Acupuncture & Dry Needling

FoRM offers both acupuncture and dry needling services to help relieve pain, modulate muscle and connective tissue/fascia tension, increase circulation, and support healing.  Dr Minarik finds dry needling particularly effective for certain athletic and musculoskeletal complaints.  Sprains and strains often have guarding related to damage at the joint or tendon injured.  Arthritis typically has compensatory muscle guarding or imbalances.  Repetitive and overuse injuries almost by definition have region so chronically tight muscles.  There are various acupuncture “techniques” (how and where needles are applied), as well as modalities used in conjunction (cupping, GuaSha, electric stimulation, infrared, and more).  Sessions are tailored to the patient’s condition, and typically involve a mix of dry needling and standard acupuncture techniques.  [For more, see FAQ  What is the Difference Between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?]


Conditions Treated

  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Tension or strain headaches
  • Sprains and strains
  • Low back and spinal related pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Gluteal tendinopathy
  • Shin splints


"Dr. Minarik,

THANK YOU!!!!  So as of today, I am able to box squat 165 for 3 and 155 for 5 with no hip pain.  I just added air squats in and wall balls without pain and some lunging.

 I will make an appointment soon for needling but I can't believe how much better my hip feels. I still have moments where walking up hill bugs it but it is doable. I can walk my dog around the block now. So happy about that! 

- SW (CrossFit Athlete with Hip Labral tear, treated with PRP and Dry Needling) 



Q: What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling? +
A: In a broad sense, acupuncture and dry needling are essentially the same; both techniques utilize small needles that are inserted through the skin.  Beyond that, however, there is typically a difference in both the decision as to where to apply the needles and how they are used or manipulated.  While some acupuncturists essentially use a style basically identical to dry needling, for many patients the experience can be quite different.

Acupuncture is based on a 2000+ year old system of Chinese philosophy which at a very basic level looks at the human body as essentially an energetic system existing in a state of fluctuating balance/imbalance.  Meridians, or channels, in the body related to an organ network (similar, but not synonymous with anatomic organs) help identify sites of blockage or imbalance where needles can be inserted.  Systemic imbalances, again related to the organs and the overall state of the person, are further treated with medications, herbs, food/nutrient choices etc that aim to restore the imbalance.  This Chinese Medicine view is complex, needing extensive training in the philosophy to fully understand it, or at least its application from a health standpoint.  Attempts to prove or understand it from a Western medical or anatomical view are difficult as basically it is like speaking two different languages or religions, i.e. intermixing French and Japanese when speaking, or trying to explain Christianity through Buddhist terms.  Acupuncture applied from within its own context can be very effective for a variety of conditions, as proven both in studies and by its presence in medical care for over 2 millennia.

Dry needling, in contrast, is based on a strict Western anatomical basis. Regions of tight, constricted muscles are identified.  Needles are inserted into (often) predictable sites of the muscles, usually motor or trigger points, and manipulated until a twitch in the muscles is elicited. This twitch is basically a quick contraction of the muscle. The twitch is essential; when a muscle contracts it typically then causes a reflexive relaxation of that muscle, thereby calming or re-setting the tone of the muscle.  

Interestingly, and where the debate often comes in across different practitioners, is that acupuncture points often coincide or overlap with the points used in dry needling.  This is of no surprise, however, and helps prove both therapies when you consider that two different viewpoints or philosophies end up with the same therapeutic site.
Q: Does acupuncture or dry needling hurt? +
A: Acupuncture typically does not hurt at all, other than an occasional very slight poke when a needle is inserted.  Treatments are often very relaxing, and patients may experience immediate pain reduction or increasing pain relief over the course of treatments.  Dry needling also has minimal if any discomfort with needle insertion.  The twitch of muscles is not as much painful, as much as a the often strong contractions are more involuntary and uncomfortable.  When applied, however, this is often a good sign, as the muscles needed a strong contraction to release.   Without any contractions elicited, dry needling is often not needed.   After a dry needling session, muscles are typically sore for 12-24 hours.
Q: Do I have to rest or limit activity after a dry needling treatment? +
A: In general, no. Movement can actually help reduce any lingering soreness from dry needling. At the same time, it is recommended to avoid intense exercise within 24 hours of a dry needling session.


Schedule an appointment online with Dr. Minarik or Dr. Herman.


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