Dry Needling Level 1 Course Info



To book on the Level 1 Dry Needling course, please click on the Dry Needling Courses tab above and select a country / region and the course you wish to attend.

Have you registered your details yet? You must first register your details here to give us your info before booking on a course.

If you have already registered, then log in here and navigate to the DN course webpage you want to attend to submit your booking.

Not all professions in all countries/states allow you to train and practice dry needling. The law for PT's in South Africa, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Qatar, Saud Arabia, the UAE etc (where DN is in the scope of practice of PT's and thus permitted) is different to that in Singapore, Poland and Germany for example (where DN is NOT in the scope of practice of PT's and thus NOT permitted).

Furthermore, the law for PT's in the USA is different from state to state; in Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Nevada DN is permitted, in places like Washinton state and Maryland, there is no formal ruling wheras in Florida, Hawaii, New York and California, DN is not permitted for PT's. The onus is on you, the professional to check with your professional organisation whether you are legally permitted to train and practice dry needling in the state / country where you live.

Club Physio cannot be held liable for any professional therapist who books and pays for a DN course that they are legally and professionally not permitted to take or attend or practice in their state / country; no refunds will be applied if an incorrect booking is made.  




Dry Needling courses are for healthcare therapists / professionals (clinical physiotherapists (PT's), chiropractors (DC's), osteopaths (DO's), podiatrists, soft tissue and manual therapists, kinesiologists, doctors, nurses, medical specialists and acupuncturists) for whom dry needling is within your scope of practice and you are legally permitted to needle in your registered country / state. No minimum dry needling or previous acupuncture experience required but presumed anatomy, advanced palpation skills and clinical expertise is expected due to the advanced nature and in depth structure of our DN courses. Professional indemnity insurance as per your professional body is also a pre-requisite.

Some sports / rehab / massage therapists can apply subject to scope of practice with your professional organisation, theoretical and practical experience and having professional indemnity insurance.

If you are not sure whether DN falls within your scope of practice, ask your professional organisation or you can email us here.


Dry Needling tutorial :



Dry Needling is a cost effective and efficient technique for the treatment of myofascial pain and dysfunction. The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles and should not be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture (Travell & Simons 1999).

Physicians Travell and Simons pioneered using dry needling to de-activate myofascial trigger points - known as "hyper-irritable spots in skeletal muscle." These spots are painful on compression and can give rise to characteristics such as local and / or referred pain and tenderness, twitch response and release, motor dysfunction and autonomic phenomena.

Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), both acute or chronic in nature, are de-activated by the physical insertion and stimulation of an acupuncture needle and by restoring the chemical balance within the muscle fibre and thus the leading to resolution of the painful symptoms.

The efficacy of DN is underpinned by research by the likes of Dr Karel Lewit of Czechoslovakia (1979) who reported favourably on the use of this technique in a series of 241 patients with musculoskeletal pain. The work of Hong and Jennifer Chu support Lewitt's work and emphasize the therapeutic importance of eliciting a LTR (local twitch response).

Dry Needling may mechanically disrupt the integrity of the dysfunctional end plates within the myofascial trigger area - resulting in mechanical and physiological resolution of the MTrPs. A fascinating new study by Jay Shah shows biochemical changes in the TrP following twitch elicitation. This was done by real time blood micro-sampling of the TrP as it was needled.

Many years of work by Drs David Bowsher and Peter Baldry amongst other show a strong pain inhibitory role played by Opioids released by needling stimulation of A delta receptors.

Today many Medical doctors, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Nurses, Sports Therapists and Acupuncturists are using Dry Needling effectively and extensively within their practices for the treatment of Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction and for MTrPs.

Course booking pre-requisite: Registration with the relevant professional board where dry needling falls within your scope of practice and whereby you are insured by your own professional body or private health insurance to train and practice dry needling on completion of the course.

The Level 1 Dry Needling course is taught over 3 days.



Course Outline – Day 1:

The Lumbar Spine and Pelvis

Day 1 covers the ‘how to’ of Dry Needling, current myofascial and trigger point concepts and research, superficial and deep DN, complications, the pain gate theory and needle types and choices.

Participants  will begin their needling in the relatively safe areas of the buttock and progress to the ITB,  TFL and the lumbar spine.

Course duration: 1 Day 

Theory component:

Clean and safe needling techniques;
Dangers & contraindications;
Reactor types
Practical component:

Superficial Dry Needling Techniques
Deep Dry Needling techniques:
Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus
Piriformis and the lateral hip rotators and tensor fascia lata.
The lumbar spine; multifidus, quadratus lumborum and the erector spinae.
Day 1 is the pre-requisite for days 2 and 3.


Course Outline – Day 2:

The Cervical Spine and Shoulder area

Day 2 gets you going!  Having built up your needling confidence day 1, we bring in the upper quarter as a leveller, challenging your surface anatomy and palpation skills as you work over the ribs and around the scapula and upper thorax. Knowledge of your surface and functional anatomy here is vital.

