Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with very thin needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.
Dry needling is a technique used by chiropractors and physical therapists for the treatment of pain and movement impairments. The technique uses a "dry" needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle in order to stimulate muscles. This in turn will often reflexively cause a release of tension in the area treated.
The primary difference between acupuncture and dry needling is that acupuncture treats for the purpose of altering the flow of Qi (or energy) along traditional Chinese meridians while dry needling follows evidence based guidelines, recommended “point” locations, and dosages for the treatment of specific conditions. With that being said, there is a growing body of literature that supports the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of a variety of different conditions ranging from arthritis to infertility.