Editor’s Note: Physical Therapist Gina Hahn recently received her certifications to perform dry needling and cupping. Here’s how she describes the process and the benefits of dry needling and cupping.
Dry needling is more for treating pain and activating or inhibiting a muscle depending on what is needed. Cupping is more for breaking up fascial (connective tissue) adhesions, creating a deep stretch in the muscle resulting in improved range of motion.
Dry needling is a technique that involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system as a means to promote healing within the body. The needle is placed by a certified physical therapist into the anatomical structure in and around the painful site.
Treatment techniques are based on concepts of modern medicine and are not considered acupuncture despite the use of the same tools.
So what are the benefits of dry needling?
Dry needling creates a small, microscopic lesion to jump-start the body’s natural healing process. Healing begins with inflammation — imagine spraining your ankle, the ankle swells. The inflammation sends out a call to cells and chemicals responsible for repairing and rebuilding the body to come to the injured tissue. Without skilled intervention, inflammation can linger and pain persist, and the tissue does not move through the repair and rebuilding process as quickly as it could.
Dry needling can be used in conjunction with electrical stimulation to provide a larger dose of pain relief. The number of treatments is based on how quickly a patient’s pain is reduced. Dry needling can also be used with cupping. If the two procedures are done together, cupping precedes dry needling.
Why? Cupping is a technique that utilizes negative pressure to stretch structures in the human body including skin, fascia and muscle tissue. The purpose of this technique is to increase microcirculation of the soft tissue structures, which improves healing and increase range of motion.
Cupping will cause bruising and temporary marks on the skin. Cupping can be performed multiple times but the number of treatments is determined by patient response and desired outcomes.
Come in to learn about the indications and precautions of dry needling and cupping with me or Physical Therapist Miri Choe to find out if you are a good candidate for this treatment. Right now, we are adding the service without extra charge if we determine it’s an appropriate treatment for our patients.