"Dry needling" is essentially trigger point acupuncture with a different name. It is a basic form of acupuncture needling that has gotten a lot of press in recent years as other professions see the value of acupuncture and want to expand their services to include needling, sometimes with as little as a weekend of training.
In the acupuncture profession, we sometimes refer to "dry needling" as "ashi" acupuncture, as "ashi" translate as "ah, yes," as in "there it is." The "it" is a hyperirritable location in muscle or other connective tissue. In modern terms, that's called a trigger point. Not all acupuncturists utilize dry needling techniques in their office, but any acupuncturist specializing in the treatment of pain will be well-versed in the techniques.
Only a full-trained acupuncturist has the training and skill to combine ancient theory and knowledge of the multi-systemic effects of acupuncture with a modern understanding of neuroanatomy and muscle physiology in the practice of trigger point needling. It's this systemic approach that sets true acupuncture apart from non-acupuncture practitioners who utilize a more basic style of trigger point needling. Acupuncturists are your needle experts.
I have and continue to pursue advanced training in how to best combine ancient theories and techniques with modern neuroanatomical and physiological understanding to bring you the best of both both worlds!
In Washington State, only acupuncturists and licensed medical doctors may legally perform "dry needling" or any form of acupuncture, no matter what it is called.