IMS, Acupuncture, Dry Needling, Traditional Chinese Medicine… What’s the Difference?!

With multiple different treatment options, we break down what each one means and what you should be booking for!

What is the difference between Acupuncture from a physio and Traditional Chinese Acupuncture?

The difference between these two types of acupuncture is that a Physiotherapist does acupuncture to treat muscle, joints, tendons and other musculoskeletal injuries. Traditional Chinese Acupuncturists can also treat these areas, but additionally, can help with other areas of the body such as digestion, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, neurological, respiratory, and pregnancy symptoms.

What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?

Acupuncture points follow traditional Chinese energy meridians and affect your body by improving circulation, releasing pain-relieving hormones and helping to heal your injury. Dry needling’s primary goal is to release banded/ tight muscles and improve the health of the spinal nerve root. It will also cause improved blood flow to the area.

In Acupuncture, the needle remains inserted for 10-20 minutes and in dry needling, the needle may be left in for up to 10 minutes or removed immediately.

What is IMS? 

IMS stands for intramuscular stimulation. This means that the needle causes a reflex response in the muscle which causes it to contract and then relax.

The reflex response is a feedback loop through the spinal nerve root and this stimulation also helps to improve the health of this spinal nerve root. The other benefit is the muscle relaxation that follows treatment.

This treatment is indicated in clients who have tight banded muscles, spinal problems or pain that is referred from the spine to the arms/ legs. It is an extremely effective treatment.

How do I know which one to book in with?

If your problem is primarily a muscle or joint problem, then it would be best to book with a Physiotherapist first. If the problem involves other areas of the body such as digestion, stress, anxiety, respiratory, etc,  then book an assessment with the Traditional Chinese Acupuncturist first.

At this assessment with the Physiotherapist or Acupuncturist, they will advise you on the best treatment for you and will make sure you are receiving the correct type of acupuncture or needling.