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Trigger Point Dry Needling

Dry needle techniques are used to relieve the pain and swelling associated with myofascial conditions. Myofascial conditions such as trigger points are caused by inflammation within the muscle. This inflammation is often related to overuse and chronic injuries. Research has shown that the insertion of needles directly into the inflamed muscle has a beneficial response decreasing the pain and swelling. The technique is referred to as dry because the needles inserted do not inject medication into the area. Acupuncture is also a form of dry needling by nature of the technique but not by the mechanism of effect. Acupuncture is the use of dry needles to manipulate energy within the meridian system in the body. Acupuncture is based on the Five Element Theory which involves the movement of Chi (energy) within a system of channels called meridians. Acupuncture points are usually located in areas of the body far from the area of pain being treated. Dry needling involves the insertion of needles directly into the area of pain.

Trigger point dry needling involves the insertion of extremely fine single-use sterile needles into inflamed muscles. The needles are so fine no tissue damage occurs during insertion and very rarely do the points bleed when the needles are removed. Bleeding only occurs if the patient moves during the treatment.

Trigger point dry needling works by a mechanism based on Western medicine, not Chinese medicine. Western medicine views dry needles as a method of altering the neurologic activity in the area of myofascial pain. In one study it was found that dry needling results in a significantly increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system for up to 18 minutes. This is important because the sympathetic nervous system is involved with the regulation of blood flow to all areas of the body. Trigger points are areas of the muscle in which the acidity level due to carbon dioxide buildup is high, which is caused by decreased blood flow to that area of the muscle. If a muscle is depleted of oxygen from decreased blood flow it cannot efficiently produce the energy needed for contraction and therefore becomes very energy efficient resulting in toxin buildup. These toxins cause inflammation and pain.

Other research has suggested trigger point dry needling stimulates neural pathways that block pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system. The pain control process occurs by Opioid suppression at the spinal cord level. These models believe that dry needling is a way to stimulate the natural pain-blocking mechanisms.

Dry needles are inserted directly into the location of a trigger point that is causing pain. In this diagram, the most common locations of trigger points of the back are highlighted. These are not the only locations that can be needled, a highly experienced practitioner is able to palpate the location of the offending trigger point.

Dr. Aiello has been using dry-needling methods for the last 25 years and believes alternate mechanisms are occurring during dry needling which conventional science is yet to understands. Dr. Aiello utilizes these alternate mechanism to produce an optimal effect from the dry needling procedure. In the first 22 years of his profession, he combined trigger point dry needling with traditional Chinese meridian theory. During this time he found it was effective in only a few circumstances and found that massage therapy was a better tool for the correction of soft tissue injuries. Three years ago Dr. Aiello discovered a neurologic connection with cold laser stimulus of acupuncture points. This discovery led to a revelation about the neurologic connection of the acupuncture system. This connection led him to abandon the traditional theories of the acupuncture meridian system and place a short-term pause on the use of acupuncture needles.

Dr. Aiello believes what the Chinese refer to as Chi is electromagnetic energy within the visible light spectrum. This electromagnetic energy is absorbed into the pigment system of the skin and is transferred to the biologic electromagnetic system within the nervous system. This electromagnetic system is the quantum system of life. Dr. Aiello published a book The Conscious Canary: A Complete Model of Biophotonic Communication in Multicellular Life in 2023 which elaborates on this system in detail.

Biologic electromagnetic frequencies govern all functions of life from genetic expression to energy metabolism. In his book, Dr. Aiello bridges the gap between the Eastern system of acupuncture and the Western medical understanding of neurology creating a new model which incorporates both systems into one. The biologic electromagnetic system is altered by electromagnetic pollution which comes from cell phones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and all other radiofrequency emitting signals. Upon this discovery, Dr. Aiello began using cold laser therapy exclusively in his office. The insertion of acupuncture needles has a detrimental effect on the electromagnetic system because needles act as antennas attracting electromagnetic pollution into this system. Through multiple experiments, Dr. Aiello has proven that immediately after the insertion of an acupuncture needle the neurologic system goes into an alarm state via the sympathetic nervous system. Before the invention of electricity and the introduction of electromagnetic pollution, the Chinese system of acupuncture was effective at transmitting the natural solar and biophotonic field of the individual being treated. In the current electromagnetically polluted environment we all live in, acupuncture has lost its value as a modality for balancing the electromagnetic system of the body.

Dr. Aiello has spent two years trying to develop a safe and effective way of transmitting this neurologic biophotonic energy by the use of dry needling. Cold lasers are very effective at superficial stimulus into the biophotonic system for balancing the negative effects of ambient electromagnetic pollution but needles add the benefit of a more direct effect on the sensory nerves. Superficial stimulus with the cold laser is an amazing tool for making general changes in the entire biophotonic system but dry needling is a method that can induce rapid changes to a specific nerve.

In the summer of 2020, Dr. Aiello found the answer to the dry needling dilemma of negating the background electromagnetic pollution, while developing a cold laser treatment for patients who were suffering from the effects of electromagnetic pollution called radiofrequency illness. The treatment he developed balances the patients electromagnetic system to the ambient electromagnetic pollution. The exciting part is this allows the safe insertion of a dry needle into specific nerves without the negative effects of background electromagnetic energy.

During the research writing his book, Dr. Aiello discovered the amazing benefits of red light therapy. Research has shown that red light therapy can increase cellular energy production and speed the recovery process of damaged cells. The only problem, which none of the red light manufacturers will disclose, is it is only a superficial benefit for the skin and red bloods cells. The pigments of the skin and the hemoglobin molecules absorb the majority of solar electromagnetic energy. Both of which are amazing benefits to red light therapy but it has no benefit in the healing process of deep soft tissue injuries. This is where dry needling comes into the picture, dry needles will transmit the electromagnetic energy of the red and near infrared light into the nervous system in the same way that needles transmit harmful background electromagnetic pollution.

Dr. Aiello has developed a protocol in which he performs a cold laser treatment to balance the body against the effects of electromagnetic pollution, which after a few visits should not need to be repeated very often. The only time the cold laser treatment needs to be repeated is if the ambient electromagnetic pollution has been changed by the introduction of a new radiofrequency, which Dr. Aiello monitors everyday on his patients. When a new frequency is introduced everybody receiving a dry needling treatment is reassessed and rebalanced as necessary.

Once a patient is balanced Dr. Aiello performs a dry needling treatment to the nerves associated with the area of injury. During the treatment Dr. Aiello uses a combination of light therapy over the area, which includes multiple frequencies of far infrared, three frequencies of near infrared, and two frequencies of red light. The far infrared frequencies create heat deep into the tissues which increases circulation in the area. The three near infrared frequencies increase structuring of biologic water which hydrates the cells and restores proper viscosity to speed healing. The two red light frequencies are the most important because these frequencies increase cellular energy production. When a muscle is over worked and becomes inflamed it is due to over stressing of the energy production systems in the mitochondria. Research on red light therapy has shown that cells exposed to red light therapy rebound from this stressed state rapidly. Dry needling allows the near infrared and red light frequencies to get deep into the tissues unlike red light therapy alone which cannot reach below the skin. This treatment differs from acupuncture, which utilizes specific acupuncture points to move energy, this treatment focus on stimulation of the nerves to restore proper neurologic input to the area of the injury.

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