What is Dry Needling?
Myofascial Dry needling is a relatively new and exciting form of treatment available to aid dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system. To some, the idea of using ‘needles’ during a body treatment may sound daunting, however in actuality, dry needling often produces less discomfort than regular deep tissue massage or many other techniques used in similar treatments. It is important to recognise that dry needling differs significantly from acupuncture. Acupuncture has its roots and ideologies firmly stemming from a traditional Chinese background, and typically focuses on pre-mapped meridian points and energies that influence different organs, functions and systems in the body. Myofascial dry needling, on the other hand, focuses on the myofascia (muscles and fascia) and direct components of the musculoskeletal system, with the aim of directly altering dysfunction that has developed there.
Components that can be influenced with dry needling include fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments, periostem (the outer layer of bone) and the nervous system. There are several different applications of MDN, depending on the dysfunction being treated. Common dysfunctions that can be treated can include but are certainly not limited to:
- Tight Muscles
- Sprains and Strains
- Muscle Imbalances
- Abnormal Muscle Firing Patterns
- Trigger Points
- Frozen Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
Different applications are used depending on each person’s response to testing and assessment. Applications of dry needling can include superficial techniques where the needle is inserted 5-10mm into the skin or deeper techniques where appropriate. There can be passive techniques where gentle or no manipulation is used or active techniques where stronger needle manipulation is used, to create a larger response.
Myofascial Dry Needling has been used at No More Knots for several years now, with its popularity growing steadily as more and more people become aware of the technique. It was originally introduced into the clinic by Musculoskeletal Therapists (MSTs) who studied Dry Needling techniques as part of their 3 year degree in Musculoskeletal Therapy. In addition to MSTs, our Physiotherapist Anouska Edwards also utilises the technique regularly during treatment. Several Remedial Therapists have also been trained in MDN and incorporate it in their treatments.
Prior to any needling being performed, thorough assessment and testing is carried out, and any questions or queries you have will be addressed enthusiastically, as your therapist will have a significant level of technical knowledge, understanding, assessment techniques, communication and training to give you the best experience possible!
What is Cupping?
Cupping is a traditional Chinese technique in which a cup is applied to the skin and a vacuum created, either by heat or suction, in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Cupping can either be “stationary” where the cup is left in the one spot or “sliding”, where the cup is moved up and down an area of skin.
Cupping can be applied to virtually any area of the body that is affected by pain or muscular tightness or restriction. However, it is most commonly used on the back due to the ease with which it can be performed there. It is frequently used as part of a remedial massage or musculoskeletal treatment.
From a scientific standpoint, cupping is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation, and is extremely useful for deep tissue repair. Cupping can have an affect up to 10cm into the tissues, causing the release of toxins. This will often cause the skin redden and look somewhat bruised after a treatment, but these marks are usually painless and clear within 2 to 7 days.