Though commonly confused with the Chinese method of acupuncture, dry needling is a modern Western medical technique with it’s own concepts.


Developed in the 1940s by Janet Travell, dry needling is commonly defined as the use of a solid needle for therapy. Travell, a former medical adviser to the White House was nicknamed “The Mother of Myofacial-Trigger Point Knowledge,” according to


Dry Needling is used primarily to relieve pain in muscles and connective tissue.
According to The Maher Sports and Wellness Centre, dry needling can also treat headaches, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, muscle spasms, hip pain, knee pain and repetitive strain injuries.


During a session of dry needling, a solid needle is inserted directly into the myofascial trigger point. This will prompt a local twitch response (LTR), which is an involuntary spinal cord reflex where the muscle contracts. The LTR is an indication that dry needling has worked properly.


Dry needling is often called trigger point needling, intramuscular stimulation (IMS) and biomedical acupuncture.

Fun Fact

In addition to treating muscle-related pain, dry needling techniques help celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie, keep their skin looking youthful, reports