Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called “chi”, flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians.
Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your Chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance.
Acupuncture is done by putting very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.
Dry needling is a technique (where allowed by state law) to treat myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points. Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles, and supported by research.