The Difference Between Acupuncture and Dry Needling. - Rebalance Chinese Medicine

Have you ever heard of dry needling? Have you heard of acupuncture? Have you ever wondered if there was a difference between the two? Well, you’re not alone. I get asked this question regularly, and although there is a long answer, I just want to simplify it for you.

The confusion is understandable, as both acupuncture and dry needling use the same, very fine, sterile single-use filament needles, however, Acupuncture originated in China approximately 5000 years ago, and is a fundamental technique practised by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. It’s based on the belief that health is determined by a balanced flow of qi, the vital life energy present in all living organisms.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling can be extremely useful for relaxing overactive muscles, which contain trigger points, which are hyper-irritable spots in a muscle.

In simple terms, the treatment is more direct, going specifically into the painful spots. The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles.

This is a very simple overview, and personally, I LOVE dry needling, and will talk about it for hours! I use dry needling regularly in my practice and have found it to be hugely beneficial in the people I treat.


Very luckily for me, I work alongside Dr Julia Bartrop, who is a qualified Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist!! So this is on good authority! According to acupuncture theory, qi circulates in the body along twelve significant pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. By inserting acupuncture needles at specific points along the meridians, your acupuncturist can redirect and reposition the flow of energy (qi) and rebalance disharmony within the body.

Acupuncture may be beneficial for the treatment of:

– Stress and stress related tension

– Fertility and Pregnancy

– Menstrual issues

– Gastrointestinal issues

– Sleep disorders

– Digestive disorders; and many more.

It is important to note that both acupuncture and dry needling can be applied for the relief and treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

I have felt amazing after an acupuncture session with Julia, so depending on what might be going on in your body, you can apply either of these modalities to address your underlying issues. Julia works Wednesday and Thursday – 1.30pm – 8.30pm and Saturday 9.00am-5.00pm

The above blog was written by Dr Jessica Sammut, Osteopath at Whole Health Osteopathy. Jessica is available for consultations at Eltham Health and wellness Monday – Thursday.

To book with myself or Jessica, please call 9431 5505 or book online here:

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