Dr. Hardy has been treating trigger points since 1990 as taught by Dr. Janet Travell, M.D., (1901-1997), an American Medical Doctor and the personal rheumatologist of United States president John F. Kennedy, whom was the first to propose the term myofascial trigger point ” in 1942.


Dr. Hardy utilizes acupuncture, dry needling and injections accompanied with stretching exercises to treat trigger points and myofascial pain.


The majority of times the treatment will consist of both acupuncture and dry needling techniques on the same visit to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.


Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture focuses on the Ah Shi points, which are acupuncture points specific to pain – which are tender spots that are often felt as nodules or slight swellings that is sore, tender and/or painful and sensitive to touch or pressure.


These acupuncture points can occur almost anywhere in the muscles, facia and ligaments and are often felt at the same location as meridian acupuncture points but not always.


The cause of Ah Shi points can be a result of an injury, continued tension or overwork to an area. This can cause local congestion which usually results anywhere on the body.


Any sensation from the stimulation of an Ah Shi point therefore remains close to that point being pressed or needled. 


This is the general rule of thumb however; as all acupuncture body points and areas can in fact be both Ah Shi points as well as trigger points, as the human body and various medical conditions have individual tendencies that are not set in stone!  


Dry Needling Treatment

Dry needling is a term often used by physical therapists and chiropractors used to describe

a technique for muscle stimulation using a needle.


It’s called dry needling because nothing is injected into the body with the needle.


The tool used for dry needling and acupuncture is the same.


Both practices use acupuncture needles, which are solid filiform needles. 


Dry needling focuses on trigger points which is a sensitive area in the muscle or connective tissue (fascia) that becomes painful when compressed.


Pressing on a trigger point can cause referred pain and can help identify the external area in the body generating the pain.


The main difference between trigger points and Ah Shi points is when applying pressure to a trigger point, any discomfort, pain or other sensation such as tingling or mild numbness will

be referred to an area.


Dry Needling appeared in the late 1940s and was originally done with empty hypodermic needles (a “dry” needle meant that no medication was injected into the body).


Dry needling today is done with acupuncture needles.


Dry needling is specifically intended to treat musculoskeletal and myofascial pain via muscle trigger points.


The needles are used to directly stimulate these trigger points, with the aim of alleviating pain and cramping, improving range of motion, and reducing muscle tension.


Needles may also be inserted in the tissue surrounding the primary pain point.


Dry needling is focused on using strong stimulation on the muscles to get them to release.


As a result, the experience for the patient will be a lot different between these two different forms of treatment.


Acupuncture is generally not painful at all, while dry needling can be. 


Compared to acupuncture, dry needling has only been around for a very short period of time.

Training and Regulation Issues

Another key difference between dry needling and acupuncture is the amount of training required to administer each of these forms of treatment.


There are no standard guidelines or licensing requirements for dry needling as a therapeutic treatment, which means that it can be performed with minimal training.


It is not uncommon for a non-acupuncturist to receive as little as one weekend workshop.


Acupuncture requires significantly more training. Although it depends on the state, often it requires graduating from an accredited school and hundreds of hours of both classroom training and clinical practice experience.


Dr. Hardy has received over 3000 hours, of combined acupuncture training, hands-on training, and supervised clinical training with Physician’s from China.


In addition to training in diagnosis and biomedicine—all through an accredited program of study that requires a national board examination followed by continuing education.


Safety Issues and the Patient Experience

Acupuncturists are highly skilled and educated practitioners.


Because they have had extensive training, their patients experience little (if any) discomfort during treatment.


Practitioners of dry needling do not have the same level of training and proficiency.


They can sometimes be too aggressive with needle insertion or inadvertently contaminate

the needles; this often results in additional pain for the patient and potential bleeding,

bruising, and infection.


Needles up to 4 inches in length may be required to reach muscle tissue located deep within the body, leading to more serious complications, such as pneumothorax/collapsed lung and nerve injury.


Dry needling is widely recognized as an invasive procedure.


Several national acupuncture associations and organizations, as well as the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the American Medical Association,

have voiced strong concern about patient safety.


In 2011, The American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine issued the following Position Statement:


The U.S. Department of Education recognizes (ACAOM) as the sole accrediting agency for Acupuncture training institutions as well as their Master’s and Doctoral Degree programs.


Training in Acupuncture, which has been rigorously refined over the course of hundreds of years internationally and forty years domestically, is well established and designed to support safe and effective practice.


Attempts to circumvent Acupuncture training standards, licensing or regulatory laws by administratively re-titling acupuncture as “dry needling” or any other name is confusing to the public, misleading and creates a significant endangerment to public welfare.

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