Is acupuncture the same as dry needling?

I spent the last two weekends taking level one and two of the @masterdryneedling course. I highly recommend this course to any clinicians who are looking to use dry needling in their clinical practice. (This blog post was written in November 2020).

On Monday it was no surprise that many clients had questions when I offered to stick them with needles in an effort to make them feel better. One of the main questions I received is “What is the difference between dry needling and Acupuncture?”

Read below for the major difference between dry needling and acupuncture!

Intention and rationale

In traditional Chinese acupuncture the intent is to up-regulate the bodies energy flow and increase the bodies “Qi” to return the body to homeostasis. Treatment sights are based on ancient meridians that when hit with acupuncture needles can affect spiritual, physical and emotional illness.

Dry needling’s main intention is to create change in muscle tightness, pain, and decrease movement dysfunction. Clinicians trained in dry needling are educated in western medicine, and are taught the physiological response to needle penetration taking into account the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and the biochemical response.

In my opinion there is a place for both modalities in the arena of helping people move and feel better. I plan to use dry needling as a part of a comprehensive rehab program that is predominantly rooted in more active forms of treatment. My goal is always to promote self-efficacy and an active approach to rehab no matter how many manual/passive techniques I learn.

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