If you are seeking relief from muscle tension and tightness, dry needling could be a viable choice. On the other hand, acupuncture might provide more efficient results if treating symptoms such as nausea, allergies or anxiety.
Dry needling is an emerging practice compared to its longstanding predecessor, acupuncture. Acupuncture takes an integrative approach by targeting all areas of health rather than only pinpointing specific ailments.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal art dating back thousands of years. The practice involves inserting thin needles into certain points on the body in order to promote healing, offering pain relief and increasing overall wellbeing benefits. Acupuncture works well alongside physical therapy or massage for enhanced results.
Scientists theorize that acupuncture works by inducing your body to release endorphins – natural painkillers produced in your system – which act to ease pain. Acupuncture may also boost blood flow and alter brain activity. Skeptics however contend that it’s just pseudoscience with results due to placebo effect.
Researchers may not fully comprehend how acupuncture works, but they do know it can treat numerous conditions. One such condition that it can help treat is chronic myofascial trigger point pain – tight muscles that feel like hard knots that refer pain elsewhere in your body – by injecting needles directly into these trigger points to alleviate both tension and pain.
Dry needling is a safe and effective technique that can be employed by physical therapists and licensed acupuncturists who have received proper training in its use. It’s essential that any professional using this form of treatment uses clean disposable needles with appropriate hygiene standards – serious complications are rare, though serious decisions regarding this form of therapy should always be discussed with a physician first.
Acupuncture may help treat muscle dysfunction, but its primary goal is believed to be balancing your body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”) energy along pathways known as meridians. According to ancient Chinese beliefs, illness arises when your Qi becomes blocked or interrupted and using needles acupuncture aims to restore this balance so your body can heal itself naturally.
As the health benefits of acupuncture can be substantial, you should only ever employ certified practitioners. A practitioner must have completed an intensive education program and passed a state board exam; to find such an acupuncturist quickly and conveniently. Ask around among friends or conduct an online search; someone may recommend someone suitable.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the body’s natural healing response by sending signals directly to the brain that alter its chemical balance, prompting your body to release endorphins to alleviate pain and promote circulation, helping heal damaged muscle tissue in turn. Acupuncture has long been recognized as an effective complementary treatment worldwide and remains a central element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
An acupuncturist inserts 12-30 long, thin needles at specific pressure points throughout your body called meridians, often without experiencing much discomfort during treatments that typically last about 30 minutes. They employ techniques including dry needling, cupping and massage in order to customize each patient’s session specifically.
As acupuncture involves needles, some patients may experience slight bleeding or bruising from the procedure; however, most practitioners use single-use, sterile needles that reduce risk. If you have a bleeding disorder, take blood thinners, or have any medical condition which might compromise its safety and efficacy, make sure your physical therapist knows immediately so they can ensure its safe implementation.
Acupuncturists are professionals with extensive training. To become licensed in their field, they must go through a stringent education program and pass state board exams. Acupuncturists in the United States specialize in treating conditions like chronic and acute pain, nausea, headaches, menstrual cramps anxiety depression addiction as well as many others.
When an acupuncturist places a needle close to or in a trigger point, you might feel an initial “twitch sensation.” Your muscles contract in response as the practitioner gently elongates taut muscle fibers – this is a positive indicator that indicates mechanically breaking up trigger points and relieving tension from muscular fibers.
Although acupuncture can help treat various medical conditions, its best application lies in relieving daily aches and pains. Acupuncture is particularly useful for relieving lower back pain, neck stiffness from injuries or poor posture, fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic headaches; plus osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis achy joints. Acupuncture can even improve sleep patterns and decrease stress.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is an innovative treatment technique that utilizes needles to relieve pain and promote movement, acting like trigger point therapy but differing significantly from its ancient predecessor acupuncture. While traditional Chinese acupuncture dates back thousands of years, dry needling is more modern – performed by physical therapists, chiropractors or other qualified health professionals and used for chronic pain relief, muscle spasms or joint dysfunction among other conditions.
Dry needling involves inserting thin stainless steel filiform needles into pressure points known as myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), knots in muscles caused by tension or injury that cause knotting or pain. Acupuncturists use special tools to manipulate these needles, helping release the MTrPs and ease pain; physical therapists often combine dry needling with other treatments such as massage and exercise to enhance its effect.
Both acupuncture and dry needling have been demonstrated to be effective methods for helping patients reduce pain. While both practices involve needles inserted through the skin surface into specific locations on the body, their two approaches differ considerably; one relies on ancient beliefs about our physical relationship to the universe while dry needling is a relatively modern technique being developed for use against multiple ailments.
Dry needling differs significantly from traditional acupuncture in that it provides much greater precision and accuracy. At each session, physical therapists insert and leave the needles for between 10 seconds and 10 minutes; during which they may gently twist or piston them to help relax tense muscles.
Dry needling has been shown to reset muscles on a structural, biochemical, and electrical level – helping them move better while decreasing pain. When selecting a practitioner who uses dry needling treatment it’s crucial that they possess extensive experience doing it; otherwise some discomfort might ensue for some individuals but this should subside quickly after receiving their first session.
What is the Difference Between the Two?
Both acupuncture and dry needling share similar principles; both involve inserting thin needles to stimulate muscles that have become tight or irritable, but there are distinct distinctions between the two forms of therapy that set each apart from one another.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of healing and relieving pain by stimulating specific points on the body with needles. Needles are typically placed into areas of muscle that feel knotty or myofascial trigger points; taut bands of muscle that feel hard-knotted that cause other parts of the body pain via nerve fiber irritation. Acupuncture has proven highly successful at treating lower back pain, neck stiffness and stiffness headaches as well as osteoarthritis (the most prevalent form of wear-and-tear arthritis).
Dry needling differs from acupuncture in that its purpose is more targeted; specifically stimulating myofascial trigger points known as taut bands to relieve muscle myofascial trigger points that feel like hard knots and cause cramping, fatigue and even radiate into other parts of the body. Dry needling has proven extremely successful at treating various muscular conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic pelvic pain syndrome and tension headaches.
At Panorama Physical Therapists in Surrey, dry needling involves inserting needles into muscles identified as tight and painful during an in-depth evaluation process. After manipulating the needle into and out of each muscle, sometimes combined with electrical stimulation, to induce what’s known as the Local Twitch Response; this resets muscles back to their normal function. While multiple sessions may be required to reduce pain while increasing strength, mobility, and flexibility; to see if dry needling could work for you please speak to a physical therapist directly in Surrey today if it sounds promising for yourself!