1 August 2022

Griffith needle queen pricks myotherapy myths

| Oliver Jacques
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Brianna holds needle.

Brianna Blumer assures you that needles don’t always hurt. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

The idea of someone sticking a dry needle into your inflamed, sore muscle may seem counterintuitive.

But in Griffith, an increasing number of residents are choosing this form of therapy to treat their farming or sporting injuries.

Dry needling is a key technique used in myotherapy – a specialised physical treatment to ease and rehabilitate muscle injuries and soft tissue damage.

Put simply, “myo” is short for muscle and a myotherapist uses strategies such as deep tissue massage, stretching, dry needling and cupping to ease pain and correct imbalances in the muscle.

Dry needling is inserting a small, thin needle into the skin to stimulate trigger points in the muscles and relieve knots and tension. In this respect, it differs from acupuncture, where needles are inserted to release endorphins and affect the nervous system.

Myotherapy is now so popular in town, it can take up to six weeks to get an appointment.

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Brianna Blumer, a myotherapist who runs her practice from the Griffith Tennis Club, said understanding of her discipline was growing.

“I think people often don’t know what myotherapy is, but they’re open minded enough to try something different that will help them reduce their pain,” she said.

“Pain reduction is a key focus for us.”

There’s one obvious question she gets from first time customers: Does dry needling hurt?

“It doesn’t really,” she said.

“You tend to go quite deep. The deeper you go the less it hurts. The most sensitive parts are at the top of the skin.”

Baby outside tennis club

Baby Blake outside Mum’s work. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Blumer almost fell into her discipline by accident.

“Growing up [in Coleambally], I’d never really heard of myotherapy. I’d never even been to a physio as I didn’t used to get many injuries,” she said.

In Year 12, she initially wanted to become a PE teacher, but changed her mind when her career advisor told her about myotherapy. She then did an advanced diploma in the discipline.

“I wanted to help people that wanted to be helped. I would’ve loved teaching the ones that were keen but not those that aren’t.”

After getting her own business off the ground, she hit a speed bump with Covid, when she had to close her doors during the first lockdown.

“They lumped us in with massage parlours,” she said.

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By the time the next lockdown came around, myotherapy was recognised as a medical service and she was able to continue her practice with safety measures in place.

Ms Blumer has been going gangbusters ever since – often booked out months in advance. She now aspires to start her own multi-modality clinic, once her baby Blake grows up a bit.

Myotherapy is also available in Griffith at Therapies on Palla and a number of other locations across the Riverina, some of which are listed on the Health 4 You website.

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