#PTonICE Daily Show – Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 – Dry needling travel guide

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Dry Needling division lead Paul Killoren describes his ideal setup to travel with all the supplies & equipment needed to perform dry needling on at least 2 individuals. 

Take a listen to the podcast episode or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog

If you’re looking to learn more about our live dry needling courses, check out our dry needling certification which consists of Upper Body Dry Needling, Lower Body Dry Needling, and Advanced Dry Needling.


Hey everybody, Alan here, Chief Operating Officer at ICE. Thanks for listening to the P-10 ICE Daily Show. Before we jump into today’s episode, let’s give a big shout out to our show sponsor, Jane. in online clinic management software and EMR. The Jane team understands that getting started with new software can be overwhelming, but they want you to know that you’re not alone. To ensure the onboarding process goes smoothly, Jane offers free data imports, personalized calls to set up your account, and unlimited phone, email, and chat support. With a transparent monthly subscription, you’ll never be locked into a contract with Jane. If you’re interested in learning more about Jane, or you want to book a personalized demo, head on over to jane.app.switch. And if you do decide to make the switch, don’t forget to use our code ICEPT1MO at sign up to receive a one month free grace period on your new Jane account.

And good morning, Instagram. Paul Killoren here going live broadcasting worldwide PT on Ice daily show. If we haven’t met before, I am the current division lead for dry needling division. And today I want to tackle a big FAQ, one of the top frequently asked questions. It comes up almost every course. It comes up during holiday season and travel season. And really any time that someone says, here is a box of needles and you’re flying anywhere. So we’re talking travel guide for dry needling. And to give you some background on myself, I had a brick and mortar clinic cash pay for almost 5 years, many years ago. Since that clinic closed, I have more or less been mobile, and mobile really means getting on airplanes to treat pro athletes. And that brings up a lot of questions. So whether you are truly traveling with needles, we’ll talk TSA, baggage, all of that stuff, or you’re just more of a mobile setup and you’re looking for some solutions that maybe aren’t your typical, like you don’t have a cabinet, you don’t have places, brick and mortar in a clinic. So we’re gonna talk the travel guide to dry needling today. And first of all, I get zero kickback, zero financial incentive, but what I’m wearing here is actually the Go Rucksack, the GR1. I’ve actually traveled with this heavily teaching for a long time, almost nine years, and this thing has held up. So it gets my stamp of approval. It is an expensive bag, but for me, it has been more than valuable, and this is traveling consistently across the country. So this bag is, is just your standard backpack. And if you are traveling, let’s say getting on a plane to see a, uh, an athlete, or if you’re traveling for vacation to see family members, that bag is large enough that I have my laptop, all my normal personal travel carry on stuff. Um, but that is where I put a lot of my non needling supplies. So, I mean, if you’re doing cupping or scraping or taping, any of your other things, that GoRuck gives me plenty of space to stick stuff in. But today, this is the pack that I think most people have questions about and will talk about the most. So this is my travel kit for dry needling. You can see the logo there, Instagram, YouTube. Medpack is the name of this company. Again, I have no financial incentives. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to carry their stuff for a long time, and I dry needle, but it’s been just a tough distribution setup. But I do give this my endorsement, and the pack I’ll show you today is actually the one I’ve had the longest, it’s the smallest, and actually the least expensive. meaning if you go to Medpack site there are lots of different options and really they’re kind of EMT or athletic trainer quality bags meaning they are durable, they do have nice sturdy locks and straps and holding longer straps I guess for carrying but they are high quality and they are medical grade bags. This bag specifically is their 300 series bag. It’s their cheapest one. It’s less than 100 bucks right now. And honestly, I like this better than some of the larger bags that I’ve used. And I’ll show you everything this can fit in a moment. The larger bag has enough, it has more space, it has enough space really for more needles, but for two of the ES-160 e-stim units, which is nice. Larger means it doesn’t always fit as easily in the overhead bins of some of the regional jets that I’ve been on or underneath the seat. And if anything makes me more uncomfortable and nervous on a plane, it’s watching Bob try and cram his carry-on bag right next to my med pack that has two ES-160s. You know, you picture them spinning it around, cramming it in, doesn’t fit, doesn’t fit. There’s been a few times where I’m just like, it’s made me nervous enough that I prefer to travel with the smaller bag because it fits better, at the very least, underneath the seat in front of me. So this is the Medpack bag. Again, no financial affiliation by me. This is the one I’ve liked the best. The 300 series is less than 100 bucks. So let me walk you through it. And I’ve got Instagram here, YouTube over here. Try to give you the best angle. So again, what I like about this is it has sturdy straps. And you see big pocket one side, other side, these outer pockets. One is where I have my new gloves. So it’s full of gloves that are unused, will be used. And the other side is my garbage. So during a treatment session, I travel to an athlete’s home, I have gloves, I have swabs, I have all the needle debris. I’m sticking all of that in my garbage pocket during the session. I mean, really, I’m not trying to leave any waste or trash, even those tiny little shims, at a patient’s home. So I’m constantly sticking that in here. Those are the two outer pockets. If we unclip here. First of all, I just have your standard cord pouch, I guess. Nothing fancy to this, but this is where I keep all of my lead wires for the ES160. And I will say that it’s worth having extra of everything when you travel. That’s batteries, that’s lead wires, that’s almost have a second everything, because what you wouldn’t want to do is travel to a client and not have a functioning unit for whatever reason. So here are my lead wires, including a few extra and some extra batteries for my e-stim unit. If we take that out, another clip here you can see, here you go, inside of the purse. I’ll try not to dump it out entirely, but what you see is that there are little compartments for almost everything. This middle one is actually customizable, meaning there’s Velcro that I can make this smaller or larger. So I made it perfectly sized to actually have a pretty secure hold on a quart-sized sharps container. And then there’s my needle, the main needle compartment. So I have 105-75s, and if you want a pro tip, I mean I’m biased, I use iDryNeedle, Needles, which means they have a shim tab. I really like having max packs for being in a patient’s home Again, if the goal is not to leave any of the shims or any garbage much less clutter with the multi pack I like having those and then let’s see if I