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dry what?!

Dry needling. I never heard of it until the other day. The nice folks from Synergy Manual Therapy stopped by to demonstrate the technique at Crossfit Soco yesterday. I'm not usually one to volunteer for events involving needles.

After a quick discussion on the technique, I was curious. It way it was explained reminds me of e-stim. Obviously, they specialize in manual therapy, so they probably don't have electrical stimulation units in their office. The goal is to target a muscle area with the needle and move it around in such a way to get a muscle to release its contraction by changing its current electrical pattern. Electricity in my muscles?! Yeah, true story. If you don't know much about your nervous system and how electrical pulses hop inside your body, Google it or try this website.

I have been doing some isolation exercises and my hamstrings seem to have suffered the most. The past few days, they have been tight, sore, and overall just a mess. The area the therapist dry needled was just above the knee. She also caught the lateral portion of my thigh as evidence my tightening of my IT band. The needle is inserted into the tissue and then "see-sawed" a few times. The typical result is a tightening of the muscle. After a few moments it begins to release.

Dry needling felt like someone was tickling me, but on the other side of my skin. It was uncomfortable, but not painful. The worse part is getting it done the first time and realizing the therapist has more needles to use. I'm not sure about other people, but the sensation of the needle moving stuck around for awhile. The next day, the area felt pain free. I don't have any measurements on flexibility, so I can only say that it felt easier to stretch to or beyond where I was at in previous days. However, the effects seem to be very localized. I still have the same tightness I had in the muscle belly, an area that was not needled.

Would I recommend this? Maybe. This was a demonstration, so it was free. I'm not sure how much a session usually lasts or costs and how many needles are used. Those sound like things that would be discussed during a consultation. If your curious, a consultation may be in order. If you have an issue that hasn't been resolved through other methods, dry needling may be worth a try. Will I try it again? It is not at the top of my list. I see a reasonable priced massage therapist who can cover more area with her hands than can be comfortably covered with needles. The Synergy representative did mention that needles have the ability to get deeper than other forms of therapy. I will definitely keep that in mind.
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