Dry needling and acupuncture appear to be the same at first glance. After all, both treatments involve thin, stainless-steel needles being inserted into the skin with the aim of treating pain. However, that’s where the similarities between the two ends. Read on to find out how dry needling therapy and acupuncture are different.

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a modern treatment that’s intended to reduce muscular pain. Several filiform needles are inserted into the skin to target “trigger points” in the muscles. Dry needling works by releasing these knotted areas and therefore relieving muscle pain and tension. The needles stay in the muscle for a short period of time. However, some types of dry needling use techniques known as sparrow pecking or pistoning. Both involve in and out needle insertion. The needles don’t remain in the skin for long when these techniques are used – just long enough to prick the trigger points.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Used for hundreds or possibly even thousands of years, it involves stimulating sensory nerves underneath the skin and within the muscles. This leads the body to produce natural substances, including pain-relieving endorphins. Several sessions of acupuncture are usually considered more effective than a single treatment. Traditional acupuncture revolves around the idea that an energy known as a “life force” flows through the body. When this life force, known as “Qi”, is unable to flow through the body, illness can occur. Acupuncture is used to restore the flow of energy, restoring health.

Should I choose dry needling or acupuncture?

You may be wondering whether to opt for dry needling therapy or acupuncture. If you simply want to relieve pain and tightness in your muscles, dry needling is the best option. However, if you require treatment for another condition such as dental pain, migraines, fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis, acupuncture may be the way to go. If you’re still not sure whether dry needling or acupuncture would be most beneficial for you, talk to our team at Faye Pattison today. We can advise on which treatment is best suited to your needs.
One important difference between dry needling and acupuncture lies in their regulation. People have used acupuncture for hundreds of years, and it is now well-regulated. However, dry needling was developed more recently, and there are currently no official guidelines. This is something to keep in mind when deciding whether to opt for dry needling and acupuncture.

Book a dry needling therapy session

To book a dry needling therapy session, get in touch with Faye Pattison Physiotherapy today. Call us on 01245 901170 or send an email to info@fayepattison.com to discuss your requirements with our friendly team. We’re fully trained in both dry needling and acupuncture treatments and have helped hundreds of people to overcome health conditions ranging from muscle pain and tightness to migraines, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Talk to one of our experienced practitioners today.