Dry Needling and Acupuncture – what’s the difference?

Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

We regularly use a technique called Dry Needling which is beneficial for restoring normal muscle integrity and tone, kick-starting the healing process and reducing pain.  We are often asked; “What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?” and “How does Dry Needling work?”

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) and Dry Needling (DN), while using the same needle types, are two very different treatments.  Here is a brief and not too technical answer:

DN is used for the assessment and treatment of soft tissue pain syndromes and dysfunction causing problems with muscles, tendons and ligaments which in turn can cause pain and dysfunction within our joints.  It acts via the release of hormones and achieves pain relief and biomechanical re-function by deactivating muscle trigger points.  The needles also cause localised haemorrhaging which promotes healing by stimulating collagen and protein formation.  The “twitch” that you feel when a needle is inserted into a problematic muscle is an automatic nerve response, which essentially “jump starts” the nerve and muscle relationship.  Dry Needling is an evidence based treatment modality.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) is used for the treatment of pathological conditions including organ and systemic dysfunction.  TCA is reported to have a positive effect on the body’s ‘meridians’ or energy system(s), and by clearing its blockages normal systemic function can be restored.  It is a well-practised treatment modality that has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, loved and endorsed by much of the world.

What is Dry Needling?



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