There are a few differences between Acupuncture and Dry Needling, and it’s important to know the difference so you can choose the best treatment for you.


Acupuncture began in China more than 2000 years ago and has been a major part of their health care system ever since. It involves fine, single use needles being inserted into very specific points along the body’s meridians which are found on every corner of the body including the hands, feet and head. The individual points have a specific function and are chosen depending on the condition being treated.

Acupuncture treats conditions based on symptoms using ancient Chinese theories. These theories aim to achieve wellness, and to restore balance throughout the body. If you would like to know more about what Acupuncture can treat, have a read of our Acupuncture Q&A blog.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling specifically treats musculoskeletal pain. A fine, single use needle is inserted into a dysfunctional muscle with the aim of returning it to its optimal state. Studies have shown there to be a localised increase in blood flow and a release of endorphins as soon as a needle is inserted; both positive reactions to reduce pain and dysfunction.

So it’s a case of Eastern vs Western

Acupuncture is one part of the ancient Chinese Medicine theory of restoring any region of the body to its ideal balance. It has developed through the master and apprentice method over thousands of years.

Modern western medicine has embraced Dry Needling as an alternative therapy. The growing awareness of the connection between musculoskeletal pain and its affect on a patient has resulted in more research and clinical trials being conducted to further understand the benefit of Dry Needling as a treatment option.

Both Acupuncture and Dry Needling are becoming more popular because of a desire from the public for chemical free treatment options.

Acupuncture diagnoses using complex theories, meaning only a qualified and registered Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner can treat with Acupuncture. Many health professionals utilise Dry Needling as a method for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, including Myotherapists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and even some GP’s.

If you think that Acupuncture or Dry Needling might be just the therapy you need, book an appointment with our qualified Acupuncturist or Myotherapists.