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SATNAV & Dry Needling

AAP Education


We have just completed 3 dry needling courses in Perth and 2 Living Anatomy Workshops at the University of Australia. I had just driven down with family after a couple of weeks outback holiday and was really looking forward to mixing it up with some great physios, chiros and osteopaths for the week. Not disappointed, this week of courses brought out a range of great new ideas.

Introductory Course

The first amazing thing about this course was participants age. Apart from 2, all participants had been out for 6 months or less. Dry needling as a skill in both private practice and hospital environments is becoming a 'must have' skill as evidenced from participants comments. Quite the change around from 10 years ago, when dry needling was very much on the outer, considered alternative and largely unknown by clients.

A learning meme that surfaced in this course, related to the orientation of the femoral nerve, artery and vein in the femoral triangle, when palpating to determine their position relative to iliopsoas (before needling). The acronym is SATNAV (satellite navigation) and starting laterally stands for SAT (Sartorius on ASIS) N (nerve), A (artery), V (vein). The iliopsoas muscle belly is found between the sartorius (and rectus femoris origin) and palpable pulsations of the femoral artery.

You can check out a YouTube video of a strong iliopsoas needling twitch.

Advanced Quadrant Courses

Demographically the amazing feature of the advanced courses was the overwhelming representation of country practitioners - Albany, Merridan, Geraldton, Bunbury and Esperance. Apologies if I forgot anyone :)

Participants in the Lower Quadrant, spent quality time finding 12th ribs to ensure accurate needling, reviewing pelvic landmarks, dividing out the different adductors and discussing possible causes of MTSS.

In the Upper Quadrant, participants focused in on thoracic rib identification, anterior and posterior neck technique and learnt a new way to visualize the medial pterygoid muscle - thanks models (no names of course..... but plenty of laughs)

Master Needling Course

Most participants have now completed both of their Advanced Courses, and if you have also, then you are invited to attend the 2015 Master Needling Course to be held this time in Esperance in March just before the Easter period. While not school holidays, be sure to book accommodation early. We have selected this weekend so you can either fly in and out for the weekend or consider planning a few extra days into Easter, to explore as autumn is a perfect visiting time..

Adding your Thoughts

You can join the discussion by going to the Clinical Kit blog page and add your experiences or thoughts in what you have found important.

All the best,

Doug Cary FACP
Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (awarded by Australian College of Physiotherapy, 2009)
PhD Candidate Curtin University
Clinical Director AAP Education

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