Acupuncture and dry needling- similarities and differences
If you see dry needling and acupuncture in an image, you may find it hard to identify each. In both treatment methods, the therapists use slender stainless needles. Moreover, in both, needles are injected into the skin to treat the pain. These are some of the similarities between dry needling and acupuncture.
If you are wondering about the differences, here is it. Certain unique qualities assist in differentiating the two. Acupuncture is a popular alternative treatment that has been in practice for the last thousand years. Several researchers have proved the effectiveness of the treatment. Dry Needling was adopted just a couple of decades ago.
Another difference is one of these practices is developed to relieve discomfort, issues, or pain by opening the energy flow or chi of the patient. And another practice is developed to stimulate muscles or trigger points that are irritable. By clearly learning the differences, you can determine which treatment option is right for you.
What is meant by dry needling treatment?
It is the latest treatment developed to reduce muscle pain. Due to its effectiveness, it is slowly growing popular. During this treatment, the practitioner injects a few filiform needles into the skin. These stainless steel needles are short and fine in size. It does not inject liquid into the body. It is the reason it is termed as dry needling treatment.
The practitioner keeps in trigger points that are your tissue or muscle. This therapy is also referred to as intramuscular stimulation. They insert in points that are regions of hard muscle or knotted. The practitioners say that the needle assists in releasing knots and relieving spasms or muscle pain. The needles are left in the skin for a certain time. The practitioner determines the exact length of time. Certain healthcare professionals like massage therapists and physical therapists obtain dry needling training and apply it to their clients.
What are the advantages of the dry needling method?
Dry needling assists in providing relief for certain muscular stiffness and pain. Moreover, by enabling the trigger points, it helps in increasing the range of motion and improving flexibility. It is the reason the dry needling method is utilized to treat injuries, muscle pain, sports, and also fibromyalgia pain. At present, there are no specific guidelines for practice. It will be standardized when more research is performed.
Risks or side effects to dry needling
There are only mild side effects and it is hard to notice serious side effects in this treatment. Some of the common side effects of dry needling include temporary soreness, bleeding, and bruising. These appear around the injected area.
What is meant by acupuncture?
It is basically from Asian medical practices. It is the reason several oversight and licensure boards describe acupuncture as oriental medicine. Expert acupuncturist starts treatment after receiving training for about three or four years. During the training, the practitioners are trained on how to use needles and also instructed in diagnosing the patient’s condition. They will be supervised by an expert or senior practitioners.
Along with training, they should take up testing from the national group of examiners. They have to continue taking the instructional courses every year to preserve their license. Acupuncture has been approved as a valid medical treatment by the American Medical Association. Certain insurance companies also cover treatment expenses.
Know the advantages of acupuncture
It is believed that acupuncture helps in removing interrupted chi or blockages and gets back to your body to a balanced state. It is utilized in treating numerous symptoms and conditions like:
- Menstrual cramps
Some people take acupuncture treatment for getting rid of chemical dependency and addiction.
What are the risks or side effects to acupuncture?
When the treatment is offered by a licensed and experienced acupuncturist, risks and side effects are very rare. But in very rare cases, some people may experience bleeding, bruising, and pain at the injection area. If the acupuncturist has used non-sterile needles, some people develop complications.
How to look out for a practitioner?
Generally, licensed and certified acupuncture therapists are registered under national licensing groups and maintain a list. If you are looking for a leading or experienced acupuncture practitioner in your locality, you have to begin with by searching through these options:
- American Academy of Acupuncture
- National Certification Commission for Oriental and Acupuncture Medicine
Before fixing an appointment, check whether the practitioner is certified and has a current license. Also, ask whether he/she holds a graduate education. If you are paying for acupuncture treatment with your health insurance, you have to see whether the insurance company pays for the treatment and also the practitioner is in their network.
It is challenging to find a reputed dry needling therapist. If you are looking seriously, you can search for resources like the American Physical Therapy Association.
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