Do You Know The Difference Between Acupuncture And Dry Needling?

Do You Know The Difference Between Acupuncture And Dry Needling?

Acupuncture and dry needling In Beaumont


Although both acupuncture and dry needling insert thin needles into strategic points of the body, that’s essentially the only thing these two treatments have in common.

During an acupuncture session, needles are inserted into acupuncture points along meridian lines to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture benefits hundreds of different symptoms and conditions. This includes everything from headaches and nausea to insomnia and depression.

In dry needling, needles are inserted into areas of knotted or hard muscle known as trigger points, to release tension and relieve pain and stiffness.

In this article, we’ll look more closely at how these two treatments work and compare them, to help you understand which one is right for you. 


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How acupuncture works

In acupuncture, needles of various depths are inserted along with strategic points of the body. The insertion of each needle creates a tiny wound, signaling the immune system to increase circulation there and heal the area.

Connecting with the nerves at acupuncture points sends signals to the brain to release endorphins that stimulate the central nervous system. This triggers the body’s natural ability to heal itself and promotes physical and emotional health and well-being. 

Acupuncture Treatment

How dry needling works

You may be familiar with acupuncture but be wondering what dry needling is. It is a pain management treatment that uses short, fine needles. The term “dry” refers to the fact that no fluid is injected into the body. Upon insertion, the needle causes the muscle to contract, eliciting a “twitch response” before it relaxes. When the needles are inserted into trigger points, they can relieve muscle pain or spasms and help restore normal function.

There are several different dry needling techniques. “Sparrow pecking” is a method that uses in-and-out needle insertion so that the needles stay in the skin very briefly. Non-trigger point treatment is a dry needling technique that treats more of the central nervous system by inserting the needles in areas around the pain instead of directly into them. 

dry needling

Comparing and contrasting acupuncture and dry needling

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that has been around for more than 3,000 years. Dry needling is a much newer technique based on modern Western medicine. Its origins lie in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it gained wider attention.

People often think that dry needling is a type of acupuncture; however, the philosophies and techniques of these two treatments are very different.

Acupuncture is based on the belief that pain and other health-related concerns can be addressed by unblocking a person’s energy flow or chi. Needles are inserted into specific points along meridian lines that represent the body’s vital organs, to restore balance and energy flow throughout the body. Although acupuncture can treat pain, it can also be effective for treating other ailments.

Dry needling focuses on releasing tension caused by knots and pressure points by using strong stimulation of the muscles. Inserting needles into trigger points initially makes the muscle contract, and then relax. This process can improve muscle function and provide pain relief.

During acupuncture, the needles are left in for approximately 10 to 30 minutes. In dry needling, the needles can be placed superficially or deeply. The length of time they’re left in can vary from a few seconds to up to 15 minutes. 


Contact us Today

Acupuncture and dry needling both offer relief from muscle aches, pain, and tightness. Our experienced Physiotherapists are highly trained in both these treatments. They can evaluate your symptoms and help educate you about your condition so you can return to pain-free living.

Book an appointment by calling our clinic in Beaumont at (587) 410-4809 or filling out the contact form.