionally the needle hits a small blood vessel or nerve ending and you might feel a slight sharp pain or stinging. If this happens you should let the practitioner know so they can reposition the needle.
Gentle electrical stimuli may also be applied through the needles, giving a sensation of tingling or buzzing.
The number of needles used depends on the condition, but between 1 and 6 is common. The needles remain in place for between 1 and 20 minutes. After the initial sensation of de qi there should be no more discomfort. People often report feeling relaxed or sleepy during a treatment. They also can experience other mild sensations which are strange but not unpleasant.
Is acupuncture needling techniques safe?
While the insertion of anything through the skin carries some potential for infection and harm, the procedures used by this clinic aim to minimize any risk and ensure your safety.
Are there any side effects?
Sometimes people report feeling relaxed for several hours after treatment.
Occasionally there will be some slight bleeding that can cause a bruise. Your practitioner will warn you if that is a possibility.
Frequently, particularly after the first treatment, the symptoms appear to be aggravated for a couple of days. This isn’t strictly a side effect as it is really a sign that the treatment is working and an improvement can be expected in a couple of days.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends on the condition you have. A course of between three and six treatments is common for many straight forward conditions. We rarely treat beyond three treatments if there is an insufficient response.
Do I have to have acupuncture needling techniques as part of my treatment?
No, your practitioner is a trained osteopath and has many other skills to employ for your treatment. If you do not want acupuncture needling techniques, be sure to make this clear to them.