I am launching my online dry needling course to help support physiotherapists, physicians and acupuncturists in developing their technical skills and clinical reasoning while treating clients with resistant pain problems. There are numerous different approaches to dry needling and different restrictions on scope of practice in different areas of the world, which has made the level of training of practitioners to be quite variable and the patient experience to be very inconsistent. My intention with this course is not to be a formal body that certifies health professionals to be able to needle their clients, but to act as a mentor to those that have already trained to use one form of dry needling and may want to expand or refine their skills.
I own two physiotherapy clinics in Vancouver, Canada and have been using IMS dry needling in my practice since I trained with Dr. Chan Gunn in 2008. I have since helped mentor many of the physiotherapists that work with me, but have found that their level of training was quite different from person to person, which really affected their approach and their confidence in how they integrated needling into their practice. As physiotherapists in Canada, we have a broad scope of practice that allows us to pull some of the best techniques from other disciplines and make them our own. We can develop a large tool belt to help people, but it can become challenging to integrate a very powerful tool like IMS with everything else that we know. This course will very practically show you how I use dry needling in my practice with written explanations and videos of assessment, education and treatment for every part of the body.
I have taken a lot of post-graduate courses and am never very satisfied with the takeaway resources in their ability to help me develop my skills after the fact. This course is exactly what I would have wanted to have after taking Dr. Gunn’s courses in 2008, a video-based resource library that demonstrates all the techniques with a mentor explaining why and when to use the intervention. That being said, this course is not a regurgitation of what I learned thirteen years ago; it is built on Dr Gunn’s platform, but is strongly influenced by my work with Diane Lee, the teachings of Shirley Sahrmann and the wisdom of Jean Pierre Barral. I have learned from a variety of gurus in the world of body workers and combined it with my own experience to provide you with a model that I have had great success with clinically.
It is important to understand what biases you are coming into any course with; a physiotherapist, a physician and an acupuncturist all look at the body in very different ways and all work within a very different model of care which can influence how a professional chooses to use an intervention. In my experience as a physiotherapist, physicians that use both dry needling and trigger point injections can tend to zoom-in too much and focus on treating localized areas of tenderness while acupuncturists can tend to zoom-out too much and take an overly indirect approach to treating clients in pain. Both professions are filled with incredibly gifted clinicians, but I also believe that both could stand to learn from a physiotherapy approach that is somewhere in the middle and involves client education, mindful awareness and movement training.
I have chosen to offer this course on the Udemy platform because I like how the interface allows for a combination of written content, video content and downloadable resources. It will allow you to access it on your laptop, tablet or phone, which should make it an invaluable resource to act as an online mentor within your clinic.
You will find short informative clips on my Instagram, YouTube and Facebook channels and a collection of my stories and explanations in my book Why Things Hurt: Life Lessons from an Injury Prone Physical Therapist.
This course is broken into 7 sections: Global Posture & Stiffness, Low Back Pain, Hip, Groin & Knee Pain, Shoulder, Jaw & Neck Pain, Mid-Back, Rib & Chest Pain, Elbow, Arm & Hand Pain, and Ankle & Foot Pain. Each section is further broken down into Why to Needle, What to Look For, How to Explain and How to Needle with a series of videos and written articles.
You will find both long form videos demonstrating what muscle groups are commonly treated together around a joint AND a techniques library that provides short form videos for each specific muscle. The techniques library will be your best resource to revisit the course to refresh your handling skills in particular areas.
Brent ties the course together by sharing his advice and thought process when assessing, educating and treating clients with a variety of physical and psychological challenges. You can also download PDF cheat sheets for yourself and client education handouts your your client.
Have a look at a clip from the Shoulder, Neck and Jaw video that highlights Brent explaining his use of IMS dry needling to treat TMJ issues. The full course includes hours of videos explaining and demonstrating techniques for the entire body.