Woman getting dry needling treatment

In recent years, there has been a surge in interest in alternative therapies for pain management and overall wellness. Two such therapies that have gained popularity are acupuncture and dry needling. While they may seem similar due to the use of needles, they are fundamentally different in their approach, philosophy, and application. This blog post aims to demystify these two therapies, highlighting their differences and benefits.

What is Dry Needling

Outside of the medical world, many people associate needles with shots, IV treatments or acupuncture. The words dry needling tend to scare people away, thinking we are referring to this treatment in the use of corticosteroid injections or topical treatments. So what is dry needling and why is it being more widely used in medical treatment?

Dry needling, by definition, is when a monofilament needle is inserted into a muscle, tendon, ligament, subcutaneous tissue or scar tissue without the use of medication. So what does this actually mean? Dry needling is when a thin needle is inserted into the body (usually an area full of tension, trigger points or pain), with no medication, such as a corticosteroid injected into the body (thus the term DRY needling). Dry needling must be done by a trained professional, such as a physical therapist, athletic trainer, chiropractor or MD, who also must have a certification in dry needling by a licensed program.

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling then?

The practice of acupuncture dates back 3000+ years, with the first “modern day” writing of the practice being around 1680 in Europe. Acupuncture is based heavily on Qi, meaning the flow of energy of the body, which dates back beyond the time of acupuncture even starting. The ancient Chinese founded many practices of healthcare on Qi in the body, and over time, the practice of acupuncture became more streamlined into specific spots of the body for needle placement. Over time, it evolved to follow the meridians of the body, allowing acupuncturists to now have “paths” along the body to follow for energy movement and healing. In the United States, those who practice acupuncture study anatomy, meridians and the flow of energy in the body through getting a Doctoral degree specifically in acupuncture.

How is dry needling any different? Though the same needles may be used for both practices, the background and goals of the practices are drastically different. In terms of dry needling, it was founded much more recently in the states, and has been practiced since the 1970s. The practice of wet needling (injection of medicine) started in the 1960s, then when further studied, researchers found that the trigger points were getting resolved just by the needle penetrating the region alone. Dry needling is more focused on either neural pathways, muscle fiber orientation or regions of trigger point formation.

In Closing

Dry needling can only be done by healthcare practitioners that have undergone extensive training to further their education and have received a certificate from an accredited company. Each state has different laws regarding who may get certified in that state, so check with your local physical therapy, chiropractors or Physician’s offices to see who is certified before considering getting dry needling done! The professionals at Pure Physio are certified in Dry Needling and are available to answer all your questions. For more information contact us today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + 4 =

Post comment