Some may confuse “Dry Needling” and acupuncture. It should be noted that these are not the same thing. Furthermore, there are some significant differences to consider.
Dry needling involves the insertion of needles into ‘trigger points’ which also known as knots in the muscle. On the surface, it may look very similar to acupuncture. However, this is not the case. Physical and sports injury therapists usually offer this therapy. However, dry needling is not regulated meaning there are no requirements for the amount of training a person needs to provide this therapy. It is not unusual for a practitioner to only spend a weekend learning dry needling. This means there is no way to know if someone’s training is legitimate and satisfactory. Also, dry needling is a relatively new procedure which does not have a lot of research behind it.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, has been used for thousands of years, and there have been several research studies to support its efficacy. Acupuncture also differs from dry needling as it can help with numerous health conditions, not just pain. Also, acupuncturists and Naturopathic Doctors who perform acupuncture are trained for three to four years and must pass board exams. Moreover, they must complete yearly continuing education.