Business Spotlight: Local physical therapists get to the point

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Healing > A different approach to acupuncture

By Gina Velasquez

Two Los Alamos physical therapists are bringing an alternative method of healing to the area — biomedical acupuncture, otherwise known as dry needling.


Mike Hoog and Lori Erickson are both licensed PT’s with 28 years of experience between the both of them.

The couple has a side business called Shanti Therapeutics and work out of their home in the evening.

The therapy is an integrative approach, just as acupuncture is, but there are differences between traditional acupuncture and dry needling.

“Dry needling uses homeostatic points and symptomatic points,” Erickson said. “while acupuncture uses meridian points.”

“The procedure is designed to improve tissue healing and restore normal muscle function,” According to a quote from Darren Beilstein in The Health Journal, “Continued activity with poor muscle function may lead to further tissue damage and increased pain.”

Dry needling uses fine solid filament needles to cause small lesions in the tissue with the damage.

The procedure addresses the specific muscle or tendon and allows the body to heal itself without the use of drugs for pain relief.

“Dry needling provides us with one more modality to enhance your body’s own natural healing response,” Hoog said. “Our job as physical therapists is to optimize your own healing potential from within.”

For example, the needle is inserted into the tender spot and twisted. This will cause a micro-lesion in the tissue, which then will allow the body’s own healing mechanisms to occur, thus alleviating pain. The process itself is generally painless, Hoog said. “Certain sensitive parts of the body, such as the bottom of the feet or parts of the hand may experience some pain.”

The couple was trained through a course in Boulder, Colo., taught by neuroscientist Dr. Yun Tao Ma and his wife, acupuncturist Mila Ma.

The course taught how to “balance” bodies and focus on parts of the body that are tender with pain.
Aliments that dry needling could help includes planter fasciitis, tendonitis, shin splints, tennis elbow, neck pain and aches and pains associated with overworked muscles.

Since football practice is in full swing, athletes may come to Shanti Therapeutics for a “tune up.”

The business is a new venture and Hoog and Erickson said they want to expand their business to the people of Los Alamos, so people may need a referral to use the service.

They can also refer patients to other clinics in the area, if what the patient needs is out of their expertise.

All procedures are $40 per hour and only single-use, sterile acupuncture needles are used.

For more information and/or to make an appointment call Hoog, 412-9610 or Erickson, 795-0607.