Medical acupuncture is a procedure where a very thin filament needle is inserted in to the skin and muscle targeting myofascial trigger points specifically. More commonly known as ‘knots’. Medical Acupuncture Dry Needling are umbrella terms for this method of acupuncture. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a different practice and based on eastern philosophies.
Myofascial trigger points/ knots, are often a result of Imbalance between the nerves and muscle communication system. Breakdown in this pathway is thought to be the primary contributing factor to the symptoms. People often confuse the feeling of knots as tightness. Despite the small number of contraction knots, these invariably occur in weaker muscles that often need strengthening!
How does it work?
We know from research that by inserting a needle into the painful areas of a muscle, that it causes a bio-chemical change and then reduces pain. When the needle is inserted the practitioner is looking for what is called a ‘Local Twitch Response or LTR’.
Here is an example of a local twitch response elicited by palpation. A needle could be used here for example. By needling it allows for a longer more sustained twitch response.