Course Title: Provide myofascial dry needling treatment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: COTH5007

Course Title: Provide myofascial dry needling treatment

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6135 - Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy

Course Contact: Joshua Davies

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4333

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Bianca Alivizatos
Contact Phone: 9925 4898
Contact e-mail:

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Learners must complete the Diploma of Remedial Massage HLT50307 (or equivalent) prior to enrolling in this program.


Course Description

This course is designed to provide the skills and knowledge to enable the participant to administer myofascial dry needling treatment. It assumes that the participant already has the competency to provide remedial massage treatment.
There are no licensing requirements related to this unit, but there are a range of local government, State and Federal laws and regulations that relate to its practice by a myotherapist.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21418 Perform myofascial dry needling treatment


Apply the central principles and practices of myofascial dry needling treatment

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Myofascial dry needling treatment principles and role of therapy and the therapist are specified to the client
1.2 Myofascial dry needling treatment principles and practices are related to the client’s health conditions
1.3 Recent developments and current best practices principles are integrated into the treatment
1.4 Measures to reduce risk, improve safety and enhance treatment outcomes are employed by the therapist


Assess the client to determine if myofascial dry needling is indicated

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The client’s history is collected to accurately describe and determine the condition
3.2 An objective examination is conducted to assess function & dysfunction and reproduce presenting symptoms
3.3 Myofascial trigger points are accurately palpated relevant to the presenting condition/symptoms
3.4 The need to apply myofascial dry needling to improve the client’s condition is determined


Perform myofascial dry needling

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The work environment is correctly prepared to conduct myofascial trigger point needling
4.2 Required resources are organised for effective treatment
4.3 Needles, cotton buds, biowaste and sharp’s disposal units are placed correctly
4.4 Myofascial dry needling is performed with the correct clinical procedures to ensure treatment goals are achieved
4.5 Best practice checks and balances are utilised to ensure client safety
4.6 Clinical guidelines for correct administration of myofascial dry needling are adhered to
4.7 Effectiveness of the myofascial dry needling


Work within clinic and regulation guidelines

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Clinic, legal and regulatory requirements for myofascial dry needling treatment are identified and adhered to
2.2 All relevant documentation is sourced and organised to communicate the key regulatory requirements to other relevant work personnel.
2.3 A strategy/response to a range of given clinical scenarios is developed to ensure that appropriate guidelines are followed.
2.4 Clinical guidelines are developed to ensure skills and practices are periodically reviewed & maintained.
2.5 Personal hygiene and infection control guidelines are established and practised
2.6 Informed consent is sought from the client before commencing myofascial dry needling treatment

Learning Outcomes

To be considered competent in this course, participants must be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of the philosophies and principles of myofascial dry needling practice
  • Work within the relevant clinic and regulation guidelines to achieve required quality standards
  • Provide clients with required information on myofascial dry needling
  • Record client record details appropriately
  • Communicate effectively in a one-to-one and group setting
  • Prepare the clinical environment for myofascial dry needing treatments
  • Carry out musculoskeletal and physiological assessment procedures relevant to myofascial dry needling
  • Apply myofascial dry needling techniques effectively on at least 10 occasions on a range of clients and on a variety of body areas
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of myofascial dry needling treatment on the client.

Details of Learning Activities

All class learning materials, notes and other key learning resources can be accessed via myRMIT at
A combination of activities will support student’s learning in this course, such as:
• Face-to-face &/or online lectures to cover theoretical and practical concepts for each topic in the course
• Students will learn to apply their skills and knowledge to work integrated learning (WIL) in the student & clinical practice environment, during simulations and classroom based learning
• Work experience &/or placements observation of performance in the workplace will be a valuable part of your learning experience
• Tutorial activities (individually and in teams) to discuss, debate, critique and consolidate your ideas and extend your understanding around key concepts within specific topics
• Online discussions and activities to support and collaborate with other students in your course and debate and discuss ideas
• Utilise and develop critical research and cognitive skills to find credible sources of health information
• Self-directed study time (eg. readings or activities around theory) to enhance and strengthen your knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts
• To further facilitate learning students are strongly encouraged to use a range of communication tools between themselves and their course instructor as well as between themselves and fellow students by using the online learning platform
• It is strongly recommended that students partner up with fellow students in order to practice assessment, treatment and palpation techniques

Teaching Schedule

DateClass & Activities
12th FebOrientation: Subject guide discussed, MDN and Acupuncture explained, legal and ethical considerations
19th FebPain Physiology and Trigger Point Theory
26th FebDermatome Theory, Dermatome Needling: Upper and Lower limb Dermatomes
5th MarMDN: Tibialis Anterior and Gastrocnemius
12th MarOnline Theory Test completion date.  MDN: Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medialis and Vastus Lateralis
19th MarMDN: Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, Soleus
26th MarMDN: TFL, Gluteus Medius, Vastus Lateralis, Peroneals
2nd AprMid Semester Break
9th AprMDN: Piriformis, Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus
16th AprMDN: Quadratus Lumborum and Errector Spinae Group
23rd AprPractical Case Study Test 1
30th AprScientific Evidence: Facilitation and MDN of Upper Trapezius, Lower Trapezius, Teres Minor, Multifidus
7th MayMDN: Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Upper Trapezius, Deltoids
14th MayMDN: Splenius Capitus & Cervicis, Semispinalis, Teres Major, Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus
21st MayMDN: Biceps, Brachioradialis, ECRL, ECRB, ECU and Supinator
28th MayMDN: Triceps, FCR, FCU, Flexor Digitorum,Pronator Teres and Hand
4th JunMDN: SCM, Masseter and Temporalis
11th JunPractical case Study Test 2

