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Treat and eliminate pain with our team of dry needling experts based in the Bay Area. 

Dry needling uses fine needles to stimulate the repair of highly sensitive muscle and fascia fibers that are causing pain. Patients who receive dry needling treatments benefit from the significant relief and repair of injury that it produces.

woman in training gear holding her neck in pain

Our trained staff will consult with you on the best course of treatment, with a typical course comprising one to two times a week for 4-6 weeks, followed by a re-evaluation.

Our providers have decades of experience in this extremely effective technique for treating and eliminating pain, and San Francisco Acupuncture Group is the Bay Area’s choice for dry needling. 

Contact us today to learn if dry needling is right for you, or schedule online now.

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is the use of fine needles to stimulate the repair of highly sensitive muscle or fascia fibers that are causing pain. 

Whether the result of sitting at a desk for too long, overuse or trauma from a sport or other activity, or from day-to-day stress, injury to muscle and connective tissue is the most common cause and contributor to pain.

The needle gently stimulates the highly reactive fibers, or trigger points, along with surrounding tissue, often eliciting a “light twitch” (reflex) response and provoking the sensitive fibers to respond by protecting and repairing themselves.


“I had suffered from foot pain for 2.5 years. At its worst, it was difficult to walk. I’d received an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, and EMG. I’d seen several orthopedic doctors, a podiatrist, a neurologist, and a rheumatologist. No one was able to explain or help my pain. Then I met Franco, where he introduced me to dry needling. It is not an exaggeration to say this was life changing. At this point, I am nearly pain free.”

– Oren L., Berkeley, California

How can dry needling help?

The majority of pain conditions involve muscle and soft tissue injury, even in cases in which it’s not the primary cause. So if you’re dealing with unresolved pain, you should book an evaluation to see if dry needling can help you.

The technique is especially effective for stressed, strained, overused, or overloaded muscles, but has also been shown to improve chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. 

Results vary depending upon individual responses: some people respond quickly, while others take longer to get full relief.


“I got a severe SI joint pain that caused muscle spasms that paralyzed me to bed for a week. I tried regular acupuncture and massages which didn’t help much. Luckily I found the SF Acupuncture Group on Yelp. I gave it a try and was surprised by the results – the day after my first meeting with Franco I could finally walk (slowly but surely), then a few days after and one more meeting most of my pain was fading away thanks to the Dry Needling treatment.”

– Brent M., San Francisco, California

How  does dry needling treatment work?

As with everything in the body, the course of treatment depends on the severity of the problem and how a patient’s body responds to the procedure.

A typical course is one to two times a week for 4-6 weeks, followed by a re-evaluation.

In addition to dry needling, an individualized plan of care may include other modalities to heal one’s particular injury.

As integrative medical providers, we use multiple techniques to care for patients, including patient education and guidance, manual therapy, electric stimulation.

We are committed to achieving positive outcomes for our patients, and we use techniques and practices that will produce the best results, including referrals to other medical providers when appropriate.

What conditions can be treated with dry needling?

Dry needling can be an effective technique to manage chronic pain conditions that impact the body’s muscles and fascia, including fibromyalgia, hypermobility spectrum disorders including EDS, chronic headaches or migraines, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

It can also be used to treat injuries and any residual pain from historic injuries. Some of the common injuries we treat are:

  • Muscle knots and “pinched nerves”
  • Upper back and neck pain
  • Jaw pain (like TMJ syndrome)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back and sacrum pain
  • Hip and gluteal pain
  • Forearm, elbow, and wrist pain (like carpal tunnel syndrome — CTS)
  • Tennis/golf elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis, heel, and calf pain
  • Sciatica

“I injured my wrist/hand in a fall. Over subsequent months, it got worse, not better. I tried everything conventional medicine had to offer and nothing relieved the pain I was experiencing. A single visit here with Jonah was all it took. It was honestly miraculous. It’s been over a year and I haven’t experienced a recurrence.”

– Aaron M., San Francisco, California

About our Dry Needling Expertise

At San Francisco Acupuncture Group, we’ve been successfully practicing dry needling for over 20 ‘years and have confidence in the technique to help patients.

One important thing to know about muscle and fascia pain is that very often it is ‘referred pain’. For example, the most common cause of pain in the temples is a point at the top of the muscle between the shoulder and the neck (the upper trapezius).

