What is IMS?
IMS involves the insertion of fine acupuncture type needles into the body where muscles have shortened or contracted. It is problems at these points that are often at the root of long term pain. While a muscle is tight and contracted it can’t heal properly-with IMS you are stimulating a healing process and helping the muscles to relax.
IMS treatment is best suited to treat soft tissue pain that shows no obvious sign of ongoing tissue damage or inflammation, such as many forms of: neck/back pain, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder and fibromyalgia, amongst others. It is often effective when other forms of therapy have failed.
How does IMS work?
IMS is able to treat this neuropathic pain by desensitizing affected nerves and muscles using acupuncture needles. It is important to note that there is no use of electricity with IMS, rather it is the mechanical stimulation of the insertion of the needle into the affected muscles that provides the therapeutic effect. The needle activates a reflex causing the the muscle to release and in doing so, eases the pain. Inserting the needle also creates a minor therapeutic injury to the area, stimulating the body to increase local circulation and activate its healing systems.
The technique is particularly effective for deep muscles that can be difficult or impossible to reach with other forms of treatment. For example, there are some muscles around the spine and pelvis that are too deep to be treated with massage and can only be addressed with a needle.