What Is the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

In physio, there is dry needling. In TCM, there is acupuncture. Both are similar but distinct from one another. As more practitioners offer needling therapy, for the patient or the practitioner, it’s important to understand the difference between dry needling and acupuncture.

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is penetrating the skin with needles to improve or restore function to altered or dysfunctional tissue. It works around muscle trigger points that activate reflexive relaxation of the muscle.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be separated into two categories – Western acupuncture and traditional acupuncture.

Western acupuncture uses trigger points and TCM traditional meridians. Western anatomy understanding is blended in as well. Points are stimulated to create tissue, spinal, and brain effects, releasing pain-relieving chemicals and activating relaxation in the muscle.

TCM acupuncture, or traditional acupuncture uses meridian lines to release and improve energy flow throughout the body. It is based in ancient Chinese teachings.

What Is Similar Between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?

All approaches to acupuncture and dry needling are designed around safety. Practitioners are trained extensively and must meet safety standards in needle safety and hygiene, prioritizing patients.

Both, acupuncture and dry needling, also use the same premium acupuncture needles that are sterilized and made thin. In particular, Lierre Plus acupuncture needles is a great example of top-quality needles across Canada. Made from surgical grade stainless steel, these microscopically cleaned acupuncture needles are the best choice for anyone who pursue premium quality of acupuncture needles.

Benefits of Dry Needling

Dry needling and acupuncture have similar benefits but in a lot of areas acupuncture actually works better. Dry needling is shown to better aid in resolving shoulder pain, tennis elbow, and osteoarthritis in the knee. Like acupuncture, dry needling will also work well at resolving fibromyalgia symptoms and in treating tendinopathy which is the breakdown of collagen in the tendons.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture tends to work better than dry needling at reducing tension headaches and providing migraine relief. Like dry needling, it can also provide lower back pain relief and help reduce pain symptoms. Acupuncture can also improve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, ankle instability, period pain in women, and various other health conditions. Acupuncture is more popular because of the wide range of conditions it treats.

Which Is Better, Acupuncture or Dry Needling?

Acupuncture and dry needling have their place. Neither is better; however, acupuncture is what’s more popular and more widely known in North America. It is highly effective and an additional therapy that belongs alongside similar physiotherapy techniques, including massage therapy, mobilizations and manipulations, taping techniques, ultrasound, laser, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and biofeedback, among others.

If you are looking to get dry needling or acupuncture done, ensure you have chosen a practitioner you trust and one that’s experienced, as well as premium-grade acupuncture supplies. 

If you are TCM practitioner who is looking for a place to buy qualified acupuncture needles, do not hesitate to visit Lierre.ca. Lierre.ca is a premium supplier of acupuncture needles and acupuncture supplies. We offer support and access to acupuncture supplies to clinics and TCM practitioners all over the country.


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