Dry Needling and Acupuncture


Acupuncture has its roots over 4,000 years ago to treat a host of ailments under the philosophies of oriental medicine. This type of acupuncture falls under the category of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and generally provided by registered acupuncturists.

However, since the 1970’s, acupuncture has become more familiar and common place in North America for treatment of many types of musculoskeletal injuries, including sports injuries, whiplash, post-surgical pain, osteoarthritis and other types of physical trauma. This Western culture approach to treatment with acupuncture is commonly referred to as Anatomical or Medical acupuncture.

The Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI ) is a well-known and respected educational organization that trains most of the physiotherapists in Canada (as well as many medical doctors, nurses, dentists and chiropractors) who use an anatomical approach to acupuncture. Other programs are recognized at University of Alberta and McMaster University.

In very simple terms, this anatomical approach uses the traditional acupuncture points on the body to help decrease inflammation, pain, muscle spasm and tightness in order to increase mobility and reduce recovery time from an injury or other physical problems.

Dry Needling

DRY NEEDLING has emerged as a popular physiotherapy treatment for myofascial pain but differs from acupuncture in that needle insertion points are not limited to acupuncture theory. Vancouver physician, Dr Chan Gunn made a significant contribution to the study and treatment of pain related to neuropathic changes and muscle sensitivity. His IMS (intramuscular stimulation) technique using a single acupuncture needle to treat multiple pain areas remains the foundation of many of the other dry needling education programs that train physiotherapists. FDN (Kineticore functional dry needling) and GTT (Gokavi technique) are examples of other dry needling approaches.

Physiotherapists in the group have training in dry needling (IMS, FDN, GTT), some with both acupuncture and dry needling certification. Combined with manual therapy, pain education and exercise, clients are receiving leading edge treatment from experienced and qualified therapists