The Ventresca Method – Trigger Point Acupuncture / Dry Needling

The Ventresca Method is a hands-on practical intensive training in using acupuncture needles to treat painful musculoskeletal & neurological conditions, safely and effectively.

The Ventresca Method is a myofascial-based treatment approach that combines needling techniques, treatment and diagnostic protocols to speed the diagnosis of many common musculoskeletal, myofascial, and neurological disorders, and quickly generate proven effective treatment plans.

Whether you’ve been practicing acupuncture or trigger point 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.

This 2-Day/12-Hour Course includes an introduction and review of basic and safe needle handling practices, as well as legal and practical information on incorporating these techniques into an existing practice.  

This method focuses on myofascial stress and strain patterns, which are lines of altered stress or strain that manifest in predictable patterns in the myofascial tissues. These myofascial stress and strain patterns can often be detected by palpation. Many of these patterns, were documented many years ago by doctors in the Orient, and continue to serve as particularly useful references when searching for and assessing affected points, myofascial chains, and associated pain patterns.

Using these myofascial stress patterns as guides, the body is divided into posterior, lateral, medial, head & neck, belt, and anterior zones.   Pain and other disorders within each zone can be treated with specific treatment protocols that may include particular points, needling techniques, electrical stimulation, far infrared heat, and or instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation.

The Ventresca Method’s needling techniques, diagnostics, and theories makeup a highly effective hybrid diagnostic and treatment approach that can be integrated into any needling practice.

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? Ventresca Method 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, staying within your legal scope of practice.


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 programs, to complement your training.

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

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Continuing Education is available.

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.

Custom Courses Available: Due to the wide variety of state regulations regarding the use of acupuncture needles from state-to-state and country-to-country, we design custom Ventresca Method Courses that meet specific requirements for various jurisdictions. Contact us for more information on programs for your jurisdiction.

The Ventresca Method – Advanced Needle Therapy

The Ventresca Method is a hands-on practical intensive training in using acupuncture needles to safely and effectively treat painful musculoskeletal & neurological conditions.

Class Schedules & Locations

We offer our courses and programs in partnership with schools, colleges, professional organizations, hospitals and clinics. If you or your organization are interested in partnering with us to offer a course in your area, please get in touch.  

We expect to publish our 2019-20 schedule soon.

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.