I recently had the opportunity to take the first half of my certification in Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). Although the course was to be held on the long weekend, and it meant missing a rather important event, I couldn’t pass up taking this course, which typically isn’t offered in Ontario. This specialized form of acupuncture has been very popular in western Canada for many years, and has been gaining popularity in Ontario over the last several years. Some physiotherapists that I respect a great deal have been raving to me recently about the results that they have been getting using this technique.
Briefly stated, IMS is a system used to diagnose and treat neuropathic pain. In this system, it is believed that the neuropathy (or damaged nerve) typically occurs at the nerve root (which is close to the spinal cord). This damage then causes muscle shortening, which causes tight bands in the muscle or “trigger points” as they are often referred to as.
In IMS, an acupuncture needle is inserted into the trigger point, acting as a breaker switch in the system which is short circuiting. This acts to “reset” the nerve and use the body’s own natural healing properties to restart the healing process.
IMS can be used to treat a variety of conditions. It appears to be most effective in treating chronic conditions and conditions that have not responded to other therapies. Some examples would be low back pain and sciatica, headaches, fibromyalgia and whiplash.
I have already integrated this treatment tool into my clinic and am excited with the results so far. I’m looking forward to my trip next month to Vancouver to complete my training!
If you are interested in learning more about this technique, please feel free to contact me, or check out the iSTOP website at http://www.istop.org/.