Dr. David B. Fishkin: Founder of the Dry Needling Institute
I live in Maryland with my beautiful family, and have two offices, in Rockville and Calverton,
As a native of New York I obtained a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York (SUNY) Stony brook and a Doctor of Chiropractic from the New York Chiropractic College. In 2008 as a Maryland transplant I completed a Masters in Public Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Now 26 years in practice I still seek to learn and advance care for patients.
The experience of injuring my lower back at age 13, and struggling with the pain, spurred my desire to help restore hurting people to pain-free lives, an appreciation for the great value of whole body wellness, and the development of the Dry Needling Institute.
I started applying dry needling in 1998 after working with Dr. Adam Dorin, a local anesthesiologist. Working in tandem, Dr. Dorin injected the proper trigger points, and I followed up with the necessary treatment.
We observed rapid responses from patients and greatly improved clinical outcomes. Over time, however, we theorized that the results were achieved by the mechanical action of inserting the needle, not by the pharmaceutical agents delivered by the needle.
In 1999, I began researching this theory in earnest and discovered a wide and extensive body of literature, dating as far back as the mid-1940’s. This knowledge base, together with my own, and Dr. Dorin’s, empirical data, enabled me to develop a technical framework for dry needling.
I have since developed an efficient, effective, clinical and evidenced based approach to dry needling that is easier to administer and more comfortable for the patient. As both a clinician and patient I am interested in what works. I have experienced every treatment method for my own back, except for surgery and dry needling is one of the best. In fact many of my students who have had other training have told me that they have found my approach is much better tolerated by and more effective for their patients and even themselves. Thankfully, I have found that Dry Needling in general and the Fishkin Dry Needling Technique, in particular, has been a major contributor in keeping both myself and my patients healthy.
My own experiences and challenges led me to advocate for the inclusion of Dry Needling in the scope of practice in the State of Maryland for the chiropractic profession. My success in my home state led me to contact the Sstate of Virginia chiropractic association to advise them in their efforts to include Dry Needling in their scope. I continue to communicate and advise other state entities to the path of inclusion of Dry Needling in their states. There are political challenges both intra and inter professionally that, as someone with a public health perspective interested in access for the public, finds quite frustrating. Economic self -interest, ideological posturing and anti-trust competitive behavior have put the public health interest in the back seat. I am committed to expanding the scope of practice for Dry Needling so that the public can get the help it needs to alleviate their suffering.
I work with and train healthcare providers in other disciplines, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical doctors, physician assistants and acupuncturists. I trained the clinical faculty at National University of Health Sciences, a premier chiropractic institution where these concepts are being integrated into the core curriculum. I’ve also spoken to US military healthcare personnel about the effectiveness of dry needling in relieving the burden of pain on active duty personnel and veterans.
I welcome questions, and would welcome you at the next dry needling course.
David B. Fishkin, D.C., MPH
Dry Needling Institute, LLC