Needling Techniques in Physiotherapy: A Science Based Review with Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco, MD, Sports Medicine Specialist (Spain)



The use of needling techniques (using fine solid needles) in physiotherapy continues to grow, under a variety of names such as acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, dry needling, funcional needling, neurofunctional acupuncture/needling, neuroanatomical needling, Percutaneous Functional Neuromodulation™ (Dr. Elorriaga's), PENS, minimally invasive physiotherapy techniques, motor point stimulation techniques, etc. At the same time, there are yet not universally accepted gold standards of practice among physiotherapists, or any other health professional, for the use of these needling techniques. This session will focus on clarifying the value of these techniques with a review of the current science knowledge on the physiology of the response to these techniques.

Relevance to Physiotherapy Practice

Physiotherapists need to be able to know what is the current state of the art knowledge on needling techniques in order to be able to best evaluate when, how and with which risks and advantages the techniques can be incorporated into a physiotherapy treatment.

An overview and discussion of this topic will help physiotherapists with the selection of insertion sites for "needle-based nerve stimulation techniques" in order to achieve the best clinical results on each case.   

Target Audience

Any physiotherapist interested in the use of "needle-based nerve stimulation techniques" will be able to benefit from this session.


Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

1. Explain to other colleagues and clients what is the nature of "needle-based nerve stimulation techniques", the current nomenclature used in different countries and some of the issues involved in the legislation and practice of these techniques among physiotherapists.

2. Review current scientific literature discussing physiological responses in humans and other mammals to "needle-based nerve stimulation techniques"

3. Decide about the value of integrating "needle-based nerve stimulation techniques" into a contemporary physiotherapy practice


Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco, MD, Sports Medicine Specialist (Spain) 

Dr. Elorriaga is the founding Director (1998) of the McMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program and the McMaster University Neurofunctional Sports Performance Specialist Program. He is an international Sports Medicine consultant, who has worked with hundreds of professional athletes and thousands of clients over three decades while at the same time teaching extensively. He also has a background on exercise physiology research, and, in the last 25 years, he has taught hundreds of postgraduate courses in Percutaneous Functional Neuromodulation Techniques (such as his PFN™) and Manual techniques (such as his Neurofunctional Soft Tissue Micro-conditioning™ technique) to thousands of health care professionals in over twenty countries.

As part of the non-profit Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Acupuncture Division strives to provide members with current information concerning acupuncture and associated modalities like dry needling, IMS, etc.

Please explore the Acupuncture Division  website for more information on acupuncture in Canada.

Instructor Name Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Acupuncture Division
Cost CA$20.00
Run Time 58:19
Access Duration Indefinite access after purchase