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  • Greenstone Acupuncture

Acupuncture, Dry Needling and Motor Point Therapy. What is the Difference?

During your initial consultation here at Greenstone Acupuncture, we'll ask if you've had Acupuncture before. Often people say 'yes, with my Physio'. Now we can see how you'd be confused. The use of thin, stainless steel needles in an Allied Health practice and you may have been easily misled that you had Acupuncture. But what you've had is Dry Needling.

There are quite a few differences between Acupuncture, Dry Needling and Motor Point Therapy. We've taken a moment to explain the differences between Acupuncture vs Dry Needling vs Motor Point Therapy.


Acupuncture originated in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is a medical treatment that has been used for hundreds of years. Acupuncture and TCM are based on an ancient system that understands health through balance.

Qi (our vital energy) flows through channels or meridian pathways that run throughout our bodies, targeting major organs. Acupuncture aims to remove these blockages and return your energy flow. Qi provides your body with healing and energy which is an optimal state of balance!

To become an Acupuncturist, we study a Bachelor of Health Science, Acupuncture and are registered with AHPRA which is the governing body in Australia. We have over 1,000 clinical hours of needling practice during our degree, which is supervised by industry leaders and academics.

Acupuncturists also do Dry Needling! We definitely do a type of dry needling called Trigger Point Acupuncture. This is where we place the needle into the belly of the muscle, get a twitch response and then take the needle straight out. We don't tend to retain triggered needles. We retain needles that are used to optimise your health outcomes during the TCM portion of the treatment.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a practise based on Western medical research and principles that have been adopted in the last few years by modalities outside of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. It is often a part of a broader physical therapy approach. Dry needling is used to release tension and induce a healing response by penetrating the skin in specific areas of the body.

Other Allied Health practitioners might use dry needling to improve flexibility or increase range of motion. They focus on using strong stimulation on the muscles to get them to release.

Dry needling is rarely a stand-alone treatment, rather, it's often part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating multiple physical therapy interventions into treatment.

It is also important to note that a lot of practitioners might learn to do dry needling as part of their personal development. This means that they will learn this type of treatment over a few weekends and may not have the same experience as acupuncturists do when they start in their clinics.

Motor Point Therapy

At Greenstone Acupuncture, we are also trained in a type of Orthopaedic Acupuncture called Motor Point Acupuncture.

Motor Point Acupuncture uses motor points that are very specific points where the motor nerve from the central nervous system enters a muscle. When this point is needled, we will then apply electrostimulation which allows the muscle to move and contract. Motor point acupuncture targets specific joints and muscles as contributing to local or referred pain patterns. We use this type of treatment with the aim to restore movement and reduce pain.

No matter the concern, the Greenstone Acupuncture team are here to help! Are you following us on Instagram? For more tips, tricks and clinic updates, follow us via the button below!


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