Acupuncture / IMS / Dry needling
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into specific points in the body. The goal is to encourage the natural healing response of the body, to alleviate pain and to improve the function of the affected areas. How does acupuncture do this? Acupuncture produces changes in nerves, muscles, connective tissue (fascia), hormones and blood flow.
Our physiotherapist will assess the need for Acupuncture through their knowledge of its benefits and can decide to combine it with their standard treatment methods, such as manipulation/mobilization, exercise and education.
What should I expect from treatment?
The needles are very thin and once inserted they generally do not cause any pain. The Acupuncture session usually lasts between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your needs and tolerance. You may experience some warmth, heaviness and fatigue in your body or more specifically to the treated area during or after the session. The number and location of needles used will vary based on your condition and treatment goals. Some notice the effects of treatment on their first visit, while others may need 5-8 treatments to see better results. Your physiotherapist will regularly check your progress to ensure acupuncture is helping you.
What is Dry needling?
Dry needling involves the use of solid needles with the purpose of relaxing the muscles which compress and irritate the nerves. Using an acupuncture needle, our physiotherapist can effectively deactivate painful active trigger points decreasing muscle tension and improving function.
What to expect from treatment?
To relax the muscle, an acupuncture needle is inserted in the constricted muscle. The muscle grabs hold of the needle and then relaxes. This will cause the muscle to cramp and will be followed by a relaxing and soothing effect. Many muscles can be treated in one session. The effects of dry needling treatments are cumulative.
The insertion of each needle can only stimulate a certain amount of healing. Treatments are therefore conducted once a week until the client no longer feels pain. The number of treatments needed depends on a variety of factors – the length and scope of the condition, the amount of scarred tissue, the rate of healing, the age of the client.
What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)?
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a full assessment and treatment approach for myofascial pain syndromes that are of neuropathic origin (nerve generated). This neuropathic pain occurs when there is a malfunction in the peripheral nervous system.
This technique is used by IMS certified physiotherapists to release or lengthen muscles that may be causing chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain. Very fine needles (the same ones used in acupuncture) are inserted directly into the affected muscle, in order to stimulate healing.
What should I expect during the treatment?
The needles are inserted along the path of the affected nerve segment bilaterally. A full upper or lower body segment will be addressed. The needle will be inserted in the shortened muscles, a cramp will then occur followed by a relaxation effect.
To learn more visit the Gunn IMS site.