Internal Stimulation (IMS)
Chronic pain can have various origins, including inflammation triggered by conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or persistent trauma. It can also persist without ongoing trauma, as seen in cases such as post-MVA (motor vehicle accident) injuries, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain. IMS primarily addresses chronic pain arising from neuropathic origins, where the nerves exhibit abnormal sensitivity due to even relatively minor damage.
When nerves break down after modest injury, neuropathic pain emerges. This heightened sensitivity extends to the tissues supplied by these neurons, most notably affecting muscles, which patients often find distressing. Even when extensive medical testing reveals no apparent issues, the hyper-sensitivity of nerves and tissues can still lead to excruciating pain. Furthermore, this extreme sensitivity tends to shorten muscular tissue.
Some common symptoms associated with neuropathic pain include:
- Coldness of the skin in specific areas.
- Development of goosebumps.
- Excessive perspiration over the painful area.
- Accumulation of excess fluid in subcutaneous tissues (known as trophedema).
- Localized hair loss.
- Brittle nails.
- Occurrence of psoriasis.
IMS was pioneered by Dr. Gunn during his tenure as a clinical physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of BC. This innovative technique employs acupuncture needles, which are remarkably fine (0.3mm diameter), often causing little to no sensation when penetrating the skin. If your muscle is in a normal state, the needle typically goes unnoticed. However, in cases where muscles are hyper-sensitive and shortened, you may experience a sensation akin to a deep, achy muscle cramp when the needle is inserted. This discomfort is usually followed by a sense of relief as the muscle begins to relax.