Intramuscular stimulation is a needling technique used to diagnose and treat myofascial pain syndromes. This is pain that occurs in the musculoskeletal system when there is no sign of obvious tissue damage or inflammation.

A thorough assessment is completed by a trained IMS practitioner who looks for physical signs of neuropathic pain. If deemed appropriate, a course of IMS treatment will begin. IMS uses a dry needling technique with acupuncture needles. Nothing is injected and no electro-stimulation is used. A needle is inserted either into a taut, tender band of muscle, or near the affected level in the spine. An irritated nerve in the spine can cause its corresponding muscles to tighten up, so often muscles near the spine and out in the extremities are treated. An affected muscle will grasp the needle, causing a cramp like sensation. This causes Reflex relaxation in the muscle, Stimulation of a natural healing process due to the needle penetration, restoration of that nerves appropriate functioning.

Treatment Goals consist of release muscle shortening, decrease pressure on the irritated nerve and desensitization of supersensitive areas which all help to decrease pain.

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been around for over 2500 years. The technique involves inserting a solid, stainless steel, single-use acupuncture needle into the skin at specific points to achieve a therapeutic effect. Nothing is injected.

Acupuncture points are located on the skin where there is a lower resistance to the passage of electricity. Most are found along ‘channels’ or ‘meridians’ that have been mapped for centuries by the Chinese. The meridians are believed to be pathways that allow energy to flow throughout the body. These points can be landmarked and needled on each individual based on their body proportions.

The needles are very fine, flexible and “atraumatic”, meaning they do not have a cutting edge, but instead slide smoothly through tissues. When the needle is inserted, there often is a deep, heavy or aching sensation, which in Chinese medicine is called, Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes. Acupuncture is used to reduce or relieve pain, improve. 

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