Are you curious about the buzz surrounding dry needling and acupuncture? These therapeutic techniques may involve similar tools, but they have distinct purposes and approaches. Let’s unravel the mystery and delve into the key differences between the two practices.


Dry Needling

Dry needling focuses on stimulating a specific trigger point that is leading to / contributes to pain and disability.  It is a form of Western medicine.

During a dry needling session, thin needles are slowly inserted in detected trigger points or muscle knots.  The needles are gently manipulated and removed after a short period.  When the needle is inserted into the trigger point, it releases tension, inflammation, chemicals or pressure caused by muscle pain and tension, treating conditions like tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back- and neck pain.

This technique primarily targets muscular issues, such as tightness, spasms, and trigger points. By addressing these muscular concerns, dry needling can help alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and enhance muscle function.

It’s a go-to approach for individuals dealing with musculoskeletal issues or seeking relief from localized pain.



Is intended to unblock energy meridians and help create balance within in the bodily system.  Iti is a form of traditional Chinese medicine.

Needles are left in the body for some time and addresses the flow of energy around the body and vital organs.

Needles are inserted into established meridian points on the body. 

While acupuncture needles may penetrate trigger points, the emphasis is on promoting overall health and wellness by harmonizing the body’s energy flow. This ancient practice is often sought after for various health concerns, including chronic pain, stress, anxiety, infertility, allergies and digestive issues.

Same Tool, Different Techniques

Although dry needling and acupuncture both utilize thin needles, they diverge in their techniques and treatment objectives. While dry needling targets muscular issues and pain relief, acupuncture focuses on balancing the body’s energy flow and promoting holistic healing.

Ready to experience the benefits of dry needling?

At Van Rooy Physiotherapy, our skilled therapists are trained in dry needling and passionate about helping you.