‘A healthy upper quarter requires synchronous distribution of normal mobility’ – Tanya Bell-Jenje ‘We know that latent triggers, although not pain generating, will distort M.A.P.S. (movement activation patterns) and our rotator cuff being a feed forward local stabilisor can consequently have a profound effect on shoulder function.

Course duration: One Day 

Theory component:

Myofascial sources of pain and dysfunction in the posterior cervical and shoulder area.
TP syndromes of the Cervical spine;
Cervicogenic and analgesic headache.
Clinical application of MTrP release in the above areas will be discussed.
Practical Component:

Dry Needling techniques for the posterior cervical region;
Dry Needling techniques for the traps, SCM, levator scapular, rhomboides and rotator cuff and related musculature;
Manual release techniques for anterior cervical muscles and subscapularis.
Day 2 is the pre-requisite day 3.

Participants will be able to apply techniques they have learnt on the course immediately in their clinical situations for the areas they have learnt.


Course Outline – Day 3;

The Orofascial Area and the Extremities

On day 3, we take an look at the temporomandibular area and move down the upper and lower limbs to the forearm, hands, lower legs and feet.

Course duration: One day

Theory component:

Myofascial sources of pain and dysfunction around the TMJ area and the upper and lower limbs.
Practical component:

Needling techniques  for the TMJ and surrounding muscles.
Needling techniques  for the upper limb and hands; lower limb and feet.
Day 3 is the final day for the Level 1 course.

Participants will be able to apply all the techniques they have learnt on this course immediately in their clinical situations.

Completion of the DN Level 1 course allows for admission to the advanced 1 day DN courses;


The following Advanced Dry Needing courses are in the pipeline.


This Anatomy Update course will cover all the musculo-skeletal and myofascial systems playing a major role in human anatomy and specifically for the technique of dry needling. The material will be presented in a practical and comprehensive manner giving you a solid understanding and perspective of how the anatomical systems present in relation to the dry needling techniques.

The focus of the course is on the specific and applicable need-to-know facts of the myofascial system in relation to dry needling and what must be understood from a superficial and functional anatomical viewpoint as well as the risk factors and no-go areas when it comes to needling. This easy-to-follow 1-day course is ideal for any therapist wanting to update their musculo-skeletal and myofascial anatomy and is also a pre-requisite for attaining certification as a dry needling practitioner.







The Dry Needling Practitioner (DNP) exam is a practical competency test and a theory exam eligible only for participants who have completed the DN Level 1 course adn 2 of the advanced courses. The practical exam is a competency test for your dry needling skills and your understanding on when and how to use dry needling in your clinical environment.

Participants who have completed the DN Practitioner certification exam will be aligible to have their details uploaded to the DNI website as dry needling practitioners.

This compact two-day course is an updated expansion of the Sporting Knee in 4D. It focuses on a unique and comprehensive approach to treating common lower extremity pain disorders and provides a detailed exploration of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ), the talocrural joint (TCJ), subtalar joint (STJ), inferior tibiofibular joint (ITFJ) and acetabulofemoral joint (AFJ).
Start Date & Time :  Sep 4 2015 2:00PM
End Date & Time :  Sep 5 2015 7:00PM
Organiser :  Richard Sutton
Location :  Metropolitan Golf Club, Cape Town
Seats :  26
Cost :  R 2,200.00
Using movement and exercise, healthcare practitioners (such physios, bios, chiros, osteos, audiologists and ENT specialists) can effectively treat common causes of dizziness. This intense two day course covers the essentials of physiotherapy vestibular assessment and treatment. A strong emphasis is placed on differential diagnosis, clinical reasoning and treatment selection. Delegates will be taught to identify signs and symptoms that indicate central/sinister pathology. The vestibular rehabilitation techniques included in the course have a strong evidence base....
Start Date & Time :  Sep 17 2015 3:00PM
End Date & Time :  Sep 18 2015 5:00PM
Organiser :  Richard O'Hara
Location :  Rashid Hospital, Dubai, UAE
Seats :  26
Cost :  £ 389.00
This course will present an update on the functional anatomy of the foot and ankle and how this influences the choice of treatment and management outcomes. A practical protocol to managing acute ankle injuries will also be presented and discussion around several case studies and treatment regimes will also take place. The treatment and rehabilitation of more complex and long standing foot and ankle injuries with a special input into "weak and unastable" ankles will also be presented incorporating foot wear, orthotics, braces and taping. This course is practical and easy to implement in your practice and will assist you in making correct and informative decisions regarding your patients' foot and ankle problems.
Start Date & Time :  Sep 18 2015 4:00PM
End Date & Time :  Sep 19 2015 5:00PM
Organiser :  Helene Simpson
Location :  Cape Town
Seats :  26
Cost :  R 2,000.00
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