DENVER (CBS4) ― Some physical therapists in Colorado are offering an alternative treatment for chronic muscle pain and stiffness.
On Tuesday, CBS4 health specialist Kathy Walsh sat in on a session of the new treatment called "trigger point dry needling."
Using very thin, solid needles to penetrate deep into areas of tension, dry needling promises to stimulate, reset and relax muscles.
One satisfied dry needling patient is Sgt. First Class Lee Holloway. According to Holloway, dry needling is an effective way to relieve muscle tension.
Although similar to acupuncture, Keil says that dry needling is actually its own distinct practice.
"It's a very Western concept of muscle anatomy," said Keil. "As compared to the Eastern concept of the meridian through acupuncture."
Some licensed acupuncturists are skeptical of this claim.
The president of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado, Nancy Bilello, says dry needling is just a dubious form of acupuncture.
"Dry needling is the same thing as acupuncture with far less training and very little regulation," said Bilello.
While licensed acupuncturists must have a minimum of 1,800 hours of training, physical therapists hoping to practice dry needling require only 46 hours of training, according to Bilello,
Despite concerns like Bilello's, in 2005 the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies did approve dry needling for practice by trained physical therapists.