Dry Needling and Acupuncture are two very different animals.  At least they should be IMO. Both traditional and modern acupuncture are very effective for reducing pain and discomfort, with additional benefits for muscles, tissues, organs, and more. But there are also many different approaches to acupuncture that we will consider, depending on the cause of the pain, the degree, and the style that we think will be most effective – not only as a treatment, but for your comfort level as well.

Here at Deep Relief in Austin, TX. Louisa is highly trained in different needle and acupuncture techniques. If you’re new to the acupuncture world or unclear on the differences, Louisa is more than happy to talk to you about the different options and discuss which treatment is best for your needs.

Three of the styles she may consider are called Distal Needle Acupuncture, Motor Point Acupuncture (both fall under traditional acupuncture), and Dry Needling (the western approach to acupuncture).

These styles have similarities, but differ dramatically in technique and strategy. We will explore the differences below.

  • Distal Needle Acupuncture

Traditional western acupuncture inserts needles in the area of the body most likely to be responsible for pain. Distal needle acupuncture, or DNA, uses points on the limbs, taking advantage of the connection in nerves at the distal region of the body to address pain at the inner portion of the body. DNA can often be completed with clothes on, and requires fewer needles than traditional acupuncture.

  • Motor Point Acupuncture

Unlike distal acupuncture, motor point acupuncture addresses pain near its source. Perfect for sports injuries, motor point acupuncture places needles where the nerve enters the muscle, giving it a jump start that relieves pain and relaxes contracted muscles. Some motor point acupuncture also utilizes trigger points as well, which are pockets of tight muscles responsible for aches and pains.


Dry needling is more of a technique than a style of acupuncture. The term is most often associated with trigger point acupuncture, often administered by a physical therapist or chiropractor, after completing a short certification class, allowing them to use acupuncture. Dry needling, is basically acupuncture administered in a particular way as to release stubborn trigger points, and as the name implies, it uses dry needles, with no anesthetic or medication involved. It is simply an acupuncture needle. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about Dry Needling.

Find Out What Acupuncture Style Is Best For You at Deep Relief Austin!

Louisa is a skilled Austin acupuncturist that is happy to walk you through each different style and let you know what is recommended for your types of pain.

If you’d like to schedule your appointment or learn more about each treatment, call today at 512-529-0027.

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