Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn to treat chronic pain syndromes that affect the musculoskeletal system.
IMS is a dry needling technique (dry in that no drugs are injected) that involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into taut muscle bands. According to GunnIMS theory, the effect of IMS/dry needling is 3-fold:
- there is a reflex relaxation and lengthening of taut muscle,
- improved healing of injured tissue and
- restoration of normal nerve function.
IMS, or dry needling, may be used to release specific taut muscle bands that hold specific parts of the body (pelvis, foot, shoulder blade, humerus) in poor alignment or posture. This malalignment often contributes to poor movement patterns, posture and pain. IMS/dry needling is used in conjunction with manual therapy and movement training to help restore better posture and movement patterns for multiple tasks and conditions.
To ensure a lasting effect from IMS/dry needling, your physiotherapist will provide you with home instruction for maintaining the muscle’s length/relaxation. It is not uncommon to experience some achiness in the treated muscles for a few hours after your treatment. The application of dry or moist heat can help to ease this discomfort. You should experience a welcome improvement in mobility in spite of the local ache, which is only temporary.
More information on GunnIMS can be found at http://ubcgunnims.com/what-is-ims/gunn-ims/.