What is Advanced Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture?
Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture (TrPDNA) is a technique of resolving pain and compromised function by needling specific bands of tissue in muscle which are in a state of hyper-engagement.
These taut bands contain what are called "trigger points" which are areas in the muscle with restricted blood flow, lower oxygen saturation, and a lower (i.e., more acidic) pH. These circumstances lead to neurological responses leading to discomfort and altered function of the muscle.
The intent of TrPDNA is to change the structure of the local trigger points by using an acupuncture needle directed at the center of the point. This sometimes requires deep needling with repeated motions in and around the area. Multiple needles might be inserted along the taut band to resolve the local trigger points.
The TrPDNA administered at Foster Wellness is "advanced" in that dry needling techniques are fundamentally an intrinsic component of original Chinese acupuncture and therefore our dry needling techniques are inherently more refined than a non-acupuncturist with limited adjunct training where needling is not their core skill. In addition, Greg has undertaken additional training beyond more basic acupuncture education to even further refine his dry needling skills.
How is Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture different from other styles of acupuncture?
TrPDNA is different from other styles of acupuncture you may have received at Foster Wellness. While the needles are similar in length and diameter, the needles used for TrPDNA are more highly polished which allows them to be moved more precisely into the tissue and affect the trigger points. The goal of this active needling is to produce muscle fasciculations (twitches) which are a sign that the taut band is relaxing. A fasciculation is a spinal cord reflex and is a desirable response to this style of acupuncture. Depending on a patient's condition it is likely that needling will continue until the fasciculations are fully resolved.
Another difference from other acupuncture styles is that your practitioner will wear nitrile gloves during this procedure. TrPDNA requires the use of both hands (one maintaining a secure hold of the muscle tissue and the other actively needling) and, immediately upon removing the needle, hemostasis is applied. Hemostasis (pressure on the skin) is necessary to minimize a possible hematoma (bruise). By wearing nitrile gloves, your practitioner can safely and quickly press the insertion site without having to use a cotton swab, which is typically used for other styles of acupuncture.
TrPDNA is a technique used in conjunction with other acupuncture methods within your same treatment. This helps minimize any post-treatment discomfort, as treating your full constitution (and whole body) is necessary. No condition forms in isolation.
When TrPDNA is utilized as part of your treatment, your practitioner will inform you prior to starting the needling and will be in constant communication to make sure you are comfortable. As with other styles of acupuncture, your comfort is always the highest priority and changes can be made to address any discomfort.
What might I expect after a Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture session as compared to other acupuncture sessions at Foster Wellness?
As TrPDNA is a more active form of acupuncture, there is a likelihood of experiencing post-treatment soreness unique to this style. While it is rare to have post-treatment soreness with other forms of acupuncture, the intent of TrPDNA is to affect local tissue and therefore can result in muscle soreness similar to what you might experience following a strong workout. Depending on the area of your body that was needled, you might also have residual bruising.
It is important to perform self-care following a session of TrPDNA which could include temporarily modifying your regular exercise routine until the soreness reduces. That said, gentle movement and stretching will actually help perpetuate the effects of the session. During your visit your practitioner will discuss your specific situation and offer customized advice, including whether heat or ice applications would be relevant.
FAQ & Insurance
What is an acupuncture set?
A "set" denotes the groups of needles used and associated time applied during a treatment session. The most common type of treatment consists of three sets. Offering a "double set" treatment provides the option of a shorter treatment for those clients looking for an abbreviated yet effective session when combined with another modality, such as massage.
What should I know about acupuncture and insurance?
In order to provide the most effective care, I frequently use a combination of acupuncture, manual or massage therapy, and heat therapy in a single session. I bill for each of these treatments accordingly. While all of these modalities are within the scope of an acupuncturist's practice, some insurance companies combine the latter modalities (manual therapy, massage therapy, or heat therapy) with physical or massage therapy benefits and thus those benefits might be affected. For example, if you receive 12 "acupuncture" visits and 60 "rehabilitation" visits per year, in one acupuncture visit, if massage and acupuncture are combined, your insurance plan may deduct from both your acupuncture as well as rehabilitation benefits, resulting in 11 and 59 remaining, respectively. It is very important for you to fully understand your specific insurance plan so you know what to expect after a session. Please use me as a resource if you have any questions before or after you speak with your insurance representative so you can make an informed decision about how to best utilize your benefits.
How do I verify if my insurance will cover this?
When speaking with my insurance, what questions should I ask?
DOes Foster Wellness file the insurance claim?
As a courtesy, Foster Wellness will file your claim with your primary carrier, and with your primary insurance ONLY. Foster Wellness will NOT file with any secondary insurer. Please plan accordingly.
Which insurance providers are accepted?
Other programs are pending, so please contact me if your insurance plan is not listed.
When should I contact my insurance provider?
It is important to contact your insurance provider prior to treatment to confirm your acupuncture and/or massage benefits as well as to determine if a prescription is required for either.
What happens if my claim is denied by insurance?
It's important to note that you are responsible for any fees denied by your carrier.
What's your cancellation policy?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify me as soon as possible via email via the scheduling portal, both of which are available 24 hours a day. Changes made to your scheduled appointment less than 24 hours in advance will incur a cancellation fee of the value of your booked session. Insurance providers will not pay this fee on your behalf.