A Reflection on Dry Needling

A Reflection on Dry Needling

Recently I had the opportunity to attended two dry needling courses. I have been dry needling for several years now, however there were many things I took away beyond dry needling myofascial trigger points. Three key points I learned about include: different dry needling techniques, battle acupuncture, and cosmetic dry needling.

Different Dry Needling Techniques

It’s odd to think there are many different styles of dry needling. This can largely be the answer to “how does dry needling work.” I get asked this question often and the honest answer is it depends. It depends largely due to the style and goal of what dry needling needs to do for you.

Non-exhaustive List of Different Styles

Intra-muscular Stimulation

  • Neuropathic/Radiculopathy Pain
  • This is the approach to help fix our opioid crisis.

Organ Issues

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS

Superficial Dry Needling

Spinal Segmental Sensitization

Central Model

Again, this is a non-exhaustive list. There are so many ways to incorporate dry needling to heal nerve pain, muscle pain, etc., in the body. More on this in the future.

Battle Acupuncture

I first heard about battle acupuncture a little over a year ago from a military personnel at a local CrossFit gym here in Wichita. I didn’t think much into it at the time other than I was glad someone felt they had a positive experience from dry needling which later I learned is more rooted in acupuncture. Every so often I would here about Battle Acupuncture again. Needless-to-say when battle acupuncture was mentioned my ears perked up.

What is battle acupuncture?

Battle acupuncture, more properly termed battlefield acupuncture or BFA, is all focused around the ear. In acupuncture, the ear has its own system that correlates to the entire body. By applying tiny needles into the ear, one can turn off pain pathways from the brain to those corresponding areas of the body within the ear. The original goal of battle acupuncture was for the military to provide a pain reduction option that is fast and effective and not an opioid. With the rise in opioid addictions here in the U.S., we need an alternative to pain management with these individuals. Currently the military is performing more research and training around the effectiveness of battle acupuncture. (1)

Cosmetic Dry Needling

A few of us stuck around after the regular CEU hours to watch and learn more about cosmetic needling. Cosmetic needling is an alternative to Botox for those face wrinkles. Long story short, we discussed how it is the stimulation from the needles and not the Botox that reorganizes the collagen fibers in a way to “tighten the face” back up. I find this interesting because the same holds true for cortisone injections for joint and muscle related pains. The research keeps supporting that it is most likely the stimulation of the needle in the correct location and not the injectable that is creating a positive, therapeutic response. (2) Luckily, I have a few Guinea pigs for this process before I start thinking about offering this type of service. It typically takes 8-10 visits for the wanted changes to occur over 4-5 weeks. I promise to start posting more on cosmetic dry needling in the future as I progress further into the world of dry needling.

Dry Needling’s Future

Dry Needling is about to completely change things in the United States and local here to Wichita, Kansas. CPT codes have recently been approved to allow a chiropractor or physical therapist to bill dry needling to an insurance company. Currently dry needling is not a covered service anywhere in Kansas or the rest of the United States. So, hold on tight for these changes and hold on tight for how we offer dry needling and the types of dry needling we offer in 2019.



Goertz CM1, Niemtzow R, Burns SM, Fritts MJ, Crawford CC, Jonas WB., Auricular Acupuncture in the Treatment of Acute Pain Syndromes (AATAPS). Mil Med. 2006 Oct;171(10):1010-4.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Apr;47(4):232-239. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.6994. Epub 2017 Mar 3.


Have a Question?

Do you have a question about chiropractic care, fitness or nutrition?  We would love to hear from you, and we might even turn your question into our next blog post!

Blog Topics

Rehabilitation GoTime sport injuries Pectoralis Muscles Headaches development #FootPain chiropractic Health Rolling Patterns Home Stretches mechanics Equipment tag2 running Inner Thigh Glute Muscles #1millioncupsict Running #KneePain 2018 Myths Crossfit Wichita squat Mobility Drill #growingwichita Payment Soft Tissue Therapy FootExercise ICT healthcare Foam Rolling stability Healing Neurology Strain kansas Breathing Limitation #deepsquat WSU Latissimus Dorsi health sports knee joint Tension lifting entrepreneur Shoulder Pain Mid-Back Pain seminar Hip Flexors DNS motorpatterns #Wichita Shoes disc herniation allergies knee health Dry Needling inflammation Rhomboid Muscles SportsChiropractor bodyweight Performance Massage Lifting chiropractor #localbusiness muscletherapy Physical Therapy knee pain 5K Wet Needling Core Strength Body Awareness Sprinting Top 5 chiropractors Plateau bodyawareness esports Healthcare #Running #HipPain race FoamRollingFriday rhomboid muscles Movement Adductors Shoulder foot complaint Inflammation Conservative Care Fitness MRI Low Back Pain myths Treatment Options test weekend Conditioning #RunningPain Cost #bellybreathing #races Toe childbearing #localfarmers pregnancy Feet Pain physical therapy wichita sara skiles awareness movement screen Disc Herniation ICTrunning Myofascial Release dairy free Nerve Pain Membership Plan Company Announcements doula knee function Exercise Recovery home stretches Insurance #somethingsbrewingict culture Adjustment functional chiropractor tummytime Heel Pain Functional Core 1MillionCups ShoeShopping FAQ Mechanics Cupping Therapy parenting guest blog #freemuscletherapy elbow pain rehabilitation pain management postpartum RunningShoes Foot Pain Taping Compression Sleeves foot pain rollingpatterns crawling Information #hipstrength Handout performance patriotic Orthotics Education adjustment Self Help PlantarFasciitis ChiropracticPhysician gaming mental health treatment options Chiropractic squats Squat plantar fasciitis Elbow Pain #wholefoods toe functionality crossfit Squats community Yoga BeginningExercise Pain Management Acupuncture Accupuncture conditioning membership plan orthotics Grand Opening

Subscribe to Our Blog

Move HEALTHY.               Feel HEALTHY.              Live HEALTHY.