What is Intra Muscular Stimulation?

Intra Muscular Stimulation or IMS is a scientifically based and proven technique for reversing the shortened muscles that cause musculo-skeletal pain. This pain is called neuropathic pain, and is difficult for doctors to diagnose and treat as it usually presents with no sign of tissue damage or inflammation. IMS uses instruments adapted from traditional acupuncture to stimulate shortened muscles. Which then results in muscle relaxation and relief from chronic pain.


If you suffer from chronic pain and have tried medications, massage, traditional physiotherapy, osteopathy, or chiropractic and still do not find lasting relief, your pain could be caused by muscle shortening.

Muscle shortening produces pain by pulling on tendons, straining them as well as distressing the joints they move. This constant strain can press on and irritate the nerves. Leading to a condition now recognized as “super-sensitivity” of your nerves and nerve endings.

IMS can help this condition by inducing the shortened muscle to relax which relieves the pain. The effects of IMS are cumulative. With each treatment stimulating a certain amount of healing, until eventually, the condition is healed and the pain disappears.

In pain of recent origin, one treatment may be all that is necessary. In recent published studies of patients with low back pain, the average number of treatments required was 8.2.


Acupuncture can be very useful to alleviate and manage pain. Current research in pain management provides concrete neurophysiological evidence for the use of acupuncture in a wide variety of pain syndromes.

Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called endorphins. Which help to block pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural abilities. Reducing inflammation and promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Several of our physiotherapists have specialized training in acupuncture and are accredited by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute.

Note 1: IMS was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn a pioneer in the treatment of pain, and President of the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain based in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Gunn is also Clinical Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, US. In 2001, Dr Gunn was awarded the Order of British Columbia, and in 2002 he became a member of the Order of Canada, our Nation’s highest honor.

Note 2: IMS treatments can only be provided by a qualified health care practitioner – typically a Physiotherapist or Physician – who has been specially trained and certified in IMS. For further information please contact South City Physiotherapy at 519-763-2885, or see Dr. Gunn’s IMS website at: