Drs Martin & Sue Allbright

'Blending an ancient medical approach of mind and body with modern health'


Acupuncture Research






We would like to share with you our personal view, beliefs and approach about the research that is presented on these pages.

We both value the research of modern science and the many developments that have been discovered.

We also value the depth of wisdom and knowledge of traditional and classical five element acupuncture, which integrates the many aspects of body and mind.

We acknowledge the information gained from research, and we endevaour to use it where appropriate when meeting the needs of an individual who is suffering in health.

We hope later to share more information on the five elements of acupuncture.


Classical Acupuncture

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12th April 2024

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DRY NEEDLING. Dry needling is a specific component of Western Medical Acupuncture. The term dry needling is used to differentiate it from 'wet needling', and now it has been classed as a style of its own and is used considerably by health care professions involved in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system, (Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractitioners and some Massage therapists).

It is when solid needles are inserted into muscles and surrounding supportive structural tissue, (myofascial tissue) to produce a local effect on the muscle. The needle activates a stretch receptor in the muscle, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). This eleviates symptoms locally but often also symptoms which maybe referred to other areas of a person.

In the East Asia countries there is a long history of practice based on the Chinese Classics where the approach relies on very careful palpation of what are called "Ah Shi" points, 'painful muscle points' which often correspond to both trigger points and/or motor points in the myofascial tissue. Some people describe this oriental style as tendinomuscular acupuncture.

In many respects the field of treating ashi points was refined and developed by Janet Travell MD (who actually used hollow hypodermic needles and injecting saline, what we call 'Wet needling') in treating muscle knots and observing relief of referred pain at the same time. She co-authored in writing her results up as 'Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: Trigger Point Manual' which are now considered significant reference books in this field.

INTRAMUSCULAR STIMULATION was created by Dr. Chan Gunn who was a physician at the Worker's Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 1970's. He became frustrated that the modalities he had available to treat (prior to IMS) the large number of mysteriously stubborn cases were ineffective. It is a very strong form of needling.

The modern biomedical actions of either DN or IMS are sometimes otherwise known as Trigger point acupuncture.

However these approaches are but one aspect of WMA which also include other aspects eg. Electroacupuncture.

There is some opinion that practitioners who practice dry needling should meet the same standards as licencsed acupuncturists in the USA but in the UK there is no statutory government regulation of acupuncture. Arthur Yin Fan, Jun Xu & Yong-ming Li (2017) Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. February 2017, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 83–90

Reference for the above Definition.

(Dry Needling.  also referred to as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), is an invasive procedure in which a solid filiform needles is inserted into the skin and muscle.


(2018) Immediate and delayed effect of dry needling in musculoskeletal disorders

Methods: Patient was prepared and identified the extreme tender point over the muscle affected and needle

removed after 3-5 twitch response elicited. Sterility of the treatment area and needle was well maintained. Prior to the treatment again confirmed with the Numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) score and procedure was done. After few seconds of insertion of needle subjects NPRS score assessed. After removal of needling pain score was assessed after 5 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour and after one day.

Results: Study showed a marked reduction in pain after dry needling at each intervals and this suggesting promoting dry needling as an adjunct to pain relief

Riyas Basheer K. B.,  Jazeel N. M. Et al (2018) Immediate and delayed effect of dry needling in musculoskeletal disorders. . Int J Res Med Sci. 2018 Aug;6(8):2746-2749

(2016) Comparison of Dry Needling and Physical Therapy in Patients with Trapezius Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

'Introduction: Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) are one of the main characteristics of musculoskeletal disorders. The main purpose of this study was to compare the long-term effects of dry needling (DN) and physical therapy modalities (PT) on the MTrPs of upper

trapezius muscle.

Material and Methods: A total of 34 subjects with upper trapezius MTrP participated in this study. Subjects were randomly assigned into two groups of DN (N = 17) and PT (N = 17). DN group was treated two sessions per week, and PT group was treated three sessions per week. Pain intensity, pressure pain threshold (PPT), cervical range of motion (CROM), and function of upper limbs were assessed every session.

Results: Significant decrease of pain (P = 0.002), increase of CROM (P = 0.002), PPT (P = 0.003), and functional improvement of upper limbs (P = 0.001) after treatment occurred in both groups. DN group revealed more improvement than the PT group (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Although both of PT and DN are effective treatments for MTrP, the DN seems to be more effective.'

Shima Hesari, Behrouz Attarbashi-Moghadam, Azadeh Shadmehr. (2016) Comparison of Dry Needling and Physical Therapy in Patients with Trapezius Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Pub. Journal of Modern Rehabilitation 2016; 10(1): 43-47

(2016) Therapeutic effects of dry needling in patients with upper trapezius myofascial trigger points

‘Conclusions The results of this study showed

that one session of Dry needling (DN) targeting active Myofascial trigger points appears to reduce hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and irritability of the motor endplate. DN seems effective at

improving symptoms and deactivating active

MTrPs, although further research is needed.’

Abbaszadeh-Amirdehi M, et al. (2016) Therapeutic effects of dry needling in patients with upper trapezius myofascial trigger points  Pub. Acupunct Med 2016;0:1–8. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2016-011082


Dry Needling (DN)

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

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