CrossFitter Comeback

When I first met Dr. Shea, I was suffering from a shoulder injury and unable to get my left arm overhead.  I live a very active lifestyle: collegiate coach, avid crossfitter, and daily hikes trying to keep up with my two high energy Australian Shepherds.  I had been to several PT’s without any relief and was starting to believe that sleepless painful nights and toning down my activity levels were going to become my new norm.  Luckily, Dr. Shea was recommended by several friends and I decided to give him a try.    



It was apparent from my very first appointment how knowledgeable Dr. Shea was. I felt an immediate sense of relief knowing he was an athlete himself and that he was willing to work with me in order to get me back to doing what I love without pain.  The unique combination of spinal manipulation and dry needing were life-changing. In addition to treating the pain, Dr. Shea takes a proactive educational approach that encourages continued wellbeing through targeted strength and mobility exercises. I am now able to sleep through the night, move my arms overhead, and participate in activities that I enjoy without pain.  We are so fortunate to have someone like Dr. Shea to work with people of all ages and activity levels in the Upper Valley!


The Magic of Voodoo Floss

The Quick Fix for most joint pain and those nagging soft tissue Injuries

Voodoo flossing or compression wrapping for joints can be magical.  It can be profoundly effective for Osteoarthritis, Tendinitis, Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Swelling.  Voodoo flossing has three primary uses. First, when combined with movement, the compression will release myofascial restrictions around the joint.  These restrictions tend to exacerbate joint pain when they are tight. Second, the compression will flush out any lymph or swelling in the joint, like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Third it increases sliding surface area or unsticks matted down skin, nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and allows them to slide across each-other without getting glued down.   

Using Voodoo floss is a quick and easy way to reduce swelling and to help flush out waste. Voodoo Floss is a thin, very stretchable rubber band that can be tied/wrapped around swelling and force the waste/toxin to start moving out through the lymphatic system.

Voodoo Floss helps break up intramuscular fibrosis to allow for greater mobility and blood supply to an area. By squeezing the muscle in a tight wrap, then taking it through a full range of motion (ROM), friction between muscle fibers helps break up fixations, scar tissue, lactic acid and other restrictions in those tiny places that foam rolling lacrosse ball techniques and manual therapy can’t address.  Voodoo floss is applied for about two minutes.

When the band is released, a rush of blood washes through the muscle; this not only brings nutrients for growth and healing but also clears out all that waste product that were broken up. This is also true for injury recovery and can be used to aid the healing of strained tissue and for swollen areas, to promote lymphatic drainage.

Come find out why Precision Osteopractic has added voodoo flossing to our scientific osteopractic approach.

Click here PrecisionOPT to Self schedule your appointment today with Precision Osteopractic, located on the ground floor of the River Valley Club

Interview with Julie Glynn


Dr. Gregory Shea, PT, MPT, DPT, CSCS, Cert. SMT, Cert. DN, FMT-C, Dip. Osteopractic, is a Doctor of Physical  Therapy & Osteopractor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal pain and orthopedic sports medicine conditions. Dr. Shea received a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from American International College and a postgraduate Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University. He earned his diploma in Osteopractic physical therapy through the Spinal Manipulation Institute and American Academy of Manipulative Therapy. Additionally, he holds a certification in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He specializes in spinal manipulation, western trigger point dry needling, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal sports medicine conditions. Dr. Shea completed a two-year certification in spinal manipulation through The Spinal Manipulation Institute & American Academy of Manipulative Therapy in 2013.  He uses his 20 years of clinical experience to solve complicated cases and ultimately help people reclaim their highest levels of performance.

Tell us about yourself and why did you choose to go into a health field?

Alpine skiing has been part of my life since age 2, and I began racing in the 3rd grade.  At age 13 I broke my femur while training giant slalom.  It was complicated and involved a long road to recovery. The rehab process was slow with many trips to the hospital to work with physical therapists who helped me along the path to recovery.  As an athlete, I have always been fascinated with anatomy & physiology. I knew I would appreciate the opportunity to work directly with people as they tackle some of life’s most important and difficult problems.


What makes you unique in your field?

Professionally, I am an Osteopractic Physical Therapist or Osteopractor. Osteopractic Physical Therapy is a subspecialty within physical therapy, and more
specifically brands the kind of physical therapy services (rather than simply
“physical therapy”) offered to prospective patients and colleagues alike, can
identify the appropriate practitioner to most effectively treat their condition.  An Osteopractor is a physical therapist or medical doctor that has completed a rigorous post-graduate
training program with a primary focus on spinal and extremity high-velocity
low-amplitude thrust manipulation, dry needling, instrument-assisted manual
therapies, and differential diagnostics for the management of
neuromusculoskeletal conditions.  I am one of the first physical therapists to achieve the Osteopractic diploma, one of only 150 Osteopractors in the world, and the only Osteopractor in the Upper Valley.  What this means is I have a huge arsenal of modalities to selectively choose from and I have advanced training in all of them. Ultimately, this provides the patient with the absolute best opportunity to achieve their goals quickly.  This advanced training along with my 20 years as a physical therapist and strength and conditioning expert means I have seen a lot of movement dysfunction and have developed a keen eye for pattern recognition. Pain is real and should be taken seriously.  It’s the alarm in our body that tells us something is wrong. I do a very good job treating pain, but I am able to go beyond simply treating pain; I address mechanical limitations, resolve movement dysfunction, and performance limitations so individuals can perform at their fullest potential.

