Dry Needling is a treatment that uses small filament (acupuncture) needles to release tight muscles with the goal of permanently reducing muscle pain and dysfunction. Dry Needling directly treats the neuromuscular system affecting muscle tightness, joint mobility, and symptoms of pain and irritation.
The application of a dry needle creates a local twitch response (LTR) in the muscle fiber. This release can immediately improve movement, reduce pain and improve function. There is often a significant cramping sensation from the twitch response but then an immediate improvement in the symptoms. Afterwards there may be a general ache in the muscle, similar to the feeling after an intense workout or following a deep massage.
Dry Needling is a very effective form of treatment however still requires in most conditions that the underlying biomechanics be addressed and therefore is used in conjunction with other ‘hands on’ techniques.
Dry Needling can be used for many conditions including but not limited to:
• Neck or back pain
• Tension type headaches
• Gluteal, rotator cuff, elbow and Achilles tendinopathy
• Piriformis Syndrome
• Jaw pain
• Groin strain
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Whiplash disorders
• Shin Splints
Meet our Team
Dr Kristy Buist is a Founding Director and Principal Osteopath at Body of Life Health Centre.
She has always genuinely wanted to help people live their healthiest life, and this led to her discovery and love of Osteopathy. Kristy has extensive experience treating elite athletes from various sporting codes and loves to see her clients perform their best at all times.
She is well known at the clinic for her diagnostic skills, guiding her clients with the best management plan and her strong hands! Kristy will ask the tough questions and enquire about obstacles because she sees the potential in each of her clients to live a healthy and fulfilling life. She loves to educate and inform you so that know how to move forward.
Kristy seems to have more hours in each day and days in the week than the rest of us! She is a mother of two energetic boys, has completed a Functional Nutritional course at Changing Habits, trains at Cross Fit regularly and still manages to socialise, cook from scratch at home and run the business.
She really is a superstar!
Emma is a wonderful addition to our team and loves the fact that she can go to work and make a difference to someone’s life.
She loves to help others, give back and empower people to make positive changes as well as improve their symptoms, functionality and overall health.
Emma enjoys creating a supportive and empathetic space for people to heal and enjoys hearing client’s stories and experiences and finding out what they are passionate about. She aims to make everyone feel that they are heard, acknowledged and supported by their treatment process and believes that Osteopathy is so much more than hands on treatment.
Her favourite way to exercise is by being outdoors either walking, swimming in the ocean, running or bike riding and she loves to meditate and bushwalk. In her spare time she loves to walk on the beach with her dogs and loves to garden, cook and enjoy a good coffee!
Her favourite TV shows include Suits and Orange is the new black and musically she loves Sticky Fingers, Ocean Alley and Tash Sultana.
The thing that Emma wishes all of her patients did is to understand that a healthy body isn’t just about eating well and working out. It’s also about having a healthy mind!
Her favourite motto is “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency you have”.
Dr Melanie Woollam is a founding Director and Principal Osteopath at Body of Life Health Centre. She has been providing Osteopathy care for individuals and families on the northern beaches for over thirteen years and is known at the clinic for her ability to coach people towards a healthy lifestyle. She walks the walk and practices what she preaches when it comes to healthy living!
Melanie is passionate about Osteopathy because it encapsulates everything she is interested in – people, health, anatomy, exercise, sport and nutrition. Her aim is to see her clients live full, complete and healthy lives. This passion has led her to study health and wellness coaching to be better equipped to help people make the changes they want to make to live their healthiest and best life.
In her spare time Melanie mentors other health practitioners, volunteers at Hope for Health (an Indigenous Health Retreat in East Arnhem Land), teaches dry needling, runs workshops and seminars on healthy living, sits on tribunals for the profession and is an active member at C3Ryde.
Melanie is a mother of two young children who loves to cook, potter in her vegetable garden, surf, swim or grab the TRX for a quick workout in between loads of washing!
Kate is a Kiwi and recently decided to come to our wonderful country to expand her horizons. She loves Sydney life, particularly being able to explore our wonderful city and discover beaches where she can indulge her love of Scuba Diving and keeping active. She absolutely loves high energy activity and you will often find her in the gym but she also loves discovering new cafes and restaurants so has a balanced approach to her life!
