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What is the Difference Between Western and Traditional Acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture and neurofunctional needling are both techniques that involve the insertion of needles into the body, but they are based on different principles and are used to treat different conditions.


Acupuncturist treating a client with needling.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles.

Traditional acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that is based on the concept of Qi (pronounced "chee"), which is believed to be the vital energy that flows through the body. Practitioners of traditional acupuncture believe that imbalances or blockages in the flow of Qi can cause illness and pain. Acupuncture is used to restore balance and improve overall well-being.


Neurofunctional / Dry Needling, or Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a Western medical treatment that is based on the principles of anatomy and physiology. It is primarily used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, such as trigger points, myofascial pain, and tension headaches. Dry needling practitioners use needles to release muscle tension and promote healing.


In summary, traditional acupuncture is a holistic approach based on Chinese medicine principles, while dry needling is a more targeted approach based on Western medicine principles, often used for muscle pain and dysfunction. At Annex RMT, we have practitioners skilled in both methods of needling, all with the goal of reducing pain, improving circulation, and overall health and well-being.

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