St. Nicholas Health Institute

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Dry Needling / Bio Medical Acupuncture / Cupping

Dry needling is the use of solid filiform needles for therapy of muscle pain, sometimes also known as intramuscular stimulation. Acupuncture and dry needling techniques are similar. Although the needles used have been called "acupuncture needles" and were described as such in the Huang Di Nei Jing in the Han dynasty and at one time were manufactured for use by acupuncturists they are now more properly referred to as solid filiform needles and are used in both procedures. Dry needling contrasts with the use of a hollow hypodermic needle to inject substances such as saline solution, botox or corticosteroids to the same point. Such use of a solid needle has been found to be as effective as injection of substances in such cases as relief of pain in muscles and connective tissue. Analgesia produced by needling a pain spot has been called the needle effect.

Acupuncture is a collection of procedures involving penetration of the skin with needles to stimulate certain points on the body. In its classical form it is a characteristic component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has been categorized as a complementary health approach. According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. Scientific investigation has not found any histological or physiological correlates for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture points, and some contemporary practitioners use acupuncture without following the traditional Chinese approach.

Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).