1. What is integrative dry needling?

Integrative Dry Needling, also known as trigger point dry needling, is a minimally invasive procedure by which fine gauge (34-38 gauge) solid filament sterile needles are inserted into areas of chronic soft tissue dysfunction, trigger points, and other symptomatic tender points that are identified during a physical therapy examination.

2. How does dry needling work?

Dry needling works on the premise that during the phases of healing soft tissues become adhered to one another, scar formation limits mobility, and blood and lymphatic vessels become blocked, resulting in inflammation, pain, and the formation of trigger points and chronic soft tissue dysfunction. The interruption of normal function leads to atrophy, aggravated irritability, and sensitivity. 

When a needle is inserted into the symptomatic area, a tiny lesion(s) is created stimulating tissue relaxation through mechanical stimulation of the trigger point/symptomatic tissue. The tiny lesions stimulate a local healing response as well as activate neural pathways that control/decrease pain. There is a local release of molecular proteins that rebuild tissue and neurotransmitters that block the transmission of pain signals.

3. Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?

The term "dry needling" has been applied to a form of acupuncture used to treat pain. Though acupunctures needles are used, dry needling is based in the traditional scientific reasoning of Western Medicine, in which the selected sites for needle insertion are based on an understanding of functional anatomy and pathophysiology. We us dry needling to treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions with the goal of releasing/inactivating the trigger points and relieving pain. Often we combine it with some traditional acupuncture points to improve our results. The physical therapy industry has tried to separate "dry-needling" from traditional acupuncture so they can cash in on a growingly recognized effective pain treatment. In all truth not all acupuncturists are specially trained to perform orthopedic and neuromuscular needling but this of us that are trained are far more qualified than another physical therapist or chiropractor who took a weekend course. We have years of training and this is the only thing we do.

4. What conditions can dry needling be used to treat?

We only use dry needling to treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Some common examples include headache, neck and back pain, sciatica, muscle strains, ligament sprains, repetitive strain injuries, sports injuries, tennis elbow, acute tendonitis, chronic tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, hip and knee pain.

5. What does dry needling feel like?

Generally, the procedure has minimal to no pain associated with it. Since we are using an extremely fine gauge needle, combined with precise manual techniques, most patients will report a relatively painless procedure. Your therapist will work communicate with you to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the entire process.


 The difference between a Physical Therapist or Non-Acupuncturist doing "Dry Needling" is the amount of training. As an acupuncturist we have over 750 hours of clinical training as well as a whole career focused on insertion. Michael not only has his acupuncture training but 100's of hours of specialized orthopedic training as well as years of experience, inserting needles is all we do. Physical Therapists and others generally take a weekend class totaling 27 hours and begin needling the body. To date, PT's and DC's who are not trained acupuncturists have caused an unprecedented number of injuries including pneumo-thoraxes. The entire push to differentiate "Dry-Needling" from the scope of acupuncture simply exists because not every acupuncturist does deep needling and they're  attempting to expand into the Acupuncturist's  scope of practice to bill insurance for a different medical code than acupuncture to cash in. We are actively working to fight the Physical Therapy organizations' misleading and dangerous practices but to date they have manage to pass legislation in several states where the acupuncturist population was too low to fight their large lobbying machine. Know the difference, if Acupuncturists didn't do dry needling into deep tissues why do we have such long needles? Why do they use our texts (currently they are creating their own which still refer to Chinese Medicine's points) and why do they use acupuncture needles?  In the very least, you could simply say we are the most experienced and well trained "dry-needlers" available.

Oceanside Acupuncture & Oceanside Active Release

Natural Solutions Acupuncture Inc.

2111 El Camino Real Suite 301, Oceanside, CA 92054


Oceanside Acupuncture

Oceanside Active Release

 San Diego Acupuncture & San Diego Active Release

Natural Solutions Acupuncture Inc.

16486 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite #100

San Diego, CA 92128


Rancho Bernardo Acupuncture & Active Release Techniques