In her capacity as an Osteopath Kate believes that when we injure ourselves or have ongoing or debilitating pain we tend to lose our confidence in our bodies and our ability to perform certain tasks. She loves helping clients regain that confidence in their bodies and get back into activities they once enjoyed or helping them to perform new activities that they never thought that they would! Kate always encourages her patients to move and keep active because the simple impact of an exercise or stretch can make recovery time so much shorter.
Her favourite motto is “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt. Something we should all do!
Alex is a registered Osteopath and has been a valuable part of the team at Body of Life for over six years. She has always been interested in the body and the way it works. Alex suffered from headaches when she was young and she always thought there had to be a better way to explain and manage the pain. This led her to discover Osteopathy.
Alex is passionate about helping people to understand their condition or pain in order to move forward and enjoy life again. She is a brilliant communicator and is best known at the clinic for saying ‘Welcome to the torture chamber’ and having the treatment room with the most laughter!
In her spare time, she is at the gym, playing netball, spending time with friends or travelling overseas (when we let her go on holidays)!
Alex enjoys treating people of all ages, from all walks of life, with a wide variety of injuries and conditions.
Dry Needling Frequently asked questions
How long will it take?
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to fill in some paperwork and allow up to one hour for your initial visit. Dry needling is performed within an osteopathic or chiropractic consultation.
What should I bring?
Please bring any relevant previous scans (xrays, CT scans or MRIs) and your health insurance card if you would like to claim on the spot with our HICAPS facility.
What will happen during the first visit?
Your osteopath or chiropractor will ask you a range of questions about your complaint and general health. They will then perform an assessment and provide you with an explanation of what may be going on. They will suggest a plan of action for how to manage the complaint, prevent further recurrences and how to help you live your healthiest and best life. They will then usually provide some ‘hands on’ treatment, dry needling if it is appropriate during the first visit and recommend when you return for your next session.
What should I wear?
We often require you to change into a provided gown with your underwear or you may choose to wear a loose fitting pair of shorts. We will ensure you are warm and comfortable.
How many consultations are usually required?
There is no set answer as every person is different and every complaint presents slightly differently. For most complaints three of four visits is sufficient to reduce pain, improve mobility, provide education and give advice on reducing aggravating factors and improve overall health and well-being.
For more chronic conditions, complex injuries or where pre-existing health issues determine a slower healing time, perhaps more treatment will be required.
Will I require ongoing treatment?
For most people, once the injury has healed or the health complaint improved no ongoing treatment is required. However we live in a less than ideal world. Our lives are often either sedentary or the complete opposite; there are physical and emotional demands that exceed our body’s capacity. Therefore a ‘tune up’ or ‘check up’ is a great way to maintain good health. The frequency of these ‘tune-ups’ will depend on a number of factors and can be discussed with your osteopath or chiropractor. There is no obligation for ongoing treatment.
Is Dry Needling painful?
There is often a significant cramping sensation from the application of the needle which causes a twitch response in the muscles. This is then often followed by an immediate improvement in the symptoms. Afterwards there may be a general ache in the muscle, similar to the feeling after an intense workout or following a deep massage.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effect is muscle soreness after the twitch response. This may last for 24-48 hours and your osteopath or chiropractor will discuss how to minimise this after your treatment. A less common side effect is bruising. Please ask any questions prior to treatment.
Will I be able to train, play sport or exercise afterwards?
Your osteopath or chiropractor will be able to guide you with what do to after your dry needling. In most cases we advise ‘normal activity’ but not strenuous exercise for 24-48 hours afterwards.
What if I don’t feel like dry needling in a session?
Your osteopath or chiropractor will always check with you before using dry needling in your treatment. Sometimes if you are not feeling 100%, or are about to exercise or play sport you may not want dry needling. That’s ok. We can utilize a range of other techniques to decrease your pain and improve your mobility. Clear communication is always the key.
Are there any reasons why I shouldn’t have dry needling?
There are some situations where we will not perform dry needling. These may include during pregnancy (particularly the first trimester), if you have metal allergies, implants, axillary or inguinal node dissection, if you have had recent surgery or have a needle phobia.