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.
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.
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:
- 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 supersensitive.
Our Health & Lifestyle Blog
Read all of our blog posts.
7 Useful Tips to a Successful Bowel Movement After Giving BirthJune 6, 2017
By Gayle Hulme, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Many women have a fear of passing stool (aka pooping) while giving birth. But there can be an equal amount of fear when it comes time to have your first bowel movement after the baby has arrived. This is a common fear and to counter fear, my belief has always been to educate patients ...read more
Addressing Men’s Pelvic Floor IssuesMay 1, 2017
While clinics specializing in women’s pelvic health are becoming increasingly common, centers with a focus on treating male pelvic issues are few and far between. Many men are surprised to learn that they have something called a “pelvic floor”. The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that runs from the pubic bone in the front, across the underside, to ...read more
Youth Physiotherapy: More Than Just Injury RehabilitationMarch 31, 2017
There’s a common perception that physiotherapy is something that you do when you’re hurt and want to heal. This is especially the case among younger people, as most youths do not experience the nagging aches and pains that come with a long life full of adventures, injuries, bumps, and bruises.read more