Dry Needling

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
• Sciatica
• Jaw pain
• Groin strain
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Whiplash disorders
• Shin Splints

Meet our Team

  • Dr Kirsten Hannan (Osteopath)
    Dr Kirsten Hannan (Osteopath)
    B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA
Dr Kirsten Hannan (Osteopath)
B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA

Kirsten is a fantastic addition to the team at Body of Life, with over 15 years of clinical practice experience spanning Singapore and Australia. She graduated from the University of Western Sydney in 2004 with a Masters of Osteopathy.

Kirsten offers osteopathic health care for the whole family and is passionate about helping people. She believes that educating you about why you (or your little ones) have pain, why it’s happening where it is and why now, is integral to finding immediate relief and lasting recovery. With skilled, hands-on assessment and treatment and a caring attitude, she is here to help you.

Kirsten has a particular interest in pregnancy and postpartum care and working with babies and children of all ages. She is also a registered International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), integrating the very best of bodywork and evidence-based lactation care and support to help mums overcome any obstacles and reach their breastfeeding goals, whatever they may be.

In her spare time, Kirsten loves pilates and swimming, but her main exercise comes in the form of kid-wrangling!  She loves spending time with her family, along with reading and listening to podcasts.

  • Alex Boakes (Chiropractor)
    Alex Boakes (Chiropractor)
    B.Chiro.Sc.M.Chiro (Macquarie University)
Alex Boakes (Chiropractor)
B.Chiro.Sc.M.Chiro (Macquarie University)

Alex is an enthusiastic and committed chiropractor who completed his Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and his postgraduate Master of Chiropractic at Macquarie University.

At Macquarie, he was fortunate to be mentored by many of the most respected chiropractors in Australia. As a practising chiropractor, Alex continues his professional development at every opportunity. Alex provides his patients with high quality care, which includes needling, soft tissue work, adjustments, and rehabilitation as part of his treatments and is particularly interested in treating people with sports injuries and prevention of further injuries.

Alex has always resided on the Northern Beaches, is a keen sportsman and a great fan of sporting participation and involvement for people of all ages. With his own sporting experience in rugby league, rugby union, soccer and basketball, Alex has a deep understanding of the impact of sporting injuries on one’s everyday life. Most importantly, Alex knows the long term benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of sporting injuries and the maintenance of a healthy body functioning at an optimal level.

Alex’s motivation to become a chiropractor stems from his own experience with a significant sporting injury to his lower back. After seeking treatment, without success, from a range of health professionals, Alex ‘discovered’ chiropractic. With excellent chiropractic care, Alex was able to return to competitive sport with his body moving optimally. He was inspired by the positive outcomes and the great benefits of chiropractic. It is these benefits that Alex seeks to provide to his own patients so that they can enjoy optimal health and well-being.


  • Dr Stacey Lapham (Osteopath)
    Dr Stacey Lapham (Osteopath)
    B.HSc. B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA
Dr Stacey Lapham (Osteopath)
B.HSc. B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA

Stacey graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a Masters of Osteopathy in 2006 and since then has gained registration as an Osteopath in both Australia and the UK.

Stacey has practised in multidisciplinary clinics across Sydney and London over the past decade. While in London Stacey tutored in Anatomy in the wet labs of London’s St George’s University Hospital working with cross-sectional cadaveric specimens, gaining invaluable knowledge of the connections of the human body.

Stacey was an elite athlete for over 25 years winning multiple State, National and International titles in Athletics, Cross Country and Touch football over her sporting career. It was through her love of sport and her own injuries that lead her to study the human body. Through this, and her knowledge and experience as an Osteopath she came to recognise the connection between mind and body and the important relationship they play in accurately diagnosing and treating conditions.

Stacey believes in getting to the root cause of the problem. Her thorough consultations and holistic approach to treatments help patients to understand the cause of their problem, and how to manage this for long term benefits.

With her caring nature, Stacey has been dedicated to providing her patients with Osteopathic care and has developed a great level of rapport with her patients over the years.

Stacey enjoys treating all conditions including work-related postural pain, sports-related injuries, neck and back pain, joint pain and headaches. Stacey uses a wide range of techniques to help her patients return to good health and improve their quality of life. She also practices trigger point dry needling and is a certified mat Pilates instructor.


  • Dr Mark Deaves (Osteopath)
    Dr Mark Deaves (Osteopath)
    B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA
Dr Mark Deaves (Osteopath)
B.App. Sc. (Osteo). M. Ost Member OA

Attaining peak physical performance in sport, as well as life, with minimal intervention has always been a core focus for Mark. Before becoming a well regarded Osteopathic practitioners Mark served as a Navy Clearance Diver in the Australian Defence Forces, as well as a personal trainer and senior lecturer in the fitness industry.
Mark’s extensive training as well as past experience enables him to achieve excellent results with his patients in reducing pain, postural correction, injury rehabilitation and prevention as well as improved biomechanics.
Mark’s treatments combine the following:
• Soft tissue therapy and Joint mobilisation
• Manipulation and Dry needling
• Cranial therapy
• Postural retraining
• Exercise rehabilitation programs
• Sports taping and ergonomics education for work and home
Mark loves helping people reach their peak performance, but be aware, he has really bad Dad jokes ?

To book an appointment with an Osteopath or Chiropractor for Dry Needling call

02 9453 3046 or book online here

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.

Body of Life Health Centre is a provider of excellence in health services and education,
servicing the Northern Beaches and North Shore.

We exist to equip you to live your healthiest and best life. We are a multidisciplinary team of health practitioners that provide a range of services to you, your family and the local community.

Book in with an Osteopath, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist or visit us for Dry Needling, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, Psychology and Health & Wellness Coaching. 

We inspire, equip, educate and support our clients on the Northern Beaches and North Shore to make the changes they need to feel their best!