Trigger Point Acupuncture: An Acupuncture Informed Approach to Dry Needling
Trigger Point Acupuncture is a 3-day / 18-hour hands-on practical intensive training in using acupuncture needles to treat painful musculoskeletal & neurological conditions, safely and effectively. (Programs with additional hours are available as per state requirements.+) 
Whether you’ve been practicing acupuncture or trigger point dry needling for years, or have no background in either one, you’ll learn to safely implement some of the most powerful needling treatments and techniques for pain. You’ll see immediate, dramatic results in the classroom and in your practice.
Dry needling has been used by acupuncture practitioners for centuries. Recently, for mainly political reasons, it has been segregated from it’s acupuncture roots. This is unfortunate, because there are so many simple, safe, and effective points and techniques that can be easily incorporated into dry needling, greatly enhancing it’s effectiveness. By taking advantage of the many well-established acupuncture points that are identical to myofascial, cutaneous, ligamentous, diffuse, and empirical trigger points, this course will maximize your effectiveness, while remaining within the boundaries and scope of providers of either acupuncture or dry needling. We’ve taught needling techniques to thousands of healthcare providers, from seasoned chiropractors to emergency room physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed acupuncturists, to even many 1st-year students just beginning their healthcare studies. We know what you need to know and we know how to teach it.
Already Practice Acupuncture? If you’ve already studied acupuncture, this class will hone your ability to quickly diagnose painful conditions and come up with highly effective treatment plans. You will leave the weekend knowing some of the most effective and powerful acupuncture techniques we’ve seen.

Already Practice Dry Needling? Trigger Point Acupuncture weekends are filled with powerful techniques to improve the results of your dry needling. We show you how to incorporate some of the best acupuncture points and techniques into your dry needle treatments, while staying within your scope.


No Prior Training? No worries. We take you from A to Z. We begin with “This is a needle.” and finish up with you knowing how to treat a wide range of painful conditions. We recommend you consider one of our online or classroom, to complement your Trigger Point Acupuncture training.


Questions? Please contact us. We’d be glad to to discuss your particular situation, and answer your questions.

Chiropractic Continuing Education is awarded under two auspices: 

  1. CE Credit applied for by: National University of Health Sciences, Lincoln College of Postprofessional, Graduate and Continuing Education 200 E. Roosevelt Rd. ● Lombard, IL 60148 ● (630) 889 – 6622:  Currently providing  CEs for Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas*. Most other US states and some Canadian provinces can be added to this list upon request, some time limits apply. Please let us know ASAP if you need CEs for another state or province, and we’ll do our best to secure CCEs for you.
  2. Trigger Point Acupuncture is also a PACE-Approved course, and is currently accepted for Chiropractic licensure renewal in: Alaska, DC, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. 

*The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners  does not recognize Dry Needling by rule, but requires licensed DC’s who use Dry Needle techniques to fulfill the requirements to provide acupuncture services per Rule 78.14.

Physical Therapists Continuing Education: Credits are provided by OnlineContinuingEd, LLC, and are currently accepted in: Texas, Virginia and many other jurisdictions.

CMEs: While we’d like to offer them, we do not currently offer CMEs for our programs. Sorry. Still, you’ll find our programs packed with clinically useful techniques, that are most likely already within your scope.

Tuition  $850 includes all supplies.

+ Custom Trigger Point Acupuncture Courses Available From 18 to 60 hours: Due to the wide variety of regulations regarding acupuncture and dry needling from state-to-state and country-to-country, we design custom Trigger Point Acupuncture Courses ranging from 18 to 60 hours, in order to meet specific requirements for various jurisdictions. Contact us for more information on programs for your jurisdiction.

Trigger Point Acupuncture


Trigger Point Acupuncture is a 3-day / 18-hour hands-on practical intensive training in using acupuncture needles to treat painful musculoskeletal & neurological conditions, safely and effectively. (Programs with additional hours are available as per state requirements.*)


Additional information

Select Desired Weekend

Orlando, FL – January 19, 20, 21, 2018, Nashville, TN – February 2, 3, 4, 2018, Bristol, TN/VA – February, 23, 24, 25 2018, Dallas, TX – March 16, 17, 18, 2018, Chicago, IL – March 30, 31, & April 1, 2018, Miami, FL – April 27, 28, 29, 2018, Bridgeport, CT – May 18, 19, 20, 2018

Class Schedules & Locations

2018 Trigger Point Acupuncture Schedule

  • Orlando, FL:
    January 19, 20, & 21, 2018
  • Nashville, TN:
    February 2, 3, & 4, 2018
Nashville Location To Be Announced
  • Bristol, TN/VA:
    February 23, 24 & 25 2018
Bristol Date & Location To Be Announced
  • Dallas, TX:
    March 16, 17, & 18, 2018
Dallas Location To Be Announced
  • Chicago, IL:
    March 30, 31, & April 1, 2018
Chicago Location To Be Announced
  • Miami, FL:
    April 27, 28, & 29, 2018
Miami Location To Be Announced
  • Bridgeport, CT:
    May 18, 19 & 20, 2018
Bridgeport Location To Be Announced

