Do you know what the difference is?

We’ve created a table overview of the main differences below.
[custom_table style=”1″]

Acupuncture Dry needling
Traditional Chinese system of healing based on energy concepts Intervention used to relieve muscle pain (part of myofascial pain management)
Theoretical constructs built around meridian concept Theoretical constructs built around trigger point concept
Tools include needles, moxibustion, finger pressure Tools include syringe needles, local aneasthetic (wet needling)
Multiple insertion sites along meridian lines. Insertion of needles focuses on trigger point zone.
Mechanism of pain relief from classical acupuncture associated with endorphin response from CNS.* Mechanism of pain relief from dry needling are associated with nociceptive input from muscle around the motor endplate.
After needle insertion, periodic stimulation of points by needle occurs by twirling/tapping. Multiple needles inserted and remain in situ for several minutes. Post needle insertion, a fanning technique is used to elicit and exhaust muscle twitch responses. A single needle is used to deactivate ’hotspots’ and treatment is shorter, often lasting less than 5 minutes.


High correlation between acupuncture pain points and myofascial trigger points (70%).