can tilt this up even further two front pockets have my swabs so my skin prep swabs and You saw there a little gel electrode. If you know, you know that it’s kind of nice to have one of these with the metal button. You can put it on a patient’s skin, clip up an alligator clip to that metal button and then to a needle. So it’s nice to have a few of those handy. And then in this front pocket is just more needles, smaller individual size needles. So needles, sharps, kind of cleanliness, skin swab stuff, more needles. And in the back, this is really why I like this bag specifically, is almost a perfect size compartment for the ES-160. So there is my 6-channel e-stim unit, slides right in back. Behind there you see that there’s a little pocket or another compartment where I have the e-stim 2, so a smaller e-stim unit back there. There’s a larger pocket where you can fit more supplies there if you need. That’s where I used to keep my extra batteries, but then I kind of got the cord carrier. And then up top you have a zipped pocket, I guess. And I guess since real early on, like the first year that I started needling, Someone terrified me into carrying a hemostat just in case a needle would ever fracture. So that’s what’s in there right now. I’ve never used it, never had to use it, but a zipped pouch for whatever you’d like to put up there. So again, that is the Medpack 300 series bag that I travel with. Again, there are larger ones. If you’re not getting on a plane, there are roller bags and backpack bags like there are MedPak makes a nice, again, more durable, more resilient, and almost healthcare grade pack, kind of EMT, ATC bag quality. So that’s me getting on a plane. I have my GORUCK, I have my Carry-On. So let’s talk plane travel specifically, because again, this commonly comes up. First of all, whether you’ve heard or not, you are allowed to carry on needles. They can be in a closed box. They can be in their loose sleeves. They can be in a sharps container. You are allowed to have needles. I know that from experience and also from Delta Airlines policy. So again, that bag I just showed you, I’m going through TSA pre-check goes through there. I will admit that 50% of the time it gets kicked to the side. So you’re sitting there waiting for your bag. The person is going to ask, like, whose bag is this? Is there anything sharp or that’s going to poke me? And that’s when I say, yep, it’s full of needles. Ha ha. And they don’t believe me until they open it up. But once they do, there’s been no issue. They basically say, like, oh, are you a health care provider? Are you an acupuncturist? And you say, I’m a physical therapist. It might be worth carrying or having a copy of your license should there be more questions, but me doing this for several years, there’s never been more questions. They basically nod along. Honestly, why my kit gets kicked to the side half the time is either a hand sanitizer that I carry with me or a cleaning, like a table cleaning bottle, basically a fluid that’s more than three ounces. They actually let you keep both of those after they test them. So even if your hand sanitizer or your cleaner is larger than three ounces, they will run a little swab test on it. Typically they give it back. I’m not sure if that’s because we are health care providers or because there’s some exclusion for sanitizer, but that is why it gets kicked to the side or it does look a little suspicious to have all sorts of wires and batteries under x-ray so half the time they don’t even realize or care or know that your bag is full of needles they see eight nine volt batteries or eight c batteries with a bunch of wires and that looks kind of suspicious. So every once in a while, you’ll get questions on what is that unit? And I say electrotherapy device, electro stim device, therapeutic device, whatever answer you want to say, but that is why half the time when I’m carrying through that pack, it gets kicked to the side. But honestly, never had any issues from there. Again, I travel pretty frequently. So those are the common frequently asked questions. I already gave you the pro tip that if you are traveling two clients on a plane or even driving, you should have extra everything. And that’s needles, batteries, lead wires. Learning over the years only from one or two failures, but it is pretty embarrassing to show up and not have extra batteries. You’re basically asking your patients if they have batteries. So just have extra batteries, have extra lead wires. Unfortunately, if you do travel or you are mobile for your treatments, It puts a little more wear and tear on your stuff. As far as stem units go, I actually haven’t had any issues durability wise with the ES160. Aside from the wires, I’ve replaced a couple over the years. The E-stem 2 is one of the smaller, cheaper units that holds up really well. The Pointer XL and the E-stem, sorry, the ITO ES130, the 3-channel unit, do not hold up as well. So as far as the plastic inputs on the ES-130 or the wires, if you’re looking for more durable units that really don’t wear as quickly with travel, I like the eStim 2 and 3 and the ES-130. But that’s what I got for you supply-wise. Again, no issue with TSA or otherwise with needles or sharps containers or e-stim. Really, I’d just be prepared for maybe one or two follow-up questions, but there’s never been an issue. Other things that are worth having if you’re just more of a mobile setup or if you are getting on a plane, I would always have extra consent forms or maybe a one pager for what is dry needling. You’d be amazed if you are mobile how it’s not even a word of mouth referral. You’re traveling to see one person or a mobile session with one person and they have a friend or a family member that just happens to be there during your session. Whether it was planned or unplanned, they just want to watch it, ask you all the questions while you’re working with Gladys in her living room. So I would just have some reading material for that person First of all, to avoid distractions from them, but also to answer their questions, potentially gain a new client. Otherwise, consent forms, same thing. You find the opportunity to potentially do a trial treatment. I would always have extra consent forms with you, or just have an electronic version that’s easy to pull up. I still do the paper. I have extra ones with me. I do scan it with a PDF scanner and can send it to the patient right away. But otherwise, I do the old school consent forms. But that is what I have for traveling with needles. Once this episode drops on Instagram, I’ll drop some links for the bags. If you have any questions on travel, I think I hit the big ones. I think one other question that comes up, um, less so for the more formal like mobile or travel client, but more frequently with I’m at home at Christmas with uncle or grandma. Um, some other questions that come up are, is there kind of a less formal way to dispose of sharp needle or dispose of sharps? Um, and the answer is yes. And even depending on the state you live in, some states would say this is entirely legal, which is you should just put them in a water bottle with a cap that you can twist, and then dispose of it in recycling. Maybe put duct tape over the top of it. But maybe if you’re at home on the holidays, you have a few needles in your bag, whether you are going to do gloved clean needle technique on family, that’s up to you, like whether you have those sorts of supplies, but I would certainly dispose of the needles semi-properly, which might just be a water bottle and some tape.

