Dry needling Torquay

dry needling torquay

Patients may seek dry needling for a number of reasons including;

  • sports injury
  • work injury
  • muscle pain
  • poor posture
  • muscular knots
  • tension
  • spasms of muscle
  • treatment of the neck, shoulder, back, arm or leg.

Registered acupuncturist Shura Ford is a highly experienced dry needling Torquay therapist. Shura has 20 years of clinical needling experience and holds a Bachelor degree in Acupuncture.

Needling is recommended as part of your treatment;

  • as an alternative to soft tissue massage therapy
  • if pressure onto affected areas is uncomfortable
  • as a combination therapy in conjunction with a manual therapies like massage or cupping
  • to release tension and tightness

What are the comparisons between dry needling and acupuncture?

Acupuncture and dry needling do look significantly similar. Additionally, they sound similar too. Both utilise stainless steel filiform acupuncture needles to penetrate the skin in specific locations. Both of these therapies treat muscular- skeletal pain. To add to the confusion, both may utilise similar needling styles. A strong technique which elicits a twitch response with strong release, or a lighter and more gentle style.

How are acupuncture and dry needling different?

A registered acupuncturist is a specialised health practitioner, not only skilled in the application of acupuncture but also dry needling. Acupuncture is a complex system of medicine with a rich history. Registered acupuncturists needle into non-specific acupuncture points and specific acupuncture points. Acupuncture refers to the insertion of needles into defined acupuncture points. Non-specific points, known as myofascial trigger points are referred to, by registered acupuncturists, as ah-shi points. These points are either painful, tense, contracted on palpation. Needling into these trigger points deactivate’s them. Conversely dry needling is the insertion of needles into non-specific muscular trigger points or myofascial trigger points only.

Needling therapies have been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine for literally thousands of years, needling is one of the core components of a tertiary degree in Chinese medicine. A health science degree in Chinese medicine is the minimum qualification required to attain the title of acupuncturist or registered acupuncturist. In other words needling is the major focus of skill.

Conversely needling techniques are not a core component of training for any other therapists. The core training for therapists using dry needling is the application of soft tissue techniques, joint manipulation and mobilisation. Presently a non registered acupuncturist will administer needling techniques after attending a weekend workshop giving around 8 contact hours of practical content, despite the obvious ethical concerns in doing so.

How do I know my needling practitioner has sufficient training and expertise to insert acupuncture needles?

In Australia protected health practitioner titles exist. The titles of registered acupuncturist, acupuncturist, traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and Oriental medicine practitioner are all restricted titles. Therefore, only a practitioner listed on the register of Australian health practitioners regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a registered acupuncturist is able to claim to be a acupuncturist.

AHPRA sets requirements for the minimum education levels for health care professionals and establishes the guidelines to which a registered practitioner must adhere to. These guidelines include a professional code of conduct, infection prevention and control, appropriate professional indemnity insurance and annual continuing professional education. It also includes health practitioners scope of practice and a code of ethics to prevent the public from been mislead.

A non acupuncturist can assert they are qualified in dry needling and advertise and administer needling without any training,because dry needling is not a restricted practice. These practitioners are also not breaking the law if they say or advertise that they provide acupuncture. If a practitioner falsely claims however to be an acupuncturist or misleads a patient into thinking that they are an acupuncturist, they will face prosecution under the national Law. This includes referring to the points they are using as acupuncture points or using the numbering or naming system used by acupuncturists. Prosecution may include restriction of practice and a large financial penalty.

Importantly, you must confirm that the practitioner you consult with is sufficiently qualified and experienced. Ensure that see a registered acupuncturist. Needling by a practitioner an un -registered acupuncturist is unregulated and consequently patients are more at risk.

Here is an example of the confusion

In this example, a patient presents with hand pain. A non acupuncturist chooses to needle the trigger point for the adductor pollicis muscle. An acupuncturist chooses to needle the point traditionally known in Chinese medicine as He Gu or Large Intestine 4 (the fourth point on the large intestine channel). Both practitioners are needling the same point. What is the difference? Firstly, an acupuncturist has undertaken complex Chinese medicine training. Acupuncturist training specifically provides detailed, intricate instruction on the depth and angle for all acupuncture points. Secondly, an acupuncturist understands this point has contraindications of use, such as pregnancy. Thirdly, an acupuncturist can utilise the additional uses of this point such as for a headache or jaw tension. A non acupuncturist applying these theories is holding out as an acupuncturist. An offence prosecutable under the Health Act.

Why is the distinction between of dry needling and acupuncture important?

The distinction is an important public health concern because dry needling has undeniably become blurred with acupuncture. Unquestionably the general public don’t understand the distinction, nor do they understand the potential hazard and risk of unqualified practitioners. In Australia there is only a small number of registered acupuncturists. Conversely there is a large number of therapists using dry needling. Therefore, more often an introduction to needling is routinely administered by practitioner’s other than registered acupuncturists. That is, practitioners with a lower level of education, skill, expertise and experience. Hence this regularly gives a negative impression of needling due to poor technique and an uncomfortable or painful experience this undeniably clouds public perception.

Acupuncture and dry needling Torquay is available by appointment on Wednesday and Friday.



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