Gunn IMS

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a total system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes and chronic pain conditions.

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a total system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes and chronic pain conditions.

IMS is grounded in Western Medical Science; it was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn while he was a physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 1970’s. The treatment, which utilizes acupuncture needles, is designed to penetrate deep within muscle tissue, specifically targeting injured muscles that have contracted and become shortened from distress.

Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the abolition of signs and symptoms.

If you have any questions pertaining to IMS, please feel free to contact the clinic, at any time.

What is the difference between Acupuncture and Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)?

Acupuncture points follow specifically designated Chinese Meridians or pathways on the body. The insertion of needles along these pathways stimulates the body to produce its own pain-relieving chemicals known as “endorphins”. Acupuncture treatment usually involves the use of anywhere from 1-20+ needles depending on the injury treated. Typically, these needles are inserted and left in place for 10-20 minutes. There is typically minimal discomfort with the insertion and once left in place the needles should cause no pain.

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) does not follow specific acupuncture meridian pathways. Instead the areas treated are those with tight muscular bands called trigger points. The insertion of the needle into a chronically shortened and unhealthy muscle produces an aching or twitching sensation. The needle is kept in place from a few seconds to a few minutes. This treatment works by causing a natural relaxation in the muscle which reduces tension and pain. Some patients find this form of treatment causes more discomfort during treatment compared to acupuncture while others feel an immediate decrease in the pain. It is typical to experience muscle soreness or a bruised sensation following IMS for approximately 48 hours after treatment.

Both forms of treatment can be extremely effective for pain control. Acupuncture is often used for treatment of radiating neurological pain, arthritic pain, or widespread pain with less signs of muscle shortening. IMS is preferred over Acupuncture when a client requires a significant reduction in muscular tension, has only experienced mild changes with Acupuncture or manual therapy, and is looking for a deeper muscle release and more intense result.

Some people are more responsive to Acupuncture and others IMS. Your physiotherapist is trained to identify which treatment is best suited to you.

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