Earlier this month I was privileged to be able to attend a Masterclass in dry needling (a medical acupuncture technique) by Dr Robert Gerwin at the Royal London Hospital for integrated medicine, in London, UK.
Dr Gerwin is a world renowned expert in treating myofascial pain (muscle pain and trigger points) using needling techniques. He is a neurologist and fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and practices in Washington DC.
He is also on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University school of medicine and attending physician at the Hopkins pain treatment centre. With such credentials, Dr Gerwin was able to impart years of clinical experience and knowledge in the area of dry needling. He was full of stories and anecdotes on how a simple dry needling approach and correct diagnosis has cured many people when other a approaches have failed.
Unfortunately it seems that many doctors are not sufficiently skilled in identifying trigger points as a cause of pain, and so get missed and untreated. The course focussed on the treatment of key muscles which may contribute to headaches, to neck and shoulder stiffness and pain, to elbow pain.
It was very interesting to be reminded how muscles can ‘mimic’ nerve pain so it’s important not to overlook the muscles of the neck and shoulder if for example a patient has radiating arm pain which feels ‘nervy’.
I have seen effective results already by integrating what I learnt into my clinical use of acupuncture. Learning these effective needling techniques from one of the world’s best was a real privilege.