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What is the difference between Acupuncture and IMS?

We discuss the difference between Intramuscular stimulation and acupuncture.

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What is the difference between Acupuncture and IMS?
IMS vs acupuncture dry needling

Acupuncture and intramuscular stimulation (IMS) are two distinct therapeutic methods employed to address pain and other medical ailments. Although both involve the insertion of needles into the body, they diverge in terms of their underlying principles, techniques, and applications.

Acupuncture is a form of treatment derived from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It entails delicately inserting thin needles into precise points on the body, referred to as acupuncture points. The fundamental belief is that the body comprises meridians, a network of energy pathways, and the smooth flow of energy (qi) along these pathways can be disrupted by factors such as stress, illness, or injury. Through the strategic placement of needles at specific acupuncture points, practitioners strive to restore the harmonious flow of qi, thereby facilitating healing and promoting overall balance within the body. Acupuncture finds applications in the treatment of diverse conditions, including pain, headaches, and anxiety.

On the other hand, intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a distinct treatment method that involves the insertion of needles into muscle tissue. Unlike acupuncture, IMS does not focus on the meridian system or the flow of energy. Instead, it targets dysfunctional or hyper-irritable areas within muscles, known as trigger points, which can cause pain and restrict movement. By precisely inserting needles into these trigger points, IMS aims to release tension, improve muscle function, and alleviate pain. IMS is commonly used to address conditions such as chronic muscle pain, myofascial pain syndrome, and musculoskeletal injuries.

Acupuncture and IMS differ from one another in several aspects, including their guiding principles, theories, and techniques. One notable difference lies in their foundational beliefs. Acupuncture draws its principles from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), emphasizing the concept of qi flow. In contrast, IMS is rooted in a scientific understanding of muscle physiology and the impact of trigger points on pain and related symptoms.

In summary, acupuncture and intramuscular stimulation are two different approaches to therapeutic intervention. Acupuncture is rooted in TCM and centers around the concept of meridians and the flow of qi, while IMS focuses on addressing trigger points within muscles to alleviate pain and enhance muscle function.

Author: Sukhi GrewalDate Published: June 18th, 2023Category:  
Dry Needling
Trigger points
Neck Pain