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What is Medical Acupuncture or Dry Needling used for?

Dry needling techniques

At the AOC Clinic we have an Osteopath who is also trained to provide Dry Needling.  This form of Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine dating back thousands of years. It is a treatment technique using fine needles inserted into painful knots in muscles to help decrease pain, improve mobility and function. Muscle tension and spasms are common with conditions as muscle strain and injuries, tension-headaches, lower back pain and osteo arthritis.

We use Dry Needles for a wide variety of complaints including back pain, neck pain, tennis & golfers elbows, Achilles tendonitis, muscular trigger points and pain, shoulder injuries and headaches as well as chronic pain.

The way in which dry needling works if that it is has some similarities to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture, but it works on quite different principles.  Although the actual needles used are the same but their placement and effect is somewhat different.

Essentially TCM will place the needles into what are known as Meridian points where as Dry Needling in contrast will often place the needles directly into the local anatomy of the injury being treated.

Dry Needling functions when needles are placed into the problematic area, therefore evidence suggests that the needles initiate a neurological and chemical change in the body.  Thus, as a result the changes inhibit our perception and response to pain.  This form of treatment is known for releasing muscular trigger points (knots), which cause muscle tension and mechanical tightness.  One of the key factors of this particular treatment is that it increases blood supply to the area, which is essential for any healing. Dry needling is often most effective when combined with another treatment such as massage therapy.

Can I have dry needling appointments?

Dry Needling is a treatment almost everyone can have, including pregnant women. However, there are a few instances where Dry Needling is deemed to be inappropriate.  Before any treatment is administered, the Osteopath takes a full Case history of the patient where all conditions and medications are disclosed, at this point the Osteopath will be able to identify if Dry Needling is a suitable form of treatment.  There are several examples of situations where Dry Needling is not deemed suitable such as patients who suffer from blood clotting conditions and are on blood thinning medication.

How will it affect me?

Dry Needling affects each patient differently and the way in which the patient responds to Dry Needling is unique to that individual. It is commonly known that some patients have an excellent reaction to the treatment administered and feel completely better after one or two sessions whilst others have a slower reaction and take more treatments.  A patient does not ever get worse due to Dry Needling and this form of treatment works well in conjunction with all osteopathic treatment.

When Dry Needling is administered most patients do not feel any pain or discomfort when the needles are placed into the specific areas. The only symptoms some patients have encountered with this form of treatment are a slight discomfort and also a feeling of warmth when the needle is placed in a muscular trigger point.  However, this often only lasts a few moments. As the muscle releases with needle in it, the Osteopath administering the treatment may need to re-stimulate the area by pushing the needle further. Again this may potentially cause a slight discomfort previously felt by the patient.  A patient may feel a little sore after receiving this treatment however this is only temporary. Also, a patient can feel tired and sleep more than usual the night of the treatment. Often a patient will report some immediate relief to the symptoms that had been suffering from after a treatment.

Is Acupuncture The Same Thing As Dry Needling?

Over the years there has been some confusion between Acupuncture and Dry Needling.  Acupuncture practice essentially incorporates many different needling techniques and a variety of these may be required to gain the best results.  In contrast, Dry Needling, also known as trigger point acupuncture or, more traditionally, as ashi acupuncture, refers to just one of these techniques.  The Osteopath at the clinic is qualified in many techniques, including trigger point acupuncture, and will adopt the best approach depending on the patient’s individual needs.

We have combined Acupuncture and Osteopathy at our clinic to enhance the treatment offered to our patients and to help improve their results.  However, we offer Acupuncture to our patients only as another option of treatment and patients should not feel obliged to agree if they do not feel comfortable with this treatment.


24 Ellon Road

Bridge of Don


AB23 8BX

The clinic is on the ground floor and free parking is right next to it.

Phone & Email

01224 707877

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 09:00 – 19:00

Saturday 09:00 – 15:00

Sunday Closed

To book an appointment please call reception on 01224 707877 during office hours (9am – 7pm) or complete the form above.

Copyright Aberdeen Osteopathy and Massage Clinic 2020. Company registerd in Scotland SC381838  All rights reserved.  Website by smallbizmedia.co.uk

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