Our group thoroughly evaluates patients and investigates where the precise causes of pain are, focusing our attention there to fix the muscles and bring relief. The result is not just eliminating pain, but also improving mobility and activity after healing. result is not just eliminating pain, but also improving mobility and activity after healing.

Our team

Our team are medically trained professionals, with specialties across acupuncture, integrative medicine, myofascial pain, and injury management. Each team member is individually affiliated with professional bodies related to their areas of expertise, and is dedicated to ongoing professional development to remain at the forefront of acupuncture and pain management.

Our practitioners hold California Board Licenses, and their professional training includes (but is not limited to):

  • Master of Science, Pacific College of Health and Science, San Diego, California
  • Certified Myofascial Pain Therapist (DN-III), Janet G. Travell, MD Myopain Dry Needling Series
  • Clinical Internship and Lecture Program, Chengdu Hospital and University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sichuan, China
  • C.SMA – 2 year post graduate program focused on techniques for treating pain, with particular attention to treating elite athletes.

Affiliations include: 

  • Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) 
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)

With clinic experience working as pain management specialists in: 

  • New York Medical, PC
  • San Diego Hospice
  • Sonoma Valley Hospital
  • Meet our team

“I believe we all deserve to live a life without pain, and I can honestly say Franco and Jonah gave me my life back.  My body is completely different and has healed tremendously. The combination of being the most skilled, experienced acupuncturists that also fully understand how the body and brain affect pain, as well as being the kindest and most compassionate people I know, makes them so powerful. I have seen over 40 doctors and can say no one is better.”

– Kirsten S., San Francisco, California

“Life changing! I have been seeing Franco for many months now. He is caring, uplifting & a true healer. If you have reached a dead-end with your doctors and other medical professionals, and you are feeling frustrated and helpless with your pain levels, I implore you to make an appointment!”

– Christina D., Woodland Hills, California

Get in touch with us today to find out if dry needling is right for you, or schedule your consultation online now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dry needling safe?

The technique of dry needling has been used for many decades (and acupuncture for over two millennia). Numerous large-scale safety studies—comprising over a million treatments in one study alone—have shown that adverse events are very rare, usually consisting of local soreness or swelling, and demonstrating conclusively the procedure’s safety.

Does dry needling hurt?

Dry needling involves the stimulation of sensitive muscle fibers, which can feel uncomfortable and may result in soreness for a day or more following the treatment. For most patients the procedure is a piece of cake, and well worth the significant relief and repair of injury that it produces.

Dry needling sounds like acupuncture: What’s the difference?

While dry needling and acupuncture use the same implements—extremely fine needles— the practices are independent of one another, employing different theories and techniques. In short, dry needling is focused on restoring healthy anatomy and physiology through stimulation of injured local neuro-muscular tissue, while acupuncture seeks to normalize the flow along meridians. Many sites for dry needling overlap with acupuncture points (while many do not), but the criteria that define point locations and the needle techniques are very different between the two practices. At San Francisco Acupuncture Group, we are experts in both acupuncture and dry needling, and we are supportive of both practices, often combining them to maximum effect.

What is the history of dry needling and why haven’t I heard of it before?

The origins of dry needling stretch back to the early 1800s, with the work of Balfour, Valleix, Helleday and others who described muscular sources of pain. By the 1930s and ‘40s, “trigger points” and the most common patterns of pain referral had been well described by Sir Thomas Lewis and John Kellgren. But it was in the 1950s that Janet Travell, best known as physician to President Kennedy, along with David Simons,Karel Lewit  and others, began investigating injections (“wet needling”) to numb and deactivate trigger points to eliminate pain. However, their experiments soon revealed that it wasn’t the injected medicine, but the needle itself that caused the healing. Through the ’60s and ’70s they continued their groundbreaking work, publishing numerous books and developing a comprehensive methodology, with many others, including Jay Shah, Siddhartha Sikdar, and Jan Dommerholt, making significant contributions. In the time since we began practicing the technique over 20 years ago, there has been an explosion of research and interest in dry needling, especially as the risks and limitations of common treatment options for pain have been shown, and there is more demand for dry needling now than ever before.

Contact us today to learn if dry needling is right for you, or schedule online now.

Book an appointment

Schedule online or call 415 445 9388.

Contact us

Call us: 415-445-9388

 

Visit us: 220 Bush Street, Suite 450 in San Francisco’s Financial District.

