Acupuncture from an Acupuncturist vs Dry Needling from a Naturopath or Physiotherapist or Chiropractor

This is an excellent question. The main differences between the acupuncture done by a Physio/ Chiro and a RegisteredAcupuncturist is that the former are not technically performing Acupuncture.

Instead, they are performing a therapy called dry needling. While some Acupuncturists may use dry needling as part of their practice, it is not considered part of the traditional Chinese medical framework.
Dry needling aims to relieve neuromuscular issues using stimulation from filiform needles (aka acupuncture needles).
 
Essentially, needles are placed in areas which are tender or painful to trigger a neuromuscular response. There is no understanding of meridians or acupoints and their interactions in this therapy. It is a useful treatment for pain management, however the scope of Acupuncture is far wider than pain management, including issues such as gastrointestinal discomfort, addiction and craving control, menstrual regulation, treatment of infertility, inadequate energy levels and so much more.
 
The main difference between an Registered Acupuncturist and a Naturopath is that Acupuncturists study exclusively traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in full time programs ranging from 3-5 years.
 
While Naturopaths are very well trained in their field, they only have a total TCM ( traditional Chinese medicine) study time of under 2 years.
This means that a Registered Acupuncturist will have a much more detailed and rich knowledge base of the acupoints, meridians and the organ functions according to traditional Chinese medicine.
 
Overall I would say that the difference of acupuncture received from a Chiro/Physio/Naturopath vs a Registered Acupuncturist is the same as that of seeing a general practice doctor and a doctor who is a specialist; both have knowledge on a variety of subjects, but ultimately the person who has specialized their study in a particular field has a richer and deeper understanding of the subject matter and application of their specialty.
 
 
Sara Hodgkinson is a Registered Acupuncturist at Aches Away Toronto. Learn more about her 

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