Functional Dry Needling for Musculoskeletal Pain

Course Description:
The Functional Dry Needling (FDN) microcredential gives clinicians the proper safety and training for the insertion of fine filament needles into neuromuscular junctions' / motor points / tender points as well as how to stimulate dysfunctional muscles in order to bring improved function and decreased pain to patients. This course will provide ample practical time to test, practice and perfect the art and science of Functional Dry Needling.

Date and Location:
This course is hybrid ~95% live in-person synchronous instruction and ~5% asynchronous self-paced course work.

There are 2 asynchronous self-paced lectures, each 4 hours, for 8 hours in total of online content; each 4 hour lecture section must be completed before their respective live course dates listed below.

Course access opens September 10, 2021.  The live synchronous sessions take place over 2 weekends at Oak Point University (formerly Resurrection University) located at 2122 York Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

  • September 25-26, 2021: Saturday 8:00AM- 8:00PM; Sunday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • October 30-31 2021: Saturday 8:00AM- 8:00PM; Sunday 8:00AM-5:00PM 

Teaching Methods:
Eight hours (2 sections of 4 hours per weekend) of asynchronous self-paced instruction with multiple choice question quizzes must be completed before arriving for each respective course section.  The synchronous live classes will include lecture, demonstration, and copious practice time. 

Program Objectives:

At the end of this Microcredential the student will be able to:

  • Explain, demonstrate and apply Clean Needle Technique for patient and practitioner safety.
  • Classify the neurochemical, neurological and mechanical development of different points to needle such as tender points, trigger points, painful points and motor points in boht muscles and fascia.
  • Discuss the different neuromuscular theories of how trigger points develop and how diffent pioneers in the field are using needling to treat dysfunction in the body.
  • Review and demonstrate basic muscle and joint palpation coupled with orthopedic testing to best find areas of pathological dysfunction.
  • Discuss and demonstrate proficiency in identifying and needling common points superficial and deep, the physical location of the points and clinical applications.
  • Discuss history, indications, contraindications while then demonstrating proficiency in application of electrostimulation during needle application.
  • Highlight current research in the area of trigger point dry needling.

Instructor(s) name and credentials:
Gary Estadt DC, DABCA, DACRB; Kristine Tohtz, DC, DABCA, LAc, CACCP, CIFM (to assist)


Gary Estadt

Gary Estadt DC, DABCA, DACRB

Dr. Estadt has been a practicing chiropractor for over 40 years. He owned and operated Estadt Chiropractic Center, a successful clinic in Mentor, Ohio. He became the first chiropractor added to the medical staff at Lake Health, a community-based hospital. Dr. Estadt holds Board Certifications in Chiropractic Rehabilitation and Chiropractic Acupuncture. After retiring from his busy practice, Dr. Estadt joined the pain clinic medical staff at the Cleveland Veterans Administration, performing chiropractic care, acupuncture and dry needling.

In his professional capacity, he has served as President of the Council on Chiropractic Acupuncture for the American Chiropractic Association, President of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture, and President of the Ohio State Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Estadt has lectured on a wide range of topics including Acupuncture, Dry Needling, Functional Movement, Rehabilitation, Clinical Recordkeeping, and Ethics.

In his spare time, Dr. Estadt is a musician, avid golfer and skier.

Kristine Tohtz

Kristine Tohtz, DC, DABCA, LAc, CACCP, CIFM (assisting)

Dr. Tohtz graduated magna cum laude from the National University of Health Sciences in April 2001. While attending chiropractic school, she also began working toward a Diplomate in Acupuncture and in August 2009 received her Diplomate in Acupuncture from the American Chiropractic Association’s. After attending two supervised medical internships in Beijing and Hangzhou, China, she found advanced studies to be warranted and obtained her Masters of Science in Acupuncture (MsAc) through the National University of Health Sciences graduating summa cum laude in August 2014. She has completed an advanced certification in Pregnancy and Pediatric care through the International Chiropractic Pediatric and is a trained post-partum doula. She also successfully completed training to become a practitioner in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. She teaches continuing education to healthcare practitioners of all types on the topics of acupuncture, dry needling, pregnancy, nutrition and pediatric care. She is presently the Director of the School of Emerging Education at Resurrection University and is working toward her certification through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).



CE Hours:
50 hours of Nursing (for Nurse Practitioners Only), and Chiropractic (University of Bridgeport) CEU available; Acupuncture (NCCAOM) may be awarded upon request - please contact our office. Upon completion of all modules / badges a microcredential will be awarded to your registered e-mail address.