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Acupuncture and Dry Needling: How are They Different?


So, needles are the hot new craze right now, and no we’re not talking about drugs, Botox or tattoos. We’re talking about acupuncture, also known as dry needle therapy or dry needling.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an old Chinese method of healing the body and restoring its homeostasis in an organic, non-invasive way. The theory holds that the chi or the positive energy flows through the human body across twelve major systems, each of which is connected, in turn, to a major organ of the body.

Over the course of our lives, the flow of chi is hampered due to stress and a thousand other things. It is then, that a professional acupuncturist makes use of very fine and specific sterile needles. They insert them along strategic places in the body to restore the original pathway of the chi. This is supposed to heal muscle injuries, phantom pains, release the “feel good” hormones in your body, thus restoring it to its original state of balance.

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling, as the name suggests, also involves needles. It involves inserting them into trigger zones of the body or the irritated muscle tissues. The main purpose of dry needling is to relieve muscular pain and muscular myofascial dysfunction. In fact, it has been favoured by sportsmen and celebrities over the years.

A Dry Needling session can leave your muscles a little tender and sore, but it is completely fine and categorically not dangerous. In the long run, it has more benefits than imaginable.

Is Dry Needling Different From Acupuncture?

Unlike acupuncture, dry needling isn’t exactly a traditional healing method that has been passed down from one generation to another. It is rather, a modern physiological treatment that is easier for the average physician to perform. Dry needling does not involve the flow of the chi.

Acupuncture provides pain relief for muscles through the release of the “feel good” endorphins and by creating balance in the energy levels of the body. It also has anti-inflammatory effects on the muscular tissue.

On the other hand, dry needling involves pain relief by the de-activation of the trigger points of the muscle cells. Thus, it eliminates the nociceptive focus of the muscle. It also promotes collagen and protein formulation of the local muscles.

Which Process Is More Popular?

Statistically, dry needling has been widely used and practiced by doctors and physicians all over the world because it does not require any extra additional training of classical methods and practices, like in the method of acupuncture. It is fairly effective and the results are quick too.

However, one advantage of acupuncture over dry needling is that it is not so selective and thus, can cure a wide range of disorders all at the same time.

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