Bringing together the current thought leaders in clinical application, research and education on the topic of Dry Needling, the Symposium will provide attendees with the most up to date and innovative clinical information available from around the world.

Hosted in the historic and beautiful King Edward Ballroom at the Rendezvous Hotel in Melbourne, the Symposium will be conducted over two days with both a lecture and practical component.

Your presenters are:

Dr Jay Shah MD (US)
 is a physiatrist and clinical investigator in Bethesda, Maryland-USA.  His research interest/expertise is in elucidating the underlying pathogenesis and pathophysiology of chronic myofascial and neuro-musculoskeletal pain secondary to active myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). He is especially intrigued by the processes of neurogenic inflammation, sensitization, somato-visceral and viscero-somatic reflexes, spinal facilitation, limbic system dysfunction, and neuroplasticity. In particular, what role do each play in the initiation, amplification and perpetuation of spontaneous pain associated with MTrPs?

Jay and his co-investigators have utilized novel microanalytical techniques that have uncovered the unique biochemical milieu (e.g., inflammatory mediators, neuropeptides, catecholamines and pro-inflammatory cytokines) of active MTrPs. These substances are associated with inflammation, pain, tenderness, sensitization and intercellular signaling.

They have also used applications of ultrasound imaging to visualize MTrPs, measure their viscoelastic properties and the unique blood flow waveform characteristics of active MTrPs. Their studies have also identified objective, reproducible and quantifiable muscle tissue properties associated with MTrPs and have measured the quantitative effects of dry needling on these tissue properties.

Jay has given many invited international lectures and hands-on courses for physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, dentists, and chiropractors among other professional groups. His presentations integrate the fascinating and clinically impactful knowledge emerging from the pre-clinical and clinical pain sciences.

Jay was selected by the American Academy of Pain Management as the 2010 recipient of the Janet Travell Clinical Pain Management Award for excellence in clinical care and by the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists as the 2012 recipient of the David G. Simons Award for excellence in clinical research.

Dr Edo Z
ylstra (US) has been a physical therapist since 2000 working in outpatient orthopedics and specializing in chronic persistent neuro-musculoskeletal pain. He has a passion to advocate for advancing physical therapy scope of practice in the United States through consulting with state and licensing boards and participating in the APTA House of Delegates. He was active in developing the current standards for Dry Needling (aka Trigger Point Dry Needling) training in Colorado and has been on the APTA Dry Needling Task Force and assisted the Federation of State Boards Task force to develop the Analysis of Competencies for Dry Needling by Physical Therapists.
He has taught over 200 courses in Functional Dry Needling internationally and is currently developing more advanced techniques for therapists experienced in this manual therapy technique.

Edo Zylstra received both his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Master of Science degrees in physical therapy from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, in 2000 and 2012. In 2005 Edo opened his clinic, KinetaCare, previously Sport & Spine Physical Therapy Brighton, in Colorado. Prior to opening his clinic he spent over four years working in a chronic pain clinic specializing in manual therapy utilizing Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), and Trigger Point Dry Needling. Edo has since taken numerous advanced courses in dry needling, neuroscience, manual therapy and manipulation, functional movement recovery and corrective exercise. This education continues to contribute to his advancement of the dry needling technique KinetaCore teaches, Functional Dry Needling®.

Edo has been board certified in Orthopedics since 2009. He continues to progress his educational model through partnering with Evidence in Motion, The International Spine and Pain Institute and Neuro Recovery Training Institute. He is determined to see Physical Therapy make an impact on the struggling healthcare system in America with the goal of seeing Physical Therapists become the providers of choice for neuromusculoskeletal disorders and diagnoses.

Mr Jörgen Forsberg (Aust) was born and grew up in Sweden. He graduated with a BSc (HONS) in physio therapy from Birmingham University in the U.K. Following this he successfully completed an MSc In Pain Management. He then gained invaluable experience over the last decade working in some of the largest University hospitals, pain clinics, and Medical Clinics.

Jörgen relocated to Australia in 2001. He now runs his own practice in Mt. Martha, Select Physio. Jörgen developed the successful chronic pain program “Pain Wise”, which is a multidisciplinary program run at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation. Through extensive studying Jörgen has amalgamated Dry Needling techniques from clinician’s world wide.

Jörgen has taught dry needling to over three thousand health professionals. This included staff working for top National and International Sports Clubs, Physiotherapy clinics to Medical Doctors in Pain Clinics; to the everyday clinician that deals with aches and pains. The techniques taught are easily integrated in everyday practice and are supported by evidence based medicine.

Mr Andrew Gallagher (Aust) established the Myofascial Pain Study Centre, to provide advanced training in Myofascial Pain Management methods for health practitioners. In addition to conducting training at the centre over the last 24 years, Andrew has also lectured extensively at an undergraduate and post graduate level on Myofascial Pain across a broad range of clinical areas including orofacial pain, sports medicine, industrial rehabilitation and hand therapy practice.

Andrews’s clinical interests are in the treatment of complex musculoskeletal pain and in particular chronic orofacial pain. Andrew is the Principal of the Craniomandibular Rehabilitation Clinic, which provides specialist treatment services in Melbourne and Ballarat focusing on orofacial pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

In addition to his clinical and teaching commitments Andrew has been engaged since 1994 with the Victorian Workcover Authority as a consultant Physiotherapist to the Independent Medical Panel.


