Dry Needling

Dry Needling versus Acupuncture


Are you confused about the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

Well, that is ok as I often have people ask what is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling.

In Chinese Medicine Ancient texts describe MTrPs as Ashi points (points in a muscle that are tender and tight when pressed). These MTrPs were written about over 1000 yrs ago and many different needling techniques were developed over that time to release the tension and pain in these Ashi and MTrPs.

Similar to the twitch response (but more subtle) is a term used in acupuncture called ‘De Qi’ and this is a sensation that happens when a needle is inserted and there is the arrival of qi (energy) at the acupuncture point. This can be felt occasionally by the patient and often by the acupuncturist.

Dry needling is a technique that is used by physiotherapists, myotherapists, oesteopaths and chiropractors. It is the insertion of a needle into a myofascial trigger point (MTrP), tendon or a joint to release tightness or pain and sometimes to increase the range of motion in a limb. MTrPs are hard, palpable nodules in a taut band of skeletal muscle that may be painful at rest or when you touch it. Often the therapist is wanting to achieve a ‘twitch response’ to release the tight muscle when the dry needling is done.

If you would like to read more about acupuncture versus dry needling, click here.