Acupuncture / Dry Needling / Gunn IMS
Our Physiotherapists are certified by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI) or Acupuncture Canada (ACC) to provide acupuncture. This gentle insertion of hair-thin, sterilized needles into specific points on the body is used to enhance healing.
How does it work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach: According to traditional acupuncture theory, there are twelve energy channels called “meridians” running vertically along the length of the human body, each one linking to a specific organ. Illness is caused by obstructed energy flow at certain points along the meridians. Acupuncture therapy stimulates meridian flow and harmonizes the body’s energy to influence the health of both body and mind.
Western/ Medical Approach: Studies have shown that acupuncture influences both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Further evidence indicates that acupuncture stimulates the release of natural hormones such as endorphins, which function to relieve pain. Research also suggests that acupuncture increases immune system functioning, improves the circulatory system, decreases muscle tightness, and increases joint flexibility.
Our certified Physical Therapists in Acupuncture utilize a combination of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Medical Models to achieve maximum benefit for our clients.
Acupuncture can be very successful in managing a wide range of conditions, some of which include:
- Whiplash associated disorders (WAD)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD)
- Arthritic inflammatory conditions
- Postoperative pain
- Joint and myofascial disorders
- Neck and Low back pain
- Fascial pain associated with TMJ disorders
- Trigeminal neuralgia
What is the difference between Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Gunn IMS?
As mentioned above, Acupuncture uses meridian and anatomical points to stimulate meridian flow and harmonize the body’s energy to influence the health of both body and mind. It also stimulates the release of natural hormones such as endorphins, which function to relieve pain. To achieve this effect, the needles are typically left in for 15-20 minutes or longer.
Dry needling is used to target trigger points, which are identified as tender
palpable points (commonly referred as “tightness” or “knots”) within the muscle. Dry needling involves insertion of the acupuncture needle into these trigger points to stimulate and release these trigger points.
Gunn IMS differs from dry needling in that Gunn IMS is a total system for the diagnosis and
treatment of chronic pain with a Neuropathic origin.
Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves react differently following injury or tissue irritation. As a result, the nerve endings become overly sensitive and begin to interpret normal sensations as pain. Gunn IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination by a certified practitioner* trained to
recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain.
Gunn IMS treatment involves needling of affected areas of the body, which can be muscles in the periphery, or they can be close to the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated. Only one
needle is inserted at a time and stays there for only a few seconds. During a session multiple muscles
may be treated one at a time. IMS treatment typically creates some muscle
soreness during treatment and may last from a few hours to a day or two. However, this
temporary discomfort is usually followed by muscle relaxation, improved
mobility, and significant reduction of pain.
*Chan Gunn IMS (CGIMS) certification is the Gold Standard of IMS Certification- the program has run continuously since 1994, and since 2013, the Gunn IMS Program has been part of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is now located in the Chan Gunn Pavilion on the University of BC Vancouver campus.