What is Gunn IMS?

IMS stands for Intramuscular Stimulation. The Gunn method of IMS was developed by Vancouver physician Dr. Chan Gunn and is taught at the University of British Columbia Division of Sports Medicine. It is a total system for diagnosing and treating myofascial pain syndromes created by neuropathy. Neuropathic pain occurs when there is a functional impairment or pathological disturbance to the peripheral nervous system. The unhealthy nerve will not provide the proper input to the systems it feeds, including the myofascial system. Of particular interest is the fact that muscles not receiving full input from the nerve go into a constant state of contraction and become supersensitive. These present as tight bands of muscle at rest, an abnormal finding. The constant pull from the tight muscle can cause many different conditions, such as tendinitis, further disc compression and degenerative changes to joint surfaces.

These supersensitive muscles are more tender to touch and often unresponsive to traditional treatments.  If we picture these muscles as light bulbs and the nervous system as the wiring, it helps to visualize. If traditional treatment is focused on changing the lightbulb (the obvious solution to a burnt out bulb) and is failing to provide results then one would look at the wiring. Gunn IMS focuses on examining and treating the wiring issues and determining the root cause as to why the wiring issues are occurring at a particular area. Gunn IMS involves taking a thorough examination of how the whole body is functioning and determining where areas of neuropathy are occurring and why.

UBC Gunn IMS only certifies physiotherapists and physicians who have extensive post graduate training.  This is to ensure that the Gunn IMS assessment and treatment is conducted safely and competently, to maximize effectiveness.

The treatment itself involves the use of an acupuncture/or IMS needle to release the shortened band of muscle, which is pressing on, and irritating the nerve. The insertion of the needle not only releases the shortened bands of muscles, thus decompressing the nerve, but creates a cascade of biological responses to the micro trauma created by the needle.  This helps with inflammation, nutrition to the nerve and all the systems it supplies, and promotes the healing process among other benefits.

If you have had treatments in the past that have only yielded temporary results or a recurring injury, it might be neuropathy that is preventing you from achieving more permanent recovery. More information can be found at