What Is Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture, sometimes called ‘Dry Needling’ is a more limited form of Acupuncture that is often used to help muscle and joint problems. It is different to Traditional Acupuncture which is the form of Acupuncture which has been practised in China for over 2000 years.
A Medical Acupuncturist is someone who has a western anatomical training and has done a conversion course (usually lasting a few days) learning how to insert Acupuncture needles into specific points, this is usually in order to help with forms of pain. A Traditional Acupuncture training takes years, usually at degree level. In my case my training took 4 years.
The fact that so many professions find even this limited version of Acupuncture more effective, for some conditions, than their main training does demonstrate what a great treatment Acupuncture is.
Medical Acupuncture helps many people with a limited range of problems but, if you have had Medical Acupuncture and it did not help you, it is still very possible that you could be helped by Traditional Acupuncture.
Even though both practises involve the insertion of needles, Medical and Traditional Acupuncture are very different systems of medicine. Medical Acupuncture courses do not cover any diagnosis using Chinese Medical knowledge in relation to the wide range of illnesses we can experience and there is no learning about the many functions of the Acupuncture points.
Although some conventional practitioners do commit to the lengthy training required to practise Traditional Acupuncture, most don’t so if you have had Acupuncture administered by a Doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath or other similarly trained conventional medical practitioner you have probably had Medical, not Traditional Acupuncture. A Traditional Acupuncturist will usually say they are a Traditional Acupuncturist or will say they practise TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), 5 Elements or Japanese or Koprean Acupuncture.
A Traditional Acupuncturist has engaged in an extensive (usually over a number of years), course of study of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture theory and is equipped to make a Chinese Medical diagnosis of your current health. It is this ability to determine the Chinese Medical diagnosis and then, on the basis of this, to select the best Acupuncture treatment to address imbalances in your body that allows a Traditional Acupuncturist to treat a wide range of physical and mental/emotional issues and to treat multiple issues at once.