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Discover the benefits of Dry Needling—the effective trigger point therapy for sports injuries and more.



Football player with two teammates is about to kick the football on the field.

Dry needling—also known as Trigger Point therapy—is a therapeutic western medicine technique developed by Dr. Janet T. Travell for the treatment of pain and movement within the joints and muscles.

The treatment can help improve an individual’s flexibility and increase range of motion by restoring the balance between the muscles of the problematic region of the body.



Who can benefit from Dry Needling?
Patients who can benefit from dry needling typically are:
• Athletes who have sports injuries
• Individuals who suffer from muscle pain caused by:
– postural problems
– overuse injuries
– trauma

Dry Needling FAQs
How can dry needling restore the brain-muscle connection?
Dry needling is like restarting a computer. By shutting the muscle nerve connection off, and then turning it back on, it gives the brain and muscle the chance to reconnect.

Who can perform Dry Needling?
Only licensed doctors or acupuncturists can perform dry needling in California. A licensed acupuncturist must have his or her license visibly shown within the office for everyone to see. It is important to see only a licensed and experienced acupuncturist for treatment.

According to recent news, dry needling is gaining more attention with the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) and the American Physical Therapist Association (APTA). The two groups held their first meeting to discuss industry standards, so in the future physical therapists may also qualify to perform dry needling.

How does the Dry Needling procedure work?
The acupuncturist places sterile, hair-thin acupuncture needles at certain “trigger points” of muscle. Some of them can be the same as acupuncture points, and some are found by landmarks and palpitation. The points sensitive to palpitation are called Ar Shi points in Chinese medicine.

What is the difference between Dry Needling and regular acupuncture?
An acupuncture experience can be different for each person, but usually it causes minimal discomfort if any at all. Once a needle reaches its intended depth, you might feel a tingling sensation or even a mild or dull ache–signaling that the treatment is working and the acupuncture point is being activated. Typically, the discomfort is fleeting and will last only a few seconds.

Dry needling is defined by a strong reaction when the needle enters the “trigger point”. Typically, the muscle will experience strong twitching and possibly some nerve pain. After this sensation, the muscle goes into complete relaxation. This is a good sign that therapy is working to restore movement to that specific area.

How long does a dry needling treatment take? And how long does it last?
The dry needling treatment generally only takes about 10 minutes. It is advised not to have more than 5 or 6 trigger points done in one session.

The number of sessions required depends on the patient’s awareness of one’s own body and how quickly the muscles can be re-educated to function properly.

When treating athletes, dry needling can be part of their regular training and rehabilitation together with massage, cupping and other techniques used for the prevention of injuries.

Acupuncture generally helps athletes recover faster between games or workouts and speed up rehabilitation after injuries.

How quickly can I expect to achieve results?
Rehabilitation from injury with acupuncture typically takes half the time to recover compared to rehabilitation without acupuncture.

Get a dry needling consultation with our licensed acupuncturists.

Schedule your appointment today for an assessment. 

Call (650) 646-5744 or use the online appointment scheduler:

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The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA


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