- dry needling
- trigger point dry needling
- intramuscular dry needling
- intramuscular manual therapy
- intramuscular stimulation
- motor point needling
- dry needling acupuncture
…are ALL a form of Acupuncture.
The word “Acupuncture” is a made-up Latin word for a Chinese treatment. Comprised of two Latin roots, Acus and Punctura, the term Acupuncture is literally translated as: To puncture with a needle. So this could be a broad term for any medical art that uses a solid, non-injection type needle for insertion into the skin for therapeutic purposes. Thus, Dry Needling is in fact a type of Acupuncture. However, it is being used to describe a strongly stimulative technique that is used for muscle and joint pain. These techniques were developed a long time ago in China and are still in popular usage in Asia. Westerners practicing acupuncture are more likely to use lighter, less aggressive approaches since much acupuncture here is used for relaxation. However, many skilled acupuncture practitioners are trained to use this “dry needle” technique. So, yes, we can do dry needling when appropriate.
Does acupuncture require training?
In order to be licensed to perform the medical treatment of Acupuncture, the practitioner is required to attend an accredited institution that requires thousands of hours of training over the course of 3+ years. This typically results in a Master’s degree, after which board exams are required to obtain licensure in most states. Some practitioners choose to further their education by enrolling in programs that award a doctoral degree. Although states can differ in their requirements, most are now requiring standardized board exams and continuing education for licensure. It is important to note that, even at the current Master’s level, students are required to have over 600 hours of clinically supervised needling training and more for doctoral certification. This is significantly more than is obtained by those in other health care professions offering acupuncture or dry needling. Currently there are no regulations in South Carolina regarding dry needling, and most of the practitioners have undergone only 24 hours of training or less. When considering an invasive technique like acupuncture or dry needling it is wise to ask the practitioner how many hours of training they have received.