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What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin and muscle tissue to treat trigger points, which are areas of muscle tightness and pain.


While the term "dry needling" is sometimes used to describe a technique that is similar to acupuncture, it is not necessarily the same as "medical acupuncture" or "traditional acupuncture".


Dry needling is typically performed by healthcare practitioners who are trained in musculoskeletal medicine, such as physical therapists or chiropractors, and the technique is often used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.


In Ontario, registered acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are the only people who can legally use TCM diagnosis, and they provide acupuncture. Yin Yang theory and Five Element theory are under the scope of TCM diagnosis.


Other professions technically are providing dry needling. They are: chiropody, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dentistry, and physicians.


While dry needling and acupuncture may share some similarities in their technique and use of needles, they are based on different theories and have different applications. Therefore, it is important to understand the specific type of therapy being used and the qualifications and training of the practitioner providing the treatment.


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