 

Message us: fill out our secure online form

Yelp Reviews

San Francisco Acupuncture Group
San Francisco Acupuncture Group
150 Yelp reviews
Ann S.
Ann S.
2022-07-27
Verified
I have major pain issues due to Lyme. Jonah made a huge difference in my level of pain. I appreciate that before he begins, he explains his approach. Jonah is thoughtful, precise, and gentle. I was pleased and surprised by how much better I felt after every session with Jonah.
Julie M.
Julie M.
2022-06-03
Verified
Jonah has helped me for so many years with everything from sports injuries, stress, to a spiritual awakening -- from the physical to the spiritual. He's truly a gifted healer and friend. I will always hold Jonah, Franco, and everyone at SF Acupuncture Group close to my heart for their incredible knowledge, skill, and kindness.
Sabrina M.
Sabrina M.
2022-04-13
Verified
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF THE BEST! I have been a client of San Francisco Acupuncture Group for many years now. I first found them when they hired me on as an administrative assistant years ago. I absolutely adore the entire team. I worked with Franco and Jeannie with back problems, nausea (pregnancy), neck isssues and more back problems after kids. They are super down to earth and really take pride in patient care and results. I have continued to refer anyone who needs help, my husband who injured his shoulder in the past after a sports injury, Has seen Franco and Jonah a few times and raves about his experience and completely changed his posture due to Franco and Jonah's suggestions.

During  pregnancy I experienced severe nausea and back pain. Jeannie helped me tremendously through all those fun preganacy surprises. If you are looking for help with aches and pains, overall stress and well being look no further! They make everyone feel super welcome and comfortable while sticking you with needles. Haha

Super convenient location with Bart being steps away and target across the street. While I know it can be pricey, just know the price correlates with the experience, technique and amazing treatment you are getting every session. I promise your body will thank you!
Meg H.
Meg H.
2022-03-17
Verified
Franco was one of the most skilled medical professionals I have ever worked with. For months, I had been struggling with an Achilles injury that no amount of physical therapy, Graston, or other treatments could fix. Desperate to return to running again, I arrived at Franco's acupuncture table (somewhat skeptical) at the recommendation of a friend. Within three sessions, Franco had me running again. I would call it magic, but as an M.D. myself, I can recognize a skilled practitioner. Franco possesses a profound understanding of the intricacies of the human neuromuscular system and it is this knowledge and skill that healed me; what's more: he is incredibly professional and kind, as is his staff member Joi. Both of them went out of their way to call and check in on me after a bike accident en route to an appointment.

Unfortunately, I have moved away and am no longer able to make it into SF for his healing powers. Since our treatments, I have tried other acupuncturists closer to my home, and no one compares. I just wish he would open an office closer to me in Marin!
Lena K.
Lena K.
2022-03-05
Verified
Anyone who is looking for a holistic approach to healing and/or has issues with female health should try to get a consult with Jeannie. We've been working together for the last 1.5yrs and her approach transformed my life. Thanks to Jeannie I was able to get the right care and was diagnosed with auto-immune thyroid condition that was missed by so many of my doctors in the past. Jeannie helped me with PCOS as well and now I am a fully functioning human that does not require to take hormones and painkillers every day of my life, but able to regulate my body with food, lifestyle changes and herbs. Jeannie was also so helpful in my fertility journey; thanks to her recommendation I was able to make the right choice of clinic, Dr., pre and post care. Very happy that I was able to find SFAG and Jeannie 😀
Oren L.
Oren L.
2022-02-07
Verified
I had suffered from foot pain for 2.5 years. At its worst, it was difficult to walk. I'd received an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, and EMG. I'd seen several orthopedic doctors, a podiatrist, a neurologist, and a rheumatologist. No one was able to explain or help my pain. Then I met Franco, where he introduced me to dry needling and ideas from pain science. It is not an exaggeration to say this was life changing. At this point, I am nearly pain free.

Pain science is a growing field and there is a lot of research backing it up. It is very unfortunate that so many medical professionals are not aware of it or don't practice its ideas. If you are suffering from chronic pain, I highly recommend trying out the 'San Francisco Acupuncture Group'!
Louis S.
Louis S.
2022-01-20
Verified
"Magic is just science that we don't understand yet". By that definition, Jonah and Franco are magicians.

