IMS/Dry Needling & Acupuncture

IMS/Dry Needling & Acupuncture Stimulates The Body's Natural Pain Relievers

Your physiotherapist may use IMS/dry needling & acupuncture as part of your treatment plan
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IMS/Dry Needling Physiotherapists: Renée Hill, Michelle Ng, Barb Ward, Linc Pisio, Jenn Frey, Heather Enns, Carmen MacAngus, Nancy Baxter, Gayle Hulme,  Sacha Lay, Leah Milne, Renee Poloprutsky, Lindsey Mix

Acupuncture Physiotherapists: Linc Pisio, Michelle Ng, Sacha Lay, Jenn Frey, Heather Enns, Julie Tschofen, Lori Walker Krause, Carmen MacAngus, Nancy Baxter, Gayle Hulme, Yvonne Roberts, Lindsey Mix


Acupuncture & IMS Are Effective Ways to Treat Pain.

Using “needles” is a staple technique in our practice as we see the many benefits that acupuncture and Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) – or dry, functional needling – brings to our patients.  Both needle techniques use sterilized single patient-use, disposable needle filaments.  These filaments are unlike regular needles as they generally slide into the tissue and are not designed to draw out blood.  

Instead, the acupuncture and IMS needles are placed in the skin a way to either stimulate or disperse a particular body tissue or energy.  However similar in tool, the technique and use of acupuncture and IMS differ greatly.


Acupuncture is an age-old practice of treating pain and illness by balancing the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”) energy and strengthening its natural defenses.

Modern acupuncture combines ancient theories with current medical knowledge of anatomy and physiology, resulting in a powerful treatment tool which helps:

  • Relieve pain
  • Increase energy
  • Improve mood
  • Improve body function

How Acupuncture Helps

It is believed to balance 3 things in a body: blood, body fluids, and energy.

Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins – the body’s natural pain-relieving neurohormones – through the insertion of needles into specific anatomical points (acupuncture points) to encourage natural healing.

Typically the acupuncture needles are left in the specific meridian points for 10 – 20 minutes.  Various techniques can be used to increase the potency of the treatment such as placing electrical current on the tips or spinning the needles.

There are a variety of conditions that acupuncture can be helpful in treating within the scope of physiotherapy:

  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Headaches and muscle tension
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • TMJ (jaw pain)
  • Low back pain
  • Incontinence and bladder urgency
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar fasciitis

Intramuscular Stimulation (Gunn IMS)

Dr. Chan Gunn of Vancouver is the creator and founder of IMS.  

The basis of IMS is to treat myofascial pain which is the result of a chronically shortened muscle.

Myofascial pain is a result of neuropathy.  Neuropathy is a poorly functioning nerve within the peripheral nervous system but the nerve itself may or may not have been altered in structure.

This kind of nerve pain within the peripheral nervous system is similar to a super-sensitive car alarm – it goes off with very little touch or stimulus and is considered “super-sensitive”.

Neuropathic pain should be considered the cause of pain if:

  • There is pain in the absence of ongoing tissue damage.
  • There is a delay in the onset of pain i.e. you get neck pain several days after a car accident  
  • Mild stimuli are very painful.
  • There may be a stabbing component.
  • The pain gets worse with exercise

Only physicians and physiotherapists who have attended a GunnIMS course, are allowed to treat patients with IMS.  Physiotherapists use IMS very effectively as it requires an advanced level of knowledge in anatomy and human function.  The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and super-sensitive.

Visit Us to Learn How Acupuncture or Gunn IMS Can Help You

Our physiotherapists will work with you to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.

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