Acupuncture vs Dry Needling

What is the Difference Between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?
A common question patients ask their acupuncture or dry needle provider is: “What’s the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?”  Many providers have training with only one or the other, and have insufficient training to be able to answer this question with authority.
What is the difference? The dominant opinion expressed by State’s Attorneys General, which is often cited as the legal precedent for dry needling regulations, recognizes that the procedures, tools, and techniques used in the practice of dry needling are identical to the procedures, tools, and techniques used in the practice of acupuncture.
The actual acupuncture or dry needling treatments may be identical. The only substantial (and legal) difference between acupuncture and dry needling is the provider’s rationale for choosing which points to needle, and the language permitted for documentation. Acupuncture providers are legally allowed to include both traditional Oriental and contemporary Western medical theories and terminology in choosing and documenting diagnoses, points, and treatments. However, in most jurisdictions, dry needle providers are legally limited to using only Western medical theories and terminology.
Acupuncture and dry needling are more similar than not. However, they are generally practiced in slightly different ways, so each has developed its own set of strengths.
We Can Translate One Practice to the Other and Learn from Both
Until recently, a somewhat arbitrary legal divide- together with political prejudices- has prevented providers of both systems from learning from one another and integrating the best practices of each system. But this is changing.
In recent years, research and clinical experience have brought to light clear relationships between many traditional acupuncture points and meridians used in the treatment of pain, and various types of trigger points, myofascial chains, nerve pathways, dermatomes, motor points, and other physical structures, making it possible to translate much of traditional acupuncture theory into Western terms and vice versa.
 Trigger Point Acupuncture: Acupuncture-Informed Dry Needling (the course on this page) is a 3-day hands-on intensive designed to translate and integrate the best practices from both disciplines, while staying within their respective scopes of practice.
This translation allows dry needling practitioners to legally and ethically choose highly effective points and techniques that have traditionally been used by acupuncture providers, while allowing them to continue to rely on Western medical rationale for making these choices.
At the same time, we teach acupuncture providers some of the best diagnostic and treatment practices dry needling has to offer, and how best to integrate them with traditional theories and practices acupuncture providers already know.
Here’s an example of how we accomplish this translation and cross-training: In explaining and demonstrating how to treat hip pain we begin by reviewing the condition using the language of dry needling-that is, the various common presentations causes and diagnoses, which muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves may be involved and how to differentiate and, in some cases, palpate them; how to combine collected data to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis and finally, how to eliminate erroneous diagnoses. We then practice how best to palpate for active, latent, diffuse, ligamentous, local, adjacent, distal, and proximal trigger points, motor points, and best palpation techniques to discover which myofascial planes or chains may be involved. After hands-on practice, we might discuss what exercises, stretches, chiropractic techniques, physical therapy, IASTM, or other treatments might best complement the needling, or even comprise a more appropriate treatment. Throughout this process we translate this discussion into the language traditional acupuncture employs, pointing out the significant relationships between traditional acupuncture points and meridians, and the myofascial chains, planes, nerve pathways, and various trigger points, motor points, muscle-tendon junctions and the like. In addition we compare and contrast traditional treatment techniques with their contemporary Western counterparts, such as the relationships between moxibustion and infrared, or guasha and IASTM.
Why And How to Learn Both
Being at least a little cross-trained in both modalities is analogous to a chiropractor studying pharmacology in school. She studies pharmacology not to prescribe drugs, but to better understand the treatment her patients are receiving from other providers, and to be in a position to offer well-informed advice and opinions.
While it is helpful to know the difference between acupuncture and dry needling, it is more helpful to have a facile ability to incorporate the strengths of both into a clinical practice. Providers who practice either acupuncture or dry needling can improve clinical results for the treatment of pain, by understanding the thought processes and techniques commonly used by each other.
Given that the techniques are identical, it follows that any course on needling techniques should be clinically applicable to both dry needle and acupuncture providers.
About Our Courses
After more than 30 years each, of practicing and teaching acupuncture and dry needling techniques, my brother, Dr. Chuck Ventresca DC, LcAc, and I include our best material in Trigger Point Acupuncture.  We teach this course as a team, so you can benefit from our combined 60 plus years of experience.
We’ve designed Trigger Point Acupuncture for two groups of people:
  • for providers who already practice either dry needling or acupuncture, as an advanced needling course that teaches highly effective techniques from both systems.
  • for healthcare providers who practice only non-invasive techniques including manual trigger point release, laser, IASTM, and electro-therapies, offering relevant, clinically useful, and applicable information from both systems.
We do not mean to suggest or imply that providers may practice acupuncture or dry needling after taking our course, if it is not in their scope of practice or doesn’t meet their state’s educational requirements. However, Trigger Point Acupuncture does qualify providers to incorporate dry needling into their practices in many jurisdictions. For example: Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, and Osteopaths licensed in Virginia can incorporate dry needling in their practices after taking this course.
In short, providers who would like to add acupuncture or dry needling to their practices may choose to begin, supplement or complete their required educational hours by taking this course.