In the world of holistic health, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between traditional Chinese acupuncture and Western medical acupuncture. To put it simply, traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on the belief that it can restore the flow of Qi, the body's energy flow, while medical acupuncture, or sometimes referred to as Western medical acupuncture, uses anatomy and physiology and is largely based on relieving pain and muscle tension. Medical acupuncture, also known as Western acupuncture or dry needling, is a completely different type of treatment. It involves inserting fine, sterile needles through the skin at specific points along the meridian channels through which Qi flows to stimulate healing and control pain.
Acupuncture needles also interact with the muscles and connective tissues that surround them, releasing tension, trigger points and pain. The points used in Western medical acupuncture come from the Chinese medicine acupuncture system. However, this does not compensate for the long theoretical and practical training that acupuncturists receive before they are qualified to perform acupuncture. The mentality of the professional and the patient's approach are different, and both can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified professional, and serious complications, such as infections or tissue damage, are extremely rare.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on the belief that it can restore the flow of Qi, an energy that flows through the body, while Western medical acupuncture is based on evidence and is only given after a thorough diagnosis. I believe that for people interested in holistic care that addresses the root of the problem and the symptoms, Chinese medicine can offer much more than just acupuncture. If you want to learn more about the differences between Western and traditional acupuncture, leave a comment below or contact us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.