The Concept of “Point” Misleads the Practice of Dry Needling; Neuroscience Clarifies This Concept

Practitioners use the acupoint or trigger point concept in pain management because empiricially needling those points provides pain relief. Recent research has shown that the concept of points, i.e. acupoints and trigger points, is a typica example of human error and bias.  This misleading concept results in many negative consequences.

  1. Reduction in the clinical efficacy of dry needling.

  2. Students and clinicians waste a significant amount of time and energy studying this concept,

There is significant data to show that without focusing on the concept of needling points you will achieve much better clinical results. The sensitivity of the body surface  is generated by irritation of the sensory nerves resulting from neurogenic inflammation. Peripheral nerve endings innervate various types of tissues and can be effectively needled locally, specifically in acute injuries. However, inflammation does not exist as a point and we must address it with a more global approach.  Needling neurogenically inflamed tissue will provide re-organization leading to healing.

That is why for dry needling practitioners you should study the nervous system, not the acupoints or trigger points.