• 16 February 2024
    Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

    Dry Needling vs Acupuncture


    • Origin: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that dates back thousands of years. It is based on the concept of balancing the flow of energy, known as Qi or Chi, through meridians or pathways in the body.
    • Principles: Traditional Chinese acupuncture aims to balance the body's energy flow to promote health and alleviate pain or illness. Needles are often inserted at specific acupuncture points along the meridians.
    • Regulation: In the UK, acupuncture is regulated by professional bodies such as the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). Practitioners usually undergo extensive training in traditional Chinese medicine principles.

    Dry Needling:

    • Origin: Dry needling is a more recent therapeutic technique that emerged from Western medicine practices, particularly from trigger point therapy. It does not have the same historical and philosophical background as acupuncture.
    • Principles: Dry needling primarily focuses on the release of trigger points or knots in muscles, tendons, and connective tissues. It aims to alleviate pain and improve muscle function by inserting needles directly into these trigger points.
    • Regulation: The regulation of dry needling can vary. In some regions, it may be performed by physiotherapists or other healthcare professionals. The level of training required can also vary.

    Key Differences:

    • Philosophy: Acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and the concept of energy flow, while dry needling is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles.
    • Approach: Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles at specific acupuncture points along meridians, whereas dry needling targets trigger points and focuses on releasing muscle tension.
    • Training and Regulation: Acupuncture practitioners often undergo traditional Chinese medicine training and are regulated by specific bodies. Dry needling may be performed by various healthcare professionals, and regulations can differ.