Friday Favorite: Spotlight on Acupuncture Trigger Point Therapy
Ever since my first experience with acupuncture in mid-May, I have been trying to go in once a week for sessions at Havertown Community Acupuncture. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was great! During my third session, Randi asked if I felt ready to try the slightly more aggressive Trigger Point Therapy (also commonly referred to as Dry Needling) for my upper trapezius pain. I was like “yessssss let’s get in there!”
She told me that she was going to insert the acupuncture needle into the trigger point (basically the most knotted up, painful muscle knots in my shoulders/neck), manipulate it slightly (move it around a little bit), until the needle releases the muscle. She warned me that I might feel my muscle quiver or jump as it releases (weird I know).
When I was getting my Neurokinetic assessment a few weeks ago, John and I were talking about how even though I am used to having muscle pain in certain spots, that doesn’t make it normal.
Just because my shoulders are always tense and my right levator scapulae/upper trap have chronic pain and tension, doesn’t mean it’s something I have to just shrug off and deal with every day for the rest of my life. My acupuncturist pushing her thumb into my trap shouldn’t feel agonizing to the point that I want to scream out loud in pain. So I’m gonna keep going and keep doing my NKT homework and keep paying attention to my body and taking care of it. Plus it feels awesome.
Anyways, back to the Dry Needling. We do this treatment at the end of a regular acupuncture session, so I get to lay there and relax for almost an hour and then we get to it. I sit up, she kneels behind me (on a massage table) and in goes the needle. I definitely have to breathe through it and grit my teeth a little bit, because it’s rough. It’s fairly painful, because the muscle is so knotted and so tender, but not excruciating. But as it releases and she removes the needle and massages the trigger point with her hand, I feel an intense heavy relief in my shoulders like there is a rock sitting on each one. They feel sore and heavy, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. Usually they feel knotted and scrunched up towards my ears, but after the dry needling they feel weighted like they are being pulled back down to where they are supposed to be. For the rest of the night and the next day or two, it feels like I got an hour long deep tissue massage, just from 5-10 minutes of dry needling. It’s sore in a “hurts so good” kind of way.
If you have muscle pain that you have kind of just been dealing with, I highly recommend Randi at Havertown Community Acupuncture. She takes a thorough, detailed look at your pain history and beyond, and she seems like she genuinely wants to help me feel better every time I go in. I’m already looking forward to next week!