When navigating the world of acupuncture it can be difficult to understand the different terms used by health care practitioners to describe this crazy practice of poking people with sharp objects.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture:
The original practice of using needles to alter body processes to reduce pain, balance emotions, improve healing, alter hormones, and improve overall health. Licensed Acupuncturists go to school for 4 years to learn the combination of both traditional views of mind and body using terms such as Qi, Yin, and Yang along with modern medical models to explain how acupuncture works.
Medical Acupuncture is a term that was developed by physicians where they learn an abbreviated education of acupuncture to gain a functional understanding of the basic principles of how acupuncture needles affect the body. It is implied that medical acupuncture is only done by licensed physicians.
Dry needling was a term invented by physical therapists to be able to use acupuncture needles to help reduce pain
and stimulate healing. They use aggressive needling in the affected area that they are trying to treat. In Arizona, the education requirements to be able to do dry needling by physical therapists are a 2-day seminar.