The Comparison of trigger point acupuncture and traditional acupuncture
Trigger point (TrP) acupuncture (dry needling), the use of solid filiform needles at TrPs, has been developed from a comprehensive integration and adaptation of traditional acupuncture using current understandings of TrPs. During the past twenty years, the concept and technique continues to evolve, with a potential to expand to other conditions beyond myofascial pain syndromes that can be managed via stimulating TrPs. In this article, we compared TrP acupuncture and traditional acupuncture from the following aspects: points of needle insertion, needles and needling techniques, and therapeutic indications. Traditional acupuncture encompasses an abundance of methods and techniques in acupuncture practices and has been widely used and studied for a variety of disorders. With unique specific characteristics, TrP acupuncture further develops traditional acupuncture theories, especially the concepts of Ashi point. The location of TrPs, their distribution pattern and pain indication are similar to those of traditional acupoints; the selection of needles, depth of needle insertion, and manipulation techniques are part of traditional acupuncture. TrP acupuncture is thus an integral part of traditional acupuncture.