Dry Needling Vs. Acupuncture

Dry Needling Vs. Acupuncture

One of the questions we get a lot is what is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? We’re here to clear the air!

Although the two practices may seems very similar, they have more differences than you may think!

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a practice used by physicians to treat musculoskeletal conditions and pain within the body.

During the treatment, the doctor inserts a sterilized filiform needle into the muscular area of pain. A filiform needle is a solid needle that is simply used to penetrate the skin – not inject anything. This is why it is called “dry” needling.

Oftentimes, the muscular pain people experience is due to overworked muscles or muscles that healed improperly forming adhesions and scar tissue build up.

Dry needling is used to hit trigger points within the muscles to release the tension and cause a damage effect to take place.

The damage effect may sound bad, but it is a normal response the body has that increases the rate of healing! Once the damage effect has begun, the area within begin to inflame and bring new red blood cells and white bloods cells to the area.

This process results in a faster rate of healing and reduction in pain in the given area.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of medicine that originated within Asian practices. This treatment is about energy balance and hitting certain meridians within the body.

Similar to dry needling, acupuncture uses stainless steel, filiform needles. Once these needles have penetrated the specific meridians within the body, they are typically remain in place for about 10-20 minutes while the patient lies still and relaxes. Acupuncture focuses on the belief that illness is a result of blocked or interrupted chi. Chi is what is believed to provide a healing energy to the body. Using acupuncture allows the body to return to a normal state of balance.

What’s The Difference?

Although similar in the fact both practices use “dry” or solid needles, the two treatments are very different in their benefits vary. Dry needling focuses more on muscular pain and injuries within the body whereas acupuncture is focused on removing blockages to energy levels.

The following is a list of benefits for each practice

Dry Needling

  • Relief for muscular pain and tension
  • Improve flexibility
  • Increase range of motion
  • Long-term pain relief


  • Relieves nausea
  • Reduces effects of allergies
  • Treats vomiting
  • Short-term pain relief

Why Do We Use Dry Needling at Kaizo Health?

At Kaizo Health, we treat sports injuries, musculoskeletal conditions and physical pain throughout the body. Our mission is get our communities the help they need to recover from an injury, trauma or any pain they are experiencing and get them back to living pain-free and beyond.

Among many of our treatment options, dry needling is used in our clinics to enhance the recovery process and reduce muscular pain. Our docs use dry needling because it focuses on treating the pin point areas of the muscular injuries, scar tissue and pain.

Should I Try Dry Needling?

ry needling is safe and a natural remedy for long-term pain relief.

Whether you are experiencing chronic pain, recurring injuries or have pain or dysfunction in any area of your body, dry needling may be right for you. However, all of our treatments are up to the recommendations of our doctors and the treatment plan they create specifically for your recovery.

Talk to your Kaizo Health doctor to see if dry needling is right for you.

Looking for long-term pain relief? Are you ready to try dry needling?

Schedule an appointment today or give us a call at 240-766-0300 option 1!