Dry Needling or Acupuncture both involve the insertion of a single use, thin, needle into the skin. The differences between the techniques is where they are inserted.
Acupuncture needles are inserted into different points along the body – known as ‘meridian lines’. Each ‘line’ represents a different body organ and in each meridian, Qi flows. Qi is a natural flow of energy running throughout the meridians. With acupuncture, you treat not only pain, but also other ailments within the body’s organs – such as sleeping problems, digestive problems, sinus problems, stress etc. If you suffer with digestive problems, there are certain points along a specific meridian in the body that correlates with the digestive system. Inserting needles along this meridian can aid in the recovery of the digestive problem by releasing and activating the flow of Qi in this meridian. Acupuncture generally lasts anything from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to allow for the flow of Qi.
Dry Needling is a much more recent technique than Acupuncture. It uses the same needles, but in a different way and different location. They are inserted into a specific muscle or joint that is painful or dysfunctional. The result of this treatment would be that the muscles are less tight, therefore providing pain relief. The needle is gently inserted into the skin directly at the point of tension and often a local twitch response is experienced. This means the trigger point has been stimulated and increases the blood flow to the area which helps to relax the muscle. A brief painful response might be felt but it won’t last for more than a second. The release of blood flow from the insertion of the needle improves the muscle and joint function by allowing nutrients to flow into the affected area. For example, if you have low back pain, your muscles are likely to be holding tension.
We have therapists in our clinic that are competent in both techniques. If you have any further questions about these techniques, feel free to contact us.