What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling? While using the same needle types,they are two very different treatments. Traditional Acupuncture is used for the diagnosis and treatment of pathological conditions including visceral and systemic dysfunctions, while Dry Needling is used for the assessment and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes and dysfunctions due to trigger points, tension areas in the body.
Acupuncture achieves pain relief through the release of endorphins and creating balance in the body’s energy levels. Through the release of serum cortisol from the adrenals. Acupuncture can also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
It is important to appreciate that acupuncture and Dry Needling are distinct and very different modalities. The Dry Needling of myofascial trigger points is based on a through musculoskeletal evaluation of the specific painful muscle.
The decision to Dry Needle is based on identifying a clear link between the trigger point and the client’s pain experience. The reproduction of the client’s pain is central to this.
Acupuncture on the other hand is based on the principals of traditional Chinese medicine, including channel theory, the stimulation of life force Chi, and a selection of local and distal found on acupuncture meridians.
During a Dry Needling session your therapist will firstly ask you about the area of pain, they will then palpate the area to identify any trigger point that may reproduce the pain. The therapist will then clean the area with an alcohol swap, whilst wearing gloves the therapist will palpate again to find the specific trigger point. Once identified the therapist will then will then insert the sterile needle with a quick tap, the client may feel a little sting but only for a second. The needle is then inserted further into the muscle which may elicit a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of a local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.
After a Dry Needling session it is best to keep hydrated and not participate in any strenuous exercise such a weights or high intensity cardio for at least 12 hours, this is for your body to continue repairing its self.
Alternative Body Works highly suggests any one with joint pain or long term knots to give Dry Needling a go as it is more of a deeper release and works very well. Please do not hesitate to call us for more information or to book in on 0404000810