Carmel physical therapist embraces benefits of dry needling


Physical therapist Divya Narayanan quickly became convinced of the healing power of dry needling.

Narayanan, who runs Carmel’s One 2 One Physical Therapy, 755 W. Carmel Dr., Suite 150, has been performing dry needling for 10 years. At the time, she said she was the only person in Carmel using the procedure. Dry needling has become the focus of her practice.


“Patients weren’t getting better,” she said. ” Sometimes, the problems seemed deeper than I could get to, so I looked things up in physical therapy literature, and dry needling was new at the time.”

Narayanan, a Carmel resident and physical therapist for 20 years, said Colorado is the only place to learn the western approach to the treatment. She spent a week taking classes and tests.

“You have to see 200 patients before you can go back and do the second part,” she said.

Narayanan took another test and started doing it more and more.

“It was so new that people were hesitant to try it at first. They were like, ‘You’re going to stick me with a needle?’” Narayanan said.

Narayanan said now people know more about it and know it’s different from acupuncture.

“It’s using the finest needle that you can find. That’s why we use an acupuncture needle versus a needle you would (use to) get a flu shot,” she said. “It started with using trigger-point injections where they would inject medication. Then they started to do a study (looking at whether) it was the medication making the muscle change or just the needle entering the tissue. They found it was the needle entering the tissue that would make a big difference. It’s a really fine needle, so the pain is very minimal. There is hardly any bleeding or bruising. It resets the muscle, so it is different from a massage. You get a massage and you feel good for a little bit but you never change anything.

“The dry needling changes the muscle fibers. It’s more permanent. It’s a faster way of getting people better.”

Typically, Narayanan said she recommends four or five treatments.

“It depends on how bad it is,” she said. “But I tell people if you are not better in four or five treatments, I’m not the person for you.”

Narayanan said she treats one person at a time for 45 to 60 minutes.

“We do the dry needling and we correct small things like your posture, how are you sitting at work or how are you holding your phone,” she said. “Just some basic exercises you can do at home.”

Narayanan also performs laser treatments to decrease inflammation in the tissues.

“I use it after the dry needling on every patient because there is a soreness component to it,” she said.

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