Dry needling is a form of acupuncture and is sometimes practiced by physical therapists as well as acupuncturists. What distinguishes how we acupuncturists do it is in the tiny, filiform pins use (sterile, and one time use only). Physical therapists on the other hand, can legally use only syringe needles for each point. Unfortunately, the average patient perceives syringes to be incredibly uncomfortable.
The difference between acupuncture pins and syringes is this: When seen under a microscope, acupuncture pins are rounded at the end, and therefore part the flesh rather than pierce it. This is why there’s no blood when the pins come out.
Syringes are, when seen under a microscope, extremely sharp. They actually pierce the flesh, and the trauma to the body can lead to bleeding.
For this reason most people prefer to go to licensed acupuncturists when their MD suggests sending them for dry needling.
We hope this helps explain the difference between dry needling done by an acupuncturist, and that done by a physical therapist.
Questions? Feel free to contact us. (212) 777-7191