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  • Writer's pictureDr. Andrew

Acupuncture and Dry Needling: Understanding the Differences and Advantages

Updated: Jan 22

At Illuminate Natural Wellness & Chiropractic we offer treatments for acupuncture and dry needling. A popular misunderstanding is that they are the same treatment and offer the same results. Allow us to explain their similarities and differences. Acupuncture and dry needling are two techniques that involve the use of thin needles for therapeutic purposes. While they share some similarities, they differ in their underlying principles, their origins, and their intended therapeutic effects. In this post, we'll explore the differences and advantages of each technique.


Acupuncture: The Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that has been used for over 2,000 years. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points along the body's meridians or energy channels. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the stimulation of these points can rebalance the flow of energy or Qi in the body and promote healing.


The advantages of acupuncture are:

  1. Treats a variety of conditions: Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, and infertility.

  2. Non-invasive: Acupuncture is a non-invasive technique that doesn't involve any medication or surgery. It's a safe and natural way to promote healing and relieve symptoms.

  3. Holistic approach: Acupuncture is a holistic approach to health that treats the whole person, not just their symptoms. It can improve overall well-being and promote a sense of balance and harmony in the body.


Dry Needling: The Western Medicine Approach


Dry needling is a modern Western medical technique that was developed in the 20th century. It involves the insertion of thin needles into trigger points, which are areas of tight muscle fibers that can cause pain and dysfunction. Dry needling aims to release tension in these trigger points and promote the healing of injured tissues.


The advantages of dry needling are:

  1. Effective for musculoskeletal pain: Dry needling is particularly effective for musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

  2. Targets specific areas: Dry needling targets specific areas of the body where the pain or dysfunction is located. This allows for a more targeted and effective treatment.

  3. Works quickly: Dry needling can provide rapid relief from pain and improve mobility and function.


So, which therapy is right for you?


Choosing between acupuncture and dry needling depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a holistic approach to health that treats the whole person, acupuncture may be the right choice for you. If you're experiencing musculoskeletal pain and want a targeted and effective treatment, dry needling may be the better option.


There is no guesswork involved. When you meet with Dr. Andrew Phelan at our clinic, you will receive a thorough exam and treatment plan. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.



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