What question do your clients ask most frequently and how do you answer them?

What’s the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?  Both professionals use the same tool (filament needle). Acupuncturists are Eastern trained practitioners and follow a theoretical construct to move blocked energy (chi) in the body.  Acupuncturists are trained to treat all 12 systems of the body. Acupuncture treatments are based on Eastern principles. Dry needling is a Western medical approach to treat neuromusculoskeletal problems.  MD’s, DO’s, chiropractors and physical Therapists can become certified in dry needling. Dry needling professionals treat muscles, tendons, and nerves to eliminate pain, improve range of motion and improve performance. We can stimulate a localized healing response and there can also be supraspinal effects.  Protocols are based on a Western medical examination to identify areas of limitation, dysfunction or pain that may benefit from this profoundly effective technique.

What do you see as the greatest health risk posed to this generation?

We sit too much.  Start using a standing desk.  Sitting is the new smoking.  Even if we go to the gym or run/walk for an hour a day, we still end up sitting for 13+ hrs. per day and sleep for 8 which results in a sedentary lifestyle.  It has been shown that we interact better and are able to take in more information while standing.  Standing lowers risk of heart disease, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Standing also keeps weight off.  If an average female stands during her normal workday, throughout the year she will burn the caloric equivalent of running 32 marathons.

What’s the best health/fitness/wellness advice you ever received?

Well, how about I offer one piece of advice that will be life changing for you.  Get a standing desk for work. Secondly, take each joint in your body through a full range of motion every day.  Think about the cat in the morning when it wakes up.

Do you have a success story of redeemed health you’d like to share?

There are so many, it’s really difficult to choose just one, but here goes.  I have a sister who was signed up for a total hip replacement at age 42. Her images showed degenerative changes & loss of joint space and her clinical examination was positive for an internal hip derangement.  She was in constant pain, had difficulty sleeping and was just downright miserable. But at age 42 she was far too young for a total joint replacement. After years of trying to get her to commit to consistent therapy, she finally drank the kool-aid and began a regular program. Four weeks later she felt good enough to cancel her surgery.  She has improved hip mobility and reduced her pain to the point where she does not notice it. She can go on pain-free walks with her husband and is back to skiing with her family, including her two young boys.

What is your favorite area of wellness to practice? (example: fitness classes, cooking, meditation)

My favorite area of practice involves utilizing the Osteopractic approach to treat neuromusculoskeletal problems in athletes and active individuals.  I find this approach, blended with strength and conditioning, can address the majority of diagnoses that walk in the door.  I also have a particular interest in treating cervicogenic headaches (headaches generated from the neck) and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.  These two areas really must be addressed by an expert with specialized training. Eliminating chronic headache pathology is life changing.

What are you passionate about, besides your professional life?

The great outdoors are my bliss. I have a high affinity to move and train.  I love sharing outdoor adventures and experiences with those closest to me. I am in heaven riding my mountain bike on flowing single track, skiing deep powder, or surfing knee-high rollers.     

What’s your favorite quote or mantra?

I have several. Ready?  Here ya go:

1.     Motion is lotion

2.     Show me you can be consistent before you can be heroic

4.     Many hands make for light work

5.     Some is better than none

What’s one book you recommend everyone should read?

Becoming a Supple Leopard second edition by Dr. Kelly Starrett, DPT

What one suggestion would you make that would have the greatest impact for improved health?

Designate 10 minutes each day particularly in the evening before bed to address your soft tissue restrictions with a combination of mobility and tissue work.  For example, foam rolling, trigger point balls, light yoga, pilates, tai-chi, or massage.

Any final piece of wisdom you’d like to share?

This is a phenomenal time in the health science professions.  We now know what works and what doesn’t work, and we are collaborating among professions to serve people better than ever before.  We have more informed consumers making conscientious decisions about their health.  People are more sophisticated and able to make discerning choices regarding where they choose to spend their time and resources.  Most people are probably going to live well into their 90’s, so if they decide they still want to be hiking mountains and playing with their grandchildren, they should work backward and decide what choices they need to make now that will result in success 30, 40 & 50 years down the road.

How can people learn more about you and what you offer?

