Dry Needling or Acupuncture?

17 Jun 2019
Health Articles

Most people may be confused between dry needling and acupuncture. When you see your doctor of
chiropractic in Zen Chiropractic putting a needle into our patient’s skin, how do you know which
treatment course is our doctor currently carrying out to the patient?

Here are some explanation in simplified term:

Origin :
Acupuncture can be traced back to 6000BCE in ancient China, and bones were used instead of
needles to alleviate illness symptoms. Yes , there has been record of acupuncture before needles
were invented.

Dry Needling started more recently in the west in 1979 when a Czech physician Karel Lewit’s study
emphasized that it is actually the physical needling movement during the steroid injection procedure
that heal the trigger point, rather than the wet substance( Steroid/Saline Solution) that heals the

Acupuncture is based on the classic Chinese Medicine’s 12 meridian system. It was believed that
human vital force called “Chi” or ”Qi” cycles through the 12 meridian system and keeping the
balance of our vital organ function. However, there is no anatomical correlation between the
meridian channel and the nerves or blood vessels. Every human acupuncture point governs a specific
function of the organ and different types of needles and movement are said to “tune” the organ

Dry Needling is a form of evident based physical therapy whereby the physical movement of needles
is employed to release the trigger point of human body. Unlike acupuncture, the insertion and
movement of the needles do not associate with the function of internal organs. In layman term, is
“where you pain where I poke” approach.

Acupuncture treatment must be combined with thorough diagnosis according to the Traditional
Chinese Medicine practice. Practitioner need to identify the root cause of pain or stiffness of the
patient and combination of acupuncture point relative to the patient’s unique condition will be
prescribed. It is not as simple as inserting the needles into the point. Several modulations such as
speed, depth, spinning, and duration of leaving the needles and heating are employed to obtain the
desired effect.

Diagnosis for Dry Needling would involve interviewing with patient to identify the painful area and
physical palpation to identify the trigger point in the patient’s body. As the philosophy behind it does
not associate the needling spot with internal organ function, the procedure is pretty straight

Trigger points (Muscle Knots) are hyperirritable area in our muscle tissue where the muscle fiber is
tied up like a knot at microscopic level.
What we do in Zen Chiropractic.

Now that you have some basic knowledge of the two. How do you identify what our doctor of
chiropractic does in Zen Chiropractic when he holds a needle in his hand? The only way is to talk to
him and ask him.

What!? Are you joking? Why?
n Zen Chiropractic, we practice Zen Integrated Treatment. It means we combine the knowledge of
Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Modern Healing Technology to help our patient
recover faster.

It is not as easy to differentiate what we do to our patient by merely observing from the side. When
you see our founder Aaron inserting a needle into patient’s skin at acupuncture station, he could be
doing acupuncture, dry needling, or both. When you see our senior doctor of chiropractic Sidhesh
using the swiss shockwave gun on our patient, he could be applying shockwave therapy and
myofascial release technique at the same time.

That is why, patient always come back and tell us why they recover more effectively compared to
doing similar treatment outside. This is because our patients were not aware that they did not
undergo the “same” treatment.

That means, getting treated with a shockwave gun in other center and getting treated with a
shockwave gun in Zen Chiropractic are two completely different treatment experience. Getting
needled in Zen Chiropractic is different from getting needled elsewhere.

Today, Zen Integrated is recommended as the most effective treatment by most of our patients. Zen
Integrated treatment is founded by Aaron, and is the first and only integrated treatment of its kind
in Malaysia. He has not openly taught his technique outside Zen Chiropractic. If you wish to
experience the most effective treatment with us, call us to make an appointment with our doctor of