I am asked this all the time, so here we go.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling: What is the Same?
Both acupuncture and dry needling:
- use single-use, stainless steel acupuncture needles;
- pierce the skin;
- needle where the problem is (e.g. into the neck if it’s a neck problem); and
- are used for injuries.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling: What is Different?
- needles away from the problem area to treat the problem – e.g. acupuncturists may needle the leg to treat the neck. The main benefit being to not aggravate and make worse and already sore or aching problem;
- treats other health problems (e.g. digestive problems, fatigue, sinusitis, etc…);
- is specifically claimable under extras of private health funds; and
- is carried out by registered acupuncturists (with the national Chinese Medicine Registration Board) who usually have 3-4 years of specific training in acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a protected title under national law. For example, a physiotherapist cannot call the dry needling they do ‘acupuncture’.
Both direct and indirect needling can work very well. An acupuncturist has much more training and experience and more needling options available to them when treating your health problem. When looking for acupuncture in Melbourne make sure they are registered.