Dry Needle Level-1 Course



This course is a three day introductory course to utilize DN in clinical practice and is open to Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Chiropractors, Physicians, Nurses, Physician’s Assistants and Athletic Trainers.  It will begin with a history of dry needling and its contrast and comparison to acupuncture. This course IS NOT an acupuncture course.  We will review relevant regional and three-dimensional anatomy as well as pathophysiology of common disorders as the weekend progresses.  It will cover the use of DN techniques in trigger points, myofascial pain syndromes and its use in musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.  Also included will be musculotendinous, tenoperiosteal and ligamentous applications. An introduction to Total Motion Release, founded by Tom Dalonzo-Baker, PT, will be included as time permits.  Safety and the proper handling of potential blood borne pathogens associated with DN applications will be emphasized. The course is designed to place heavy emphasis on practical, hands-on practice.  Participants will review clinical anatomy and practice DN treatment of each tissue and region covered throughout the course.  Each attendee will be expected to sign a waiver and practice DN on a lab partner. Pregnant females are not allowed to participate in the course as all attendees are expected to needle lab partners. The art of “needle palpation” will be covered.  This includes identifying different subdermal tissues as the tip of the needle advances into the body including normal and abnormal muscle tissue, scar tissue, ligaments, tendons, musculotendinous junction, adipose and periosteum.


*State practice act that includes dry needling as being within scope of practice.

*Active malpractice insurance.

*Signed liability waiver by all attendees.  Female attendees must sign to certify they are not pregnant.


Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  1. Have a thorough understanding of DN history and clinical applications.
  2. Understand normal and abnormal muscle contraction physiology.
  3. Identify precipitating and perpetuating factors in trigger point (TP) syndromes.
  4. Identify muscle attachments and trigger points by surface anatomy and muscle testing.
  5. Identify ligamentous and tenoperiosteal tissues by surface anatomy.
  6. Properly insert needles into each tissue identified including depth and angle of penetration.
  7. Understand and apply Total Motion Release concepts into treatment.
  8. Understand absolute and relative contraindications to DN therapy.
  9. Identify type of tissue encountered at the end of a needle using “needle palpation.”
  10. Utilize the different needling techniques and stimulation performed across the field.
  11. Discuss and apply electrical stimulation to inserted needles.
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Day 1 (10 hours)

8:00 – 9:00    -Introductory Lecture (including literature review, history and controversy)
9:00 – 10:00   -Safety, Contraindications, Adverse Effects, Needle Handling and Disposal
10:00 – 11:00 -Needle Insertion and Needle Palpation Techniques
11:00 – 1:00   -Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Needle Insertion and Practice
1:00 – 2:00    -Lunch
2:00 – 4:00    -Upper extremity Needle Insertion and Practice
4:00 – 5:30    -Posterior Hip Needle Insertion and Practice
5:30 – 7:00    -Review and Discussion

Day 2 (10 hours)

8:00 – 10:00    -Thoracolumbar Needle Insertion and Practice
10:00 – 12:00  -Posterior Cervical and Posterior Thorax Needle Insertion and Practice
12:00 – 1:00    -Anterior Hip Needle Insertion and Practice
1:00 – 2:00     -Lunch
2:00 – 4:30     -Lower extremity Needle Insertion and Practice
4:30 – 7:00     -Anterior Cervical and Anterior Thorax Needle Insertion and Practice

Day 3 (7 hours)

8:00 – 9:30     -Abdominal and Anterior Pelvis Needle Insertion and Practice
9:30 – 11:30    -Review and Practice of Significant Clinical Regions
11:30 – 12:30   -Total Motion Release Intro and Application in DN practice
12:30 – 1:30    -Neural Therapy Intro and Application
1:30 – 3:00     -Review and Discussion and Post-course Testing

Register Here!