Intramuscular Stimulation FAQs

How are the costs of our Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) program covered?

Our IMS services are not covered under OHIP. But IMS will likely be covered under your private physiotherapy insurance. If your insurer requires one, ask your doctor for a referral for “Physiotherapy”. You will receive a receipt when you have paid for a treatment. You can then use this receipt to reclaim the cost of assessment or treatments from your insurer.

Depending on your needs, follow-up treatments are usually carried out once per week.

Who may treat patients with Gunn IMS?

Only doctors and physiotherapists who have been trained and certified by the University of British Columbia, Division of Sports Medicine – Gunn IMS certification program or iSTOP: The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain, are considered to be safe and effective to practice Gunn IMS.

Who will benefit from our IMS program?

Anyone with persistent pain that lasts beyond the normal tissue healing period, in other words longer than 12 weeks. It is very helpful for unremitting muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck and back. It is also very helpful for unrelieved tendonitis or bursitis of all joints of the body.

How does IMS differ from traditional acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture is an ancient philosophy, and is diagnosed and applied by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. Gunn IMS relies on modern western medicine’s understanding of anatomy & neurology. It uses this information for the diagnosis and treatment of persistent and chronic pain conditions.

How does IMS differ from other dry needing practices?

Most other dry needling practices focus on treating only the specific area of pain. The Gunn IMS technique assesses and treats the whole body. For example, for arm or leg pain, Gunn IMS will treat both locally where the pain is felt, and also assess & treat the sources of the pain. These are often found in the neck and/or back.

What is the IMS procedure?

The accurate diagnosis and assessment of a client is very important for a successful Gunn IMS program. This includes taking a detailed history and performing a physical examination. Treatments include dry needling, which is a form of needling without the delivery of medication. A very important part of a full Gunn IMS program includes exercise prescriptions. These exercises are designed to gently address the postural issues, muscle weaknesses & imbalances that are contributing to your ongoing pain.

How long does our IMS program last?

The first appointment takes about 1 hour. After that, the number and length of treatment sessions depend on your condition. On average, about eight weekly sessions are required to help most conditions.

What can I expect to feel during and after this IMS program?

Dry needling does involve some discomfort, but the sterile IMS needles used are very thin for added comfort; 2-3 IMS needles could be placed inside a vaccine needle. Following any given treatment you may feel increased soreness for 2-3 days. After this you will likely feel improved.

How long will the benefits of IMS last?

The effects of IMS add up. Each needle treatment causes a certain amount of healing. IMS treatments can be thought of as similar to peeling an onion. Each layer of pain and dysfunction needs to be removed before the pain completely stops.

Does IMS always succeed?

There are no guarantees. But the likelihood of healing is good if the diagnosis is correct and the part of the body is able to heal.

How do I get started with this IMS program?

Your insurer may or may not require a referral from your doctor. Regardless it is very important that you also consult your family doctor at the same time as you Contact Us.

For more information about the CRT program at our three Toronto locations please click: