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  • Writer's pictureAku Energija

What is the difference between dry needling and Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture?

Western Medical acupuncture or Dry Needling or Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that involves inserting fine needles into certain points across the body, to encourage healing and pain relief. This type of needling technique differs from Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture as it doesn't adhere to the Zang Fu (TCM systems), concepts of Qi, meridians or TCM diagnosis. Medical acupuncture is usually offered by medical doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, dentists and sports massage therapists. Most commonly western medical acupuncture in Slovenia is offered by anesthesiologists in the pain clinics. [Read more: Acupuncture for Holistic Cancer Treatment in Slovenia]

Western acupuncture vs TCM acupuncture

The main difference between the two is that Western medical acupuncture does not follow the theory and diagnostic principles of Chinese Medicine and instead bases treatment on modern concepts of biomedicine. However, due to the difference in diagnostic principles, practitioners of Western medical acupuncture tend to work by isolating the problem as opposed to treating the problem holistically as the TCM practitioner would. 

TCM acupuncture follows the TCM principles. It is a completely different perspective on physiology and aetiology which is heavily based on ancient Chinese philosophy. TCM believes that blockages in specific flows of energy through the body, or meridians or systems, can cause disease. By needling certain points, the blockages are encouraged to clear and be corrected, thereby helping to improve health and well-being.

Medical acupuncture is a whole different style of treatment. The medical model uses anatomy, physiology and current medical models to create a diagnosis for your condition, and uses needles to stimulate the nervous system or myofascial trigger point, creating an active response and altering nerve activity. 

Which one is better? Western acupuncture or TCM acupuncture?

Since the underlying principles of acupuncture are fundamentally different, it is not an apple-to-apple comparison between the two treatment methods. Let’s say 2 chefs are both using fire to cook, it is impossible to tell who cooks better. 

It is important to address, however, whether Western acupuncture or TCM acupuncture should be administered by properly trained professionals. Using acupuncture needles requires a lot of expertise and precision. A competent TCM acupuncturist should have at least 3-5 years of full-time training (equivalent to 2000-5000 hours). As a matter of fact, biomedicine is included in TCM courses so a proper TCM acupuncturist does know anatomy and physiology and so on. There is also plenty of research conducted in TCM and acupuncture so this treatment is also evidence-based. A trained acupuncturist should adhere to stringent safety standards to ensure an effective and safe treatment experience.

What can Western acupuncture or TCM acupuncture help with?

Western acupuncture is principally used by Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, GPs and Sports Massage Therapists. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain and is constantly evolving as a modality based on research. Current guidelines suggest it is highly effective in the treatment of lower back pain, headaches and muscle strains. 

Medical Acupuncture can help in providing relief of:

With TCM Acupuncture, your practitioner will take a very detailed health history, and, in each session, you will get an opportunity to talk about your emotions and life stresses. You will feel deeply listened to, heard, and fully assessed. Your practitioner will also take your pulse, look at your tongue, assess your tone of voice, and thereafter build a treatment plan created for your unique constitution. Very often a TCM acupuncturist would manage more than one health issue during your visit.

TCM Acupuncture can have an effect on the following conditions:

Promotes holistic healing

Acupuncture needles are tools that address different health concerns, from musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain to digestive issues, emotional well-being and hormonal imbalances. TCM acupuncture addresses the root cause of the illness using a completely different approach to healthcare. Therefore, TCM promotes holistic healing that supports the innate ability of the body to heal itself. [Read more: Your Body as a Garden]

You can experience the transformative powers of acupuncture with AKU ENERGIJA. Contact us to book an appointment.


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