14 Nov FAQ: Dry Needling vs Acupuncture – What is the Difference?
Dry Needling vs Acupuncture
Both acupuncture and dry needling use the same type of tiny pin (I try to avoid using the word needle as it often has a negative connotation for people) and follow many of the similar points, but the theory and clinical reasoning behind the needle placement is different. Dry needling targets myofascial trigger points to temporarily reduce pain and improve function, longer term relief may be attained with stretching exercises after releasing the problem area. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a Traditional Chinese Medicine tool that uses the theory of meridians and the placement of needles aimed at restoring the body’s energy flow. From a western medicine perspective it aims to improve blood flow to certain areas, stop pain by stimulating nerve receptors found at certain acupuncture points (the same receptors which opiates block to stop pain), and stimulate other nerve receptors to certain organ and body parts to help restore function. In a sense Acupuncture tries to remind the body of what it is suppose to do in order to be in balance. Acupuncture is very commonly used for pain management, chronic conditions, women’s health and stress.
Acupuncture uses a “root and branch” theory when treating. What that means is that we treat the symptom plus the underlying cause as to why you are suffering with the particular affliction. Now, if you’re sitting there reading this with, say for example, carpal tunnel, you might think ‘well, that’s obvious, the root reason why I have carpal tunnel is because I’m constantly carrying around my toddler.’ My question to you would be: why doesn’t every parent carrying around a toddler constantly have carpal tunnel then? Take two people, same age, same diet, same gender, same household, same job. One gets a cold easily and the other never gets sick. Why are some people more prone to certain disorders than others? That is what acupuncture looks at, the underlying constitutional cause as to why you are affected by certain factors so we can then assist you more effectively and holistically.