Day 1 – Sat 21st July 2018 (Morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea provided)
Start 9am (registration from 8:15am)
Lecture presentations from all four expert speakers
Topics include:
– Measuring the Impact of Painful Myofascial Trigger Points on Physical Findings, Health status, Mood and Quality of Life:          Implications for Clinical Assessment and Dry Needling Treatment
– Novel Ultrasound Technologies in the Clinic: Measuring Effects of Dry Needling Using Objective, Reliable and Quantitative        Outcome Measures
– Dry needling for low back pain: needling styles, traditional and modern approaches, and research in practice
– More presentation descriptions coming soon…

Panel Q&A with the presenters
End 5:30pm
Cocktail function and networking event (food and drinks included) 5:30pm-7pm


Day 2 – Sun 22nd July 2018 (Morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea provided)

9am to 12:30pm – Practical workshop with Dr Jay Shah
Chronic Myofascial Pain and the Sensitised Segment: Integrating Advancements in the Pain Sciences with Objective Physical Findings and Dry Needling Strategies 

This workshop integrates the fascinating and clinically impactful knowledge emerging from the pain sciences in order to analyze the dynamic/pivotal roles that trigger points (MTrPs), central sensitisation (CS), limbic system dysfunction, and objective physical findings play in the evaluation and management of myofascial pain syndrome. Participants will learn important palpation skills and dry needling techniques that deactivate active (i.e., spontaneously painful) MTrPs, and desensitise affected segments, providing more permanent pain relief.

CS is responsible for aberrant pain perception. It lowers the activation threshold of muscle nociceptors and their central terminals, making them fire and cause pain in response to typically innocuous stimuli, like light pressure. Ongoing muscle nociception can initiate and perpetuate CS and may lead to functional and connectivity changes (via changes in gene expression, somatosensory processing, and synaptic connections) in central nervous system structures.

Spinal segmental sensitisation (SSS) is a hyperactive state of the dorsal horn caused by bombardment of nociceptive impulses.  Active MTrPs are common sources of persistent nociception and sensitisation that often result in SSS and facilitation.  Conversely, maladaptive changes in subcortical structures and dysfunctional descending inhibition may create somatic tissue abnormalities (e.g., tissue texture changes, tenderness, etc.), and adversely impact mood, affect, and sleep. Either way, typical manifestations of the sensitised spinal segment include dermatomal allodynia/hyperalgesia, sclerotomal tenderness, and MTrPs within affected myotomes. These objective and reproducible findings allow the clinician and patient to identify the affected spinal segment(s) that should be treated. Such clinical signs of CS result in an intensified pain experience that may spread to higher and lower spinal levels both ipsilaterally and contralaterally in a mirror-image pattern.

Non-pharmacological approaches such as dry needling, and electrical stimulation techniques will be discussed, demonstrated and practiced by attendees. These techniques deactivate painful MTrPs, desensitize affected segments and neuro-modulate subcortical dysfunction, providing more permanent pain and symptom relief. The diagnostic and treatment techniques presented in this course are applicable in the management of a variety of chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions.

1:30pm to 5pm – Practical workshop with Dr Edo Zylstra
Functional Dry Needling®: A Neuroplastic Approach
This theoretical exposure to Functional Dry Needling® and its neuroplastic approach will motivate participants to further understand the neurologic impact of this powerful technique, and will assist them in better incorporating it into a solid clinical treatment model.  The didactic component of this seminar will instruct the participant in applying these neuroplastic principles to patient care in effective, logical and dynamic ways. The theoretical model for the application of dry needling should be progressive, similar to the advancement of the research and our understanding of pain processing, nociception, functional impact of pain, fear avoidance, and the understanding of the causes of chronic persistent pain. Dr. Edo Zylstra, PT, DPT, OCS, has taught dry needling since 2005 and has advanced how clinicians apply and teach this technique motivated by this evolution of the model, and more importantly the impact on our patient outcomes.  We would not have changed and advanced our techniques based solely on the literature if we didn’t have a solid improvement in our clinical outcomes as well.

Ticket options:
2 day ticket – Only 60 tickets available 
Access to the full day of presentations and Q&A on Saturday
Morning and afternoon tea both days
Sit down buffet lunch both days
Entry to the cocktail function and networking event with food and drinks included
Sponsor discounts and offers available from our event partners
Entry to a full day of small group practical workshops with the two international presenters (participants must be appropriately trained and insured to practice Dry Needling prior to attending practical workshops)

1 day ticket – 240 tickets available
Access to the full day of presentations and Q&A on Saturday
Morning and afternoon tea, sit down buffet lunch
Entry to the cocktail function and networking event with food and drinks included
Sponsor discounts and offers available from our event partners

Live Stream ticket –
Access via live stream to the Saturday lecture presentations and Q&A.
Please ensure you have adequate internet speed to support live video streaming.

The Australasian Dry Needling Symposium is proudly supported by Red Coral Needle Supplies and the Myotech Dry Needle.

If you have any questions regarding the event or sponsorship opportunities, please contact the event management team at