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      I have a patient that I suggested Dry Needling to and he proceeded to enlighten me about a relatively obscure practice that he and a community of people take part in.

      Prior to consenting to treatment, he informed me that he had previously been a participant in a Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadochism and Masochism (BDSM) community. In particular, they participated in a variety of different “needle play” activities, utilizing a variety of different needle types for enjoyment with a partner, not necessarily sexual, but sometimes so.

      He expressed, (and I believe) that his intention in telling me this was to provide me with a sense of his comfort around needles. After chatting a bit and getting some background on his experience with needles, I proceeded to give him the risks/benefits of dry needle therapy and we agreed to try out a DNT session, with appropriate boundaries in place.

      The patient responded well to treatment, and I made sure to thank him for his openness about what must be a personal subject for him. I also assured him that our clinic values the anonymity and of our patients, and takes confidentiality seriously, which he greatly appreciated.

      I have been doing some google searching about “needle play”, starting with the following wikipedia article:


      Assuming that this is a niche sect of people participating in such activities, I thought it would be prudent to bring it to the attention of our DNT community. My experience with this particular patient was respectful, and educational with appropriate boundaries, but I could see how someone from a BDSM community might try to take advantage of our services, or step outside of appropriate clinician-patient boundaries. Although the instance of meeting someone from this cultural subset may be rare, it seems to me that knowledge and better understanding of these folks could be beneficial for DNT practitioners.

      Has anyone else met someone from this community in the Dry Needling/Manual Therapy setting?


        I had a lady several years ago very similar to your experience. Something about hooks under the skin and pulling / hanging.

        Everything was always professional and she responded well to dry needling treatment. Interesting stories though lol.

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