We routinely get the question, “If I have already completed a myofascial trigger point dry needling course why should I attend an Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) course?” The best answer is to acquire a more diverse understanding and progress your skill development. The framework that many clinicians have trained and worked under lives in the Myofascial Trigger Point paradigm. Clinicians can get into a habit of looking for and finding a specific painful area then focusing the needling in just that area. This represents an isolation type technique that can have clinical effectiveness but certainly has limitations. Clinical skill development requires that you be involved in progressive skill challenges to address the diverse range of patient presentations encountered in clinical practice.
IDN provides a Peripheral Nerve Mapping model that takes into account the 3 S’s of dry needling, Symptomatic-Segmental-Systemic. For example, when a patient presents with particular complaint (s) they will describe a certain area (s) where they believe the pain is coming from. It is likely there will be objective findings of tissue change/inflammation/ guarding etc. specific to that area. This is the common description of a Symptomatic area. Symptomatic areas do not exist in isolation and have a peripheral nerve connection back to the spinal root (Segmental). Finally, the IDN concept discusses the Systemic physiological effects based on peripheral and central nervous system interactions.
Addressing the 3 S’s of dry needling is important for a comprehensive treatment plan. IDN provides a standardized, reproducible, and predictable model of dry needling while at the same time promoting new thoughts and new techniques. This is what IDN courses can offer to clinicians with traditional dry needling experience.