All right, team. So that’s what I hope that answers some of the main questions you have. I know summer means you’re going to be traveling a little more. Um, we’re coming right off of sampler and honestly, the number of folks that came up to me and ask questions about treating athletes or, or travel treatments or mobile treatments were high. I think it’s just becoming a model that even healthcare consumers are more intrigued by, you know, having the option of us driving to them, even if we charge them a premium. So when it comes to needling, there are some pretty nice setups. Again, I like this bag. If you want to know some of my failed or my less desired travel tips, I kind of went through the plastic tote phase that had a snap-on cover. I tried kind of, I guess, a makeup kit or a taco box. Nothing really seemed to fit quite as well as what I just showed you, which is the Medpack bag. But there are other options out there. So if you have questions on travel tips for needling, drop them once this goes live. Again, I’m Paul Cloran. I’m the division lead for dry needling. If you’re trying to catch a course with us on the road, May we actually only have two courses and they’re both the weekend of the 18th and 19th. Ellie will be in Virginia Beach. I’ll be out here in Seattle. And really throughout the summer, we have some big courses, but we have a lot, we have fewer courses throughout the summer. We just know that you all are out there being active, friends, family, a vacation. We want our faculty to kind of decompress a little bit, but if you’re trying to find courses throughout the summer, they are there. If you want more options or you’re looking for something more convenient, check out our summer, but also our fall options for needling. All right team, thanks for tuning in. Drop any questions you have on traveling with needles. Signing off.

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