Acupuncture and Dry NEEDling



Dry needling is not the same as acupuncture, although. they both use small, fine single use neeedles, The main difference between dry needling and acupuncture is the theory behind why the methods work.

 Dry needling’s primarily focused on the reduction of pain and restoration of function through the release of myofascial trigger points in the muscle. In comparison, acupuncture focuses on the treatment of medical conditions by restoring the flow of energy (Qi) through critical points in the body (meridians) to restore balance.

Put simply,  acupuncture is designed to relieve pain, discomfort, or issues by opening up a person’s energy flow or chi. Dry needling  is designed to stimulate trigger points, or muscles that are irritable.


Dry needling is a modern technique that places needles in trigger points (area’s of tight or knotted muscles), this can release and relieve muscle pain. It is used for assisting pain, restoring movement and function and assisting with healing.

Dry needling can assist in treatment for:

  •  Releasing myofascial trigger points (muscle knots);
  • Assisting with pain management, and;
  • Restoring movement at a joint if inhibited by myofascial trigger points.


Acupuncture is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that dates back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world.

Acupuncture takes a wholistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.

In eastern traditional medicine, when healthy, an abundant supply of qi (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body). If the flow of qi in the meridians becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of qi, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and disease or illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors.

Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi through the individual. 

As a natural form of healing, acupuncture has the following benefits:

  • provides drug-free pain relief
  • effectively treats a wide range of acute and chronic ailments
  • treats the underlying cause of disease and illness as well as the symptoms
  • provides an wholistic approach to the treatment of disease and illness, linking body, mind and emotions
  • assists in the prevention against disease and illness as well as the maintenance of general well-being.

Acupuncture and dry needling  practised at Tweed Coast Chiropractic by our chiropractors and massage therapists focuses mainly on the musculoskeletal system. Our Chinese Medicine Practitioner, practices traditional acupuncture.

Acupuncture practitioners requires extensive study, qualifications and regulation. Currently, dry needling practitioners don’t need extensive training and no regulatory agency controls training or licensure.

Useful Links:


  • 1. Trinh K, Graham N, Irnich D, Cameron ID, Forget M. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD004870. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004870.pub4.
  • <2. Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin BC, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007587. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2.
  • 3.Furlan AD, van Tulder MW, Cherkin D, Tsukayama H, Lao L, Koes BW, Berman BM. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001351. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2.
  • 4. Manheimer E, White A, Berman B, Forys K, Ernst E. Meta-Analysis: Acupuncture for Low Back Pain. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:651-663. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-8-200504190-00014