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Learning Resources:
Students will be expected to utilise a range of recent and appropriate library, electronic, text and other resources.
Students will be provided with resources and tools for leaning in this course through myRMIT.
Readings given in class times and relevant literature as it comes to hand are important in order to maintain an up to date knowledge of the industry.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course forms part of the Advanced Diploma Remedial Massage (Myotherapy).
Primary assessment involves on-going practical and applied assessment in a clinical workplace or simulated environment such as a supervised student clinic.
Assessment is typically based around written and/or online tests, assignments, reflective journals, evidence portfolio’s, logbooks and/or practical demonstrations.
Competency based training requires the student to be in attendance in order for assessment to be undertaken.
Assessment is undertaken through successful completion of all assessment activities and classroom, project & industry participation.
Assessments are spaced across the duration of the course, in order for your teacher to provide you with progressive feedback.
Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
An RMIT assessment charter ( summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document, the Assessment policies and procedures manual (;ID=ln1kd66y87rc).


Assessment Tasks

Attendance and participation:
Competency based training requires the student to be in attendance in order for assessment to be undertaken.
Final assessment in this course is a combination of a number of "formative" assessments.
To achieve competency in this course students need to successfully complete and achieve sufficiency in ALL of these formative assessments.
Please refer to RMIT’s assessment policy for more details:
Should a student be unable to attend an assessment or require an extension to a due date please refer to the following webpage:

Direct credit transfer and RPL:
Direct credit transfer is available to students who have already completed the same or similar courses. Recognition of prior learning is available to students who have relevant prior skills or experience. Please refer to;ID=8u7jborsx9dy

Work submitted for assessment:
Assessments that require work to be submitted must be handed in by the due date designated by the course instructor.
Details of the due date for each assessment item are included in this course guide and are in the Course Schedule in myRMIT (Blackboard).
Students are expected to prepare all assignments and other written work in a professional manner. More information on general academic study and writing skills can be found on the “Learning Lab”
All work submitted for assessment must be submitted electronically.
Harvard style is used for all referencing and for bibliography.
Care must be taken to reference all work correctly and to avoid plagiarism. Be sure not to plagiarise unintentionally.
Students must keep a copy of all submitted assessments including electronic copies.

Penalties for late submission:
All assignments will be marked as if submitted on time then the mark awarded will be reduced by 10% for each day (or part of a day) it is late, unless an extension is approved.
Assignments that are late will not be marked and will be awarded zero marks (unless prior extension has been requested and approved. Please refer to

Assessment Result Information:
All students will receive a All students will receive an HD, D, CR, P (High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass), an NYC (Not Yet Competent) Mark or a DNS (Did Not Submit)  for the assessment.
Students must receive P marks for all Assessments to receive an overall Pass mark for the course.

Assessment Tasks

 1. Online Theory Tests
You are required to complete an online theory test of essential skills and knowledge. This test will be conducted during week 11. The test will be open to complete for 1 hour. You will be given a maximum of 2 opportunities to receive a mark of 100% to be deemed satisfactory for this assessment.

2. Practical Assessments
These tasks are a practical assessment of your trigger point needling skills and knowledge.

Practical Case Study test 1 – Lower Body Week 17, Thursday 23rd April

Practical Case Study test 2 – Upper Body Week 24, Thursday 11th June

3. Practical Demonstration in Clinic
There are a number of tasks to be completed within the Myotherapy student clinic. Refer to Myotherapy Student Clinic Skills Checklist.


In order to gain competency in this course, students must complete ALL assessment activities AND gain a pass mark in each assessment activity. If one assessment activity is deemed “Not Yet satisfactory” then it may be included in the following assessment activity, until all assessments have been completed successfully.


Assessment Matrix

See course topic schedule on blackboard

Other Information

Classroom Guidelines

The following guidelines are to be followed at all times during practical classes. You should also familiarise yourself with RMIT’s student responsibilities, available at .

1. Mobile phones and cameras are not to be used in class. They should remain in your bag at all times.
2. Each student will require two large towels and a hand towel for most classes.
3. During this course you will practice Myofascial dry needling on fellow students. We encourage you to swap partners to gain wider experience. It is imperative to inform the supervising teachers and your student partner if you have any conditions that may be contra-indicated to Myofascial dry needling.
4. It will be necessary to practise techniques in your own time between classes. It becomes obvious who has and who has not practised.
5. Clothing – You must wear a CLEAN clinic shirt and full length trousers to all classes. Shoes MUST be closed toe and heel – no thongs or sandals are allowed.
6. Jewelry should be removed for class and kept safe. The University will not be held responsible for lost personal items. Rings and watches/bracelets/arm bands are an infection risk and must be removed prior to needling.
7. Nails need to be kept short and clean for hygiene.
8. Long hair must be tied back during class.
9. It is advisable to drink plenty of water and to eat well prior to classes and in breaks for energy and hydration.
10. All needles, swabs and dispensing containers are provided.
11. Individuals can be allergic to ingredients in some gloves. Make sure you ask your patients about any such allergies PRIOR to beginning treatment.
12. Please bring your notes to all classes (best protected in A4 plastic covers) along with writing paper for note taking. 


Recommended Texts
• Finando, D & Finando, S, 2005, Trigger Point Therapy for myofascial pain; the practice of informed touch, Healing Arts Press, Vermont USA.• Travell, JG Simons, DG & Simons, PT 1999, Myofascial pain and dysfunction. The trigger point manual. Vol 1, 2nd edn, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.
• Travell, JG Simons, DG & Simons, PT 1999, Myofascial pain and dysfunction. The trigger point manual. Vol 2, 2nd edn, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.
• Butler, D & Moseley, L, 2003, Explain Pain, NOIGROIP, Adelaide, Australia.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview