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What is Dry Needling and should I try it?

Dry Needling is a soft tissue treatment technique, using thin needles to manipulate the state of the muscular system.

The term "Dry Needling" came about as the medical profession moved through the process of discovering that hypodermic needles filled with either anaesthetic or saline solution was an effective way to reduce a patients muscle soreness. While it was effective at reducing the soreness, the needle itself caused some discomfort due to the size and injection of fluid. It was then tried with no fluid in the hypodermic and found to be slightly more successful due to not pushing fluid into the muscle. It was then decided to try an acupuncture needle and once again, a better result was discovered as there was less trauma around the point of insertion.

The similarities between Acupuncture and Dry Needling start and finish with the needles used. Both use a Filiform needle, it is a fine, short, stainless steel needle that doesn't inject fluid into the body.


Dry needling is a unique procedure intended to specifically target and restore muscle function, with an emphasis on improving tissue healing and restoring normal tissue function. This is important as continued activity with poor muscle function may lead to further tissue damage and increased pain.


Dry needling is not a replacement therapy, it is a complementary "tool" that your Mels Massage therapist can provide as part of your treatment. When it is combined with conventional treatment options, dry needling can be an influential method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function.


The exact mechanisms of dry needling are complex and not fully known. However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the positive effect inserting a needle has on the electrical and chemical communications that take place in our nervous system. These include inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in our spinal cord and increasing the release of our own pain relieving chemicals within our brains. The pain relieving effect of dry needling is gaining strong support in mainstream Western medicine, with many different modalities beginning to offer it as part of their treatment programs.


As a massage therapist, nothing beats hands on manual therapy in my eyes, however, I do believe Dry Needling can be a wonderful supplement to some treatments.

I like to use it on particularly stubborn muscles, this allows me to apply the needles to the selected area and leave them to sit for a period of time while I address other areas of the body requiring treatment. It's not for everyone though - and that is absolutely ok!


Talk to your Mels Massage therapist to see whether it is a option to include in your next treatment.