Well, I can provide a little more insight for folks right here (no time like the present):  I have lectured on high-velocity low amplitude manipulation of the cervical spine, foundations and principles of spinal manipulation, non-contact knee injury prevention in female athletes, trigger point dry needling, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, lumbosacral differential diagnosis, and kinesiology taping. I have practiced throughout the United States and treated many professional athletes including members of the NFL, US Ski Team, Olympic level rowers, Nordic skiers, biathletes, professional cyclists, and triathletes, along with many competitive amateur athletes. I have served as the team physical therapist for Team USA at the world championships in Edmonton, Canada and I work directly with the Green Racing Project (GRP) Team at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center along with local college and high school athletes.

To learn more Please visit:  This is the best spot to learn more and easily self-schedule your initial visit.  (there is no referral required)

Learn more about the Osteopractic sub-specialty:

What is Dry Needling?

What is Dry Needling (DN)?

Computer neck pain image.jpg

Dry needling is a treatment technique, in which small filament type needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (known as painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or near nerves in order to stimulate a healing response with the goal of permanently reducing pain and dysfunction.  It has been shown that our bodies can develop areas of hypersensitivity and tightness as a response to various stresses i.e. postural, repetitive movements, psychological, emotional etc.  These areas are most likely to develop along tissues that are dysfunctional due to interruption of the nerves that innervate them.  This can be caused from nerve compression in a limb or in the spine from such things

as disc injuries, facet joint dysfunction, vascular compression, metabolic stress or biomechanical stress.  When trigger points are present, they cause the muscles they are in to neurologically tighten which serves to further disrupt the normal functioning of that muscle due to increased pain and local compression of vascular structures and nerves.  Physical therapists/physiotherapists are now using this technique around the world to effectively treat acute and chronic orthopedic and neuro-musculoskeletal conditions.  It is also known by other names including Intramuscular Manual Therapy or IMS.  It is called "dry" needling because no solution is injected into the tissue, as is the case with an injection with a hypodermic needle.


Is Dry Needling like Acupuncture?

DN is not acupuncture or Oriental Medicine.  DN is a treatment that uses solid filament, disposable acupuncture needles, but that is where the similarity to acupuncture stops.  Dry Needling is based on Western medical research and principles, whereas acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine in which the purpose is to alter the flow of energy ("Qi") along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases.  The theoretical backgrounds for the two treatments are very different.  In fact, DN is a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions throughout the body.  DN directly treats the neuromuscular system affecting muscle tightness, joint mobility, and symptoms of pain and irritation.


 Does Dry Needling hurt?

Each patient describes the processes of being needled differently depending on what tissues are being treated.  Typically, patients report not feeling the needle actually penetrate the skin and to most, the treatment is painless. Patients most likely will feel a deep cramping of the muscle that the needle was inserted into along with some involuntary muscle jumps/twitches.  This is called the local twitch response (LTR) and means that we are positively affecting the desired tissue.  As the needle stays in the tissue, theses sensations subside and more times than not, the patient is no longer aware that the needles are even still inserted.


How does Dry Needling work and what does the needle actually do?

DN Shoulder with ES 130.jpg

As mentioned above, needles can be placed in or around various structures in the body depending on the desired response.  When the fine, hair-like needle is inserted into a trigger point, a local twitch response (LTR) can be elicited.  This LTR is a quick contraction reflex of the muscle that can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Research has shown that when the LTR is elicited, the tissue will have a decreased muscle contraction, reduced chemical irritation, improved flexibility and can provide short term pain relief .  This can often immediately improve range of motion, improve function and decrease or eliminate pain.  Eliciting a LTR is not imperative and often will not occur when performing needling aimed at other structures in the body besides muscles and trigger points.  Needles can also be placed into other tissues including tendons, ligaments, around scars or near nerves.  Depending on the patient's particular pathology, the aim of Dry Needling may be different and therefore the desired physiological response is also different.


More specifically, DN has been shown to have many physiological mechanisms to reduce pain and disability:

●      Local Mechanical Effects

- Winding, tenting or needle grasp to deform and disrupt fibroblasts within the neighboring collagen tissue resulting in increased opioid mediated response

- LTR causing decreased muscle contraction and improved range of motion, mobilizing collagen restrictions within the muscle and fascia

●      Electrophysiological Effects

- Decreased spontaneous electrical activity (SEA) at the active trigger point, improved neuromuscular activation and timing

●      Neurophysiological Effects

- Increased pressure pain thresholds

- Stimulation and decreased inhibition of the descending sensory pain pathways

- Activation of central mediated systems including activation of areas in the brain involved in pain processing and the emotion of pain

●      Chemical/Cellular Effects

- Improved blood flow to nerves, tissues due to a decrease in vascular compression

- Inflammatory and immune system responses initiated.

Although Dry Needling has been around for years, it is a relatively new treatment to many.  DN is being used successfully with professional athletes, weekend warriors for chronic pain, neck pain, headaches, low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, sacroiliac joint pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis and many other common musculoskeletal conditions.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Shea, DPT, Dip. Osteopractic,  at Precision Osteopractic please go directly to  Self scheduling is easy and no referral is required.