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AAP Education Dry Needling

in All Physio Blogs, Clinical Physio
22 Nov 2017  |  0 Comments

AAP Education are celebrating their 22nd consecutive year of teaching Dry Needling! Doug Cary shares his views and has a great offer for Physio Hub subscribers.

By Doug Cary of AAP Education

Since 1996, I have had the privilege of teaching and mentoring so many awesome clinicians, as they started their dry needling journey. During this time, I have also been on a learning journey and come to realise that dry needling is just a tool and like any tool, it only functions as good as the person holding onto the blunt end.

I have never understood why courses focus on "you will learn how to needle 40 muscles or 60 muscles or ...."

See, anyone can needle but;

  • did the clinician select the right client for dry needling?
  • did the clinician understand the client's underlying problems?
  • is dry needling appropriate/most appropriate approach?
  • what tissue is possibly at fault; somatic, cerebral, or both?
  • can the clinician localise/isolate the correct tissue?

and ultimately, will the approach be effective? There is so much more to dry needling that sticking in a needle. Being shown more muscles, doesn’t mean you learn or understand more.

Based on this, I restructured our Dry Needling Program into a 4-level dry needling program.

The focus is on learning, understanding, and skill acquisition, all within a supportive environment. As a result of the restructure, we also now offer cost savings as well.

We all learn in different ways, so the Level 1 - Introductory/Refresher Course involves a three-pronged learning approach;

  • Online pre-reading & theory modules (10 hours) + DVD of all practical techniques learnt for later review
  • Face to face 1 day training and practice (8 hours)
  • 2 hour Living Anatomy Wet Lab @ University of Western Australia

What do others think of this 3-way learning approach?

"I really appreciated;

  • Surface anatomy review
  • Doug - very approachable + non-threatening
  • Manual - very detailed + easy to read"


Beth Vellios - Physiotherapist

"Doug, I found the;

  • case study presentations
  • demos and the low ratio of students to presenter
  • plantar fascia discussion
  • wet lab anatomy workshop
  • course manual and technique DVD for future reference all very helpful.

This course goes beyond just needling skills and pushes your ability to clinically reason. It encourages thinking outside the box and to question what is already 'given knowledge'. It's been a pleasure being in your courses for the past 4 days."

Tisha Bohne – Physiotherapist

"I appreciated the excellent and precise nature of lecturing and practical demonstrations."

Steve Sweeney


I deliberately selected muscles for the Level 1 Course, that are commonly treated every day in clinical practice; meaning you will immediately be able to transfer your learning into your work environment. No waiting around.

Now, in addition to experiencing a progressive dry needling program, participants have 2 recurring comments after the courses;

1.    Man, my palpation skills sucked before doing this course
2.    Woh, I didn't realise how much anatomy I had forgotten

Go back to my original statement - anyone can needle. It is true!  However, I honestly believe that to be an effective dry needler, two of the critical skills you must achieve, are accurate palpation of surface anatomy and knowledge of functional/relative/depth anatomy. Basically, what am I touching and what is under the thing I am touching? It may sound simple, but it is a very refined skill that needs practice and guidance.


Your Physio Hub Clinical Bonus

If you have reached this part of the blog, I am guessing you are at least half interested in learning the art of dry needling. For that reason I am going to offer you access to a series of 20 dry needling insights/research articles/case studies that I have written, PLUS as a bonus, you will receive a 21 page report on infection awareness and control in regards to dry needling and acupuncture. Plenty of food for thought.

You can access this Physio Hub offer (


Dry Needling Getting Started + Discount

You can now access the Level 1 Introductory Course in February 2018, for the lowest price ever. Period.
With our transfer to digital learning, savings can be passed onto you and we have. What used to cost over $750 is now $597 and the package still includes a 2-hour wet lab at the world famous UWA anatomy and research labs. Now that is a deal!

Full details here

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