What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is simply the insertion of acupuncture needles into points of pain in the body. It’s called “dry” because the needles are solid, not hollow, like the needles that are use by western medical professionals to inject a liquid into into the body, i.e., vaccines or medications.
Dry Needling uses the same or similar type of needles used by “licensed acupuncturists.” Health professionals who perform dry needling are inserting needles into the body in specific locations to relief pain and/or inflammation. Dry needling can be effective in relieving pain. However, dry needling when performed without using the diagnostic training of a licensed acupuncturist, such as reading the pulses, tongue or other diagnostic tools to find the cause of pain or discomfort, doesn’t necessarily address whatever disease process is going on that is causing your pain or symptoms. So the cause of your symptoms “could” just get worse and you may not know it.
The only time I feel dry needling is “okay” is when it is known where the pain is from, i.e., an outside injury or trauma to the body. Wherever you seek acupuncture treatment, please see only a fully-trained “acupuncturist,” L.Ac., for acupuncture treatment.
Here is some good information on the possible risks of dry needling done by health professionals without the hours of training acupuncturists have.
There are many other licensed health professionals, other than fully-trained acupuncturists, who take very short courses in how to in how to use acupuncture needles for pain relief. Most of them have very few hours of training, approximately 50 to 100 hours, compared to a licensed acupuncturist’s 2000 to 3000 hours. The most common health care professionals performing dry needling are chiropractors and physical therapists. I think a good chiropractor is invaluable when it is what someone needs to address their symptoms, and often refer to them when I know that is what a patient needs if their neck or back is out of alignment.
Here is a short video that very simply explains the difference between dry needling and acupuncture.