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Are acupuncture and dry needling the same?


Acupuncture verses dry needling, are they the same?


Acupuncture is a wholistic system of medicine that addresses the full spectrum of human health and disease with 2000 years of written history of practitioners passing on knowledge and experience from generation to generation.

Dry needling is a technique using acupuncture needles in ‘trigger points’ of knotted hard muscles to release the tension and related muscle pains or spasms. These techniques do not require extensive training or knowledge of the psyiology or pathology that is required for acupuncture. Because of its simplicity and effectiveness physical therapists and other health professionals have incorporated this aspect of acupuncture into their treatment plans when releasing muscle tension is helpful.

There are 365 regular acupuncture points distributed all over the body along what are called meridians. These have particular effects on different organ systems and tissues and are used in combinations to regulate the bodies functioning. Whereas trigger points are found in muscles and are localized areas of congestion that don’t have the systemic functions of acupuncture points. These are called ‘A Shi’ points in acupuncture. A Shi means ‘That’s it!’ because these points are tender! Along with these tender points, acupuncturists also utilize what are called ‘Kori’ points. Kori points are similar to A Shi points in that they are also found outside of the regular meridian network but instead of these points feeling tender to the patient, kori points feel thick and obstructed to the acupuncturist.


Sometimes addressing the local muscle is enough to take care of chronic or acute pain, especially if the pain is due to injury or overuse in an otherwise healthy person. Other times the dysfunction in the muscle is a result of an underlying local or systemic issue which cause or contribute to the pain or spasm. This includes things such as poor blood quality which makes it difficult for the blood to nourish the tissues or what we call yang deficiency where there isn’t enough warm moving energy in the body leading to constrictions. This is why an acupuncturist always takes the full picture into account and uses needles in areas other than where the pain is. These other needles are to support the underlying condition of the body.



If you feel that dry needling is the better choice for your situation, I would recommend Wieber Physical Therapy in Faribault. Truly experts in their field.



pivotal point oriental medicine located in Faribault Minnesota

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