There is a lot of confusion around the difference between “acupuncture” and “dry needling” today, and for a more in-depth understanding of the history, check out our dry needling article here. The quick answer is that dry needling is actually part of traditional acupuncture therapy and was traditionally known as “ashi” needling. For acupuncturists, this would be considered a form of “local acupuncture” where tender points are used in the affected area and is typically limited to the treatment of musculoskeletal pain or injury.
To be qualified as an acupuncturist in Australia, a person needs to complete a minimum 4 year bachelor of health science degree, involving hundreds of hands-on clinical hours. Once registered, to remain practising, they must continue with 20+ hours per year of professional development. This means that a good acupuncturist will have excellent needle skill and know how to be more targeted with point selection, getting more done with less. They would also look to improve other areas such as stress, sleep, digestion and anything else causing issues so that you feel better overall.
A non-acupuncturist who is using dry needling, typically has gained this qualification over a weekend course and is not required to fulfil any ongoing development or learning, nor are they necessarily using it within every treatment. This means that there is more potential for poor quality needling, resulting in overly painful treatments that may be less effective or only aggravate the issue. These treatments will also only be limited to musculoskeletal complaints.
At Village Remedies Sydney acupuncture clinics in Balmain and the CBD, we use dry needling (ashi needling) techniques where appropriate, but it is only a small part of our toolkit (also see distal acupuncture, motor point acupuncture and electro acupuncture pages). Our practitioners have experience using dry needling with clients who have had issues such as:
Neck pain and restriction
Lower back pain
Headaches and migraines
Rotator cuff injuries
Shoulder impingement and pain
ITB (iliotibial band) pain
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
And many more chronic pain and sporting injury conditions
If you would like to find out if dry needling is right for you, book online with one of our qualified Sydney acupuncturists or contact us today.