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Intricate Art Dry Needling & Manipulation Courses to Optimize Physical & Mental Performance in Athletes

Intricate Art Dry Needling & Manipulation Courses to Optimize Physical & Mental Performance in Athletes

Are you looking for continuing education courses you can use to help athletes achieve optimal performance? Our courses will provide you with a unique perspective on dry needling and joint manipulation, with specific focus on how to combine the two to maximize autonomic nervous system homeostasis, the key to health and optimal athletic performance.

Dry needling combined with joint manipulation is the most powerful tool Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapists, and Chiropractors have at their disposal to improve neuromusculoskeletal health, recovery from injury, and athletic performance.

With our unique courses and methodology, medical practitioners will acquire the information, knowledge, understanding, and clinical skills to maximally induce autonomic nervous system homeostasis in their athletes. Tissue healing, recovery from injury, mental health, and athletic performance are all inhibited if the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides of the autonomic nervous system are not functioning in optimal harmony. High level athletes are under constant mental and physical stress. Any type of physical or mental stress, strain, pain, or trauma elevates sympathetic activity. Chronic sympathetic hyperactivity, something most athletes live with, inhibits their ability to perform at the highest level, mentally and physically.

Our approach to needling and how to combine it with joint manipulation involves specifically removing the inhibition obstructing our brain and body from optimal function, through the utilization of soft tissues as access points to change the brain. Thoughtfully performed dry needling, in conjunction with manipulation, optimizes mitochondrial function, tissue oxygen saturation, muscle firing patterns, nerve conduction velocity, hormone concentrations, and more. This effect can be leveraged and significantly amplified with the thoughtful application of these treatments.

Dry needling accomplishes this through direct contact of subcutaneous soft tissues innervated by varying parts of the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. Direct subcutaneous tissue contact is a unique and powerful aspect of dry needling. With proper understanding, this factor allows practitioners to facilitate tremendous amounts of brain and body homeostasis, improving all systemic function, allowing athletes to achieve maximum potential.

Dry Needling Improves Cerebral Blood Perfusion, Neuronal Function, Brain Homeostasis, & Athletic Performance

This is an awesome article reviewing a bunch of studies looking at the effect head and face needling has on cerebral blood flow, neuronal function, and patient outcomes.

CJin G-Y, Jin LL, Jin BX, Zheng J, He BJ and Li S-J (2023) Neural control of cerebral blood flow: scientific basis of scalp acupuncture in treating brain diseases. Front. Neurosci. 17:1210537. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1210537

The results indicate the primary mechanism by which face and head needling works is through brain alteration. Overall, sympathetic depression and parasympathetic elevation compared to baseline – the direction athletes need their autonomic nervous system pushed to achieve improved homeostasis. Increased cerebral blood perfusion, decreased inflammation, and improved neuronal function were seen throughout numerous studies using fMRI. Improved brain function improves sarcomere production secondary to exercise by optimizing the cellular environment for growth. This exponentially amplifies our number of mitochondria, as skeletal muscle cells each contain multiple nuclei, and therefore multiple mitochondria, a unique aspect of skeletal muscle cells.

This is the reason I always target the parasympathetic-dominant regions of the body with my first needles, then move on to treat whatever else. These regions include the sacral plexus, pelvic floor, upper cervical, vagus nerve in the ear, otic ganglion of the trigeminal nerve, and suture lines of the skull. This immediately pushes the autonomic nervous system in the direction we want it to go, toward parasympathetic dominance compared to baseline. Targeting the parasympathetics first limits the amplitude and duration of the initial sympathetic spike elicited from being poked with sharp objects, which has been shown to last about 15 minutes on average in the studies looking into this.

I want to push my patient's autonomic nervous system as far in the parasympathetic direction as possible, as fast as possible, for about an hour, or so. The longer the needles are left in place, to a point, with the parasympathetics dominant, the more effective treatment is. The longer the brain has to respond to a stimulus, if said stimulus just so happens to induce homeostasis, we can use it to free the brain and body of the inhibition limiting access to our innate healing abilities.

I continually see miraculous improvements and complete recovery from impairments other typical treatments fail to change, sometimes after decades. It’s so cool. The trick is treating the autonomic nervous system, rather than the specific impairment. If you are treating the nervous system itself, you will always be led to the area of primary complaint, as pain and loss of function are major factors disrupting homeostasis. This helps practitioners keep in mind that in order to maximize autonomic homeostasis, we need to target the parasympathetic dominant regions, while at the same time removing as much tissue pathology from the rest of the body as possible. Pathologic tissue stimulates sympathetics. Stimulating Parasympathetics reciprocally inhibits sympathetics. Why not both push and pull the autonomic nervous system towards homeostasis?

I regard needling as a brain treatment. A path to restore our innate superpowers.

We are just using the soft tissues and nerves throughout the body as access points to affect various locations in the brain. The needle is a significant-enough amount of direct tissue stimulation to induce incredible homeostatic and neuroplastic alterations in the brain. These alterations improve mental health, physical health, and athletic performance.

Check out these articles for a more in-depth look at how dry needling and joint manipulation can be used to treat common impairments. Click below to host a course.

Sympathetic Chain Pathology & Sympathetic Autonomic Hyperactivity: The Importance of Spinal Manipulation in Optimizing Autonomic Nervous System Homeostasis

Concussions: Dry Needling & Joint Manipulation to Help Treat & Resolve Impaired Brain Function

To Piston or Not to Piston: Should I Utilize the “Pistoning” Technique When Performing Dry Needling?

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DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog for Intricate Art Spine & Body Solutions, LLC is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. The information contained in this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Please consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare professional before acting on any information presented here.