People often don't realise that acupuncture and dry needling differ considerably. As of July 2012 using the word ‘acupuncturist’ in Australia is now an entitlement given only to those who are nationally registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Association (AHPRA). This is the same registration all medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists and psychologists) practicing within Australia are regulated by.
While acupuncture is considered very safe in the hands of well-trained practitioners, it has also been associated with a range of complications, some of them very serious. Dry needling is a form of acupuncture where the practitioner need only a day to a few weeks training course to claim qualification.
It is important to note that acupuncture is a continuous journey of ongoing education and practice, just like any other doctor, what you knew on your first day of practice is generally only half the story. It is important to be aware that an acupuncturist in Australia is now regulated just like your GP. They are both working hard to help you, whilst maintaining a high level of professionalism and best care.
Be aware of who you entrust your healthcare needs to. Know that there are people that are trained specifically to bring the balance back to your life using this plentiful technique. There are also those who place needles in points of pain and claim it to be something very different.
The depths of acupuncture knowledge and its mysteries are limitless to the naked eye, be sure to choose the person who can see beyond!