I have tried every bit of science to cope with an insane amount of chronic pain that have been torturing my body for years (neck, shoulder, back, hips, leg). I have tried chiropractors, acupuncturists, osteopaths, deep tissue massage therapists, orthopedic shoes... Best case scenario I have some relief for a few days (or weeks if I'm lucky). Usually it has been a pure and simple waist of time and money, and oftentimes it caused me more pain than before.
Then I discovered trigger point therapy, also named dry needling. It is extremely rare to find people using this technique. And that is how I met Jonah. Practician of this method for twenty years, Jonah changed my life. Over the course of the past year, he has brought my body back from hell.

Never heard of dry needling? Picture this: the pain you feel is like an itch you cannot scratch, too deep, inaccessible, too tensed, too tender. Acupuncture is the cute version of dry needling, only on the surface. Trigger point is deeper, acupuncture meets biomechanics meets deep tissue: it's like resetting the nerve and surrounding muscle group back to its original state. Which let's be honest, can bring a lot of discomfort during the session.

But Jonah is a magician, a musician. He is the Miles Davis of needling. He is using your body as a musical instrument, improvising and composing a symphony tailored to your body and your needs, and playing off its reactions and triggers to relief your pain. You might feel sore afterwards for a few days or you might feel like you were given a brand new body, it depends on the session. It depends on what kind of song your body needs Jonah to play. But sure enough, week after week, I saw my body morph, my posture got better, I could move around in ways my body couldn't allow for years because it was too stiff & too painful. And most of all, with the pain silenced, I was able to have a restful sleep once again.

If you are loosing hope to find pain relief, give trigger point therapy a go. It is not the faint of heart, but it might change your life.
Danny N.
Danny N.
2021-01-26
Verified
Several years ago I had an accident in the gym that has given me consistent flair ups in my shoulders. That injury, combined with daily life behind a laptop, travel (when that was a thing), and a desire to maintain good physical fitness has meant that I usually have some sort of shoulder pain whether I acknowledge it or not.

This ever-present pain was something I thought I had to accept but that changed when I started to get acupuncture with Franco. Quickly, I began to feel relief and I'm so grateful to him and his partner Jonah for their expertise, thoughtfulness, and authenticity.

Their service goes way beyond the dry needling that I get there. Franco studies my body, takes notes on progress, and provides recommendations for my life outside of their clinic to feel better - stretches, alignment techniques, mental/emotional tools, etc. This is just as important as their acupuncture itself, not only does it provide me instant relief they also deeply care to try and treat my pain before it arrives.

Franco is one of the best medical practitioners that I have ever worked with, easily.
Kirsten S.
Kirsten S.
2021-01-26
Verified
I can't even begin to explain how Jonah and Franco have impacted my life. I have been working with them for over 5 years. When I first walked into the office I was in the worst pain of my life. My traps, neck, and mid back were absolutely throbbing, so much so that I would often be crying when I came in. I started to get migraines, couldn't sleep, and couldn't function. I even had to take time off of work.

But every time I walked into that office, they each took the time and did everything they could to make sure I left that office without pain.

They genuinely care about every single one of the patients. They listen, respond empathetically, and do everything in their power to make you better. They are two of the most brilliant people I have ever met. When learning many famous athletes like LeBron James came into their office (see photo!) it didn't surprise me a bit, because they are the best at acupuncture and dry needling in the world. They also do life changing electric stem through the needles. I have tried acupuncture in China, Japan, Singapore, New York, Colorado - all over the world, and no one is as good as Franco and Jonah. I have recommended them to my partner, friends and coworkers; every single person could not believe how much better they felt about their appointments - they didn't even know it was possible.

I believe we all deserve to live a life without pain, and I can honestly say Franco and Jonah gave me my life back.  My body is completely different and has healed tremendously. The combination of being the most skilled, experienced acupuncturists that also fully understand how the body and brain affect pain, as well as being the kindest and most compassionate people I know, makes them so powerful. I have seen over 40 doctors and can say no one is better. Thank you Franco and Jonah - you will now forever be family.

If you are dealing with pain, stress, anxiety, or digestive issues, SF acupuncture group gets my highest recommendation.
Aaron M.
Aaron M.
2020-12-26
Verified
This review is way, way overdue. I had injured my wrist/hand in a fall. Over subsequent months, it got worse, not better. I tried everything conventional medicine had to offer and nothing relieved the pain I was experiencing.

A single visit here with Jonah was all it took. Given, it was one of the more uncomfortable acupuncture sessions I've ever had - but it worked!! It was honestly miraculous. It's been over a year and I haven't experienced a recurrence.

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