IMS vs Acupuncture- What’s the difference?

intramuscular stimulation

With healthcare techniques and treatment options constantly changing and growing  there has been a lot of buzz lately around what the difference between Acupuncture and Dry needling /IMS  is,  and which treatment option to reach for and when.

Acupuncture is used for a wide variety of medical conditions. The main philosophy is that the body can be healed when chi (healing energy) is released; whereas dry needling is designed to relieve tightness and pain in muscles. IMS is similar to dry needling but also believes that focusing on the neuropathic (nerve) origin to the pain be addressed as well. Many practitioners combine the dry needling and IMS approach. The main philosophy being that inserting a needle directly into a knot or pressure point will release tension in the surrounding muscle/ tissue / nerve via a reflex response called an LTR.

Both acupuncture and Dry needling / IMS use thin, stainless steel filiform needle. The needles contain no liquid, and nothing is injected.

Acupuncture is an ancient technique developed in China.

Philosophy being that it can relieve stress, pain, and discomfort by opening up energy flow, or chi.

Acupuncture involves using thin needles to stimulate nerves in the muscles and under the skin; this can result in the production of endorphins, which may relieve some symptoms.

Both dry needling and acupuncture may help to relieve muscle aches, pains, and tightness but it is important that you speak openly with your practitioner or physio before receiving such treatments in order to determine if this is the best option for your healthcare needs.

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