So what is the difference between a dry needling acupuncture practitioner and a dry needler?

The biggest differences are:

SAFETY:  Safe practice IS quality acupuncture practice.  Wherever there is a medical intervention – like acupuncture – there is always associated risk and comprehensive training is of the essence to minimise this risk.  Simple really, a minimum four years of training or a weekend trained dry needler?

TRAINING:  in Australia, acupuncturists are required to undertake a minimum four year degree which will entail hundreds, if not over a thousand hours of skills development.  An online search of dry needling courses will provide a result in .39 seconds showing the many short courses that teach very basic skills that simply do not have the supervised tuition – and skill development – that a degree-trained acupuncturist undertakes.  

SKILL:  Acupuncturists are skilled acupuncture needle practitioners with a variety of skilled needling techniques. 

Skill in any field comes from practise. The foundations of an Acupuncture practitioners diverse range of needling techniques and skills is acquired during their initial 4 years of study.

THE DETAIL: This well researched paper will provide the detail for those interested.