What Is GunnIMS?

The majority of patients who come to my clinic and even those who I have personally treated, are totally confused about what GunnIMS is and also how it differs from acupuncture. The general assumption is that GunnIMS uses needles, so it must be acupuncture, right?


What is the Difference Between Acupuncture and GunnIMS?


Acupuncture is an Eastern technique, originally developed between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago, without the benefits of modern anatomical knowledge we have today. Chinese Medicine is based on the assumption that energy, or Chi, flows around the body along defined meridian lines. The belief then is that by inserting needles into these meridian lines, it will affect the chi to bring the body back into balance. As a general rule the chi flows in fascia below the skin level, which is not too deep in the body. Typically needles would be inserted into the fascia and left in place for up to 30 minutes. Western acupuncture is a subset of Eastern acupuncture and follows similar principles.

It’s about as relevant as saying surgeons and cake makers both use knives

GunnIMS was developed much more recently, over the last 40 years, by Professor Gunn, a Vancouver based Doctor, using western knowledge of the anatomy and uses needles as a micro surgical tool, cutting deeply and directly into muscles which are not reacting properly to nerve signals and causing excess pressure on nerves, leading to long term, or chronic pain. It thus bears almost no resemblance to acupuncture other than the fact that both techniques use a needle. It’s about as relevant as saying surgeons and cake makers both use knives.

Who can benefit from GunnIMS?

Many people who have, or are suffering long term, unresolved spinal pain, can be helped much more by GunnIMS than any other technique currently available. In fact, GunnIMS is unsurpassed in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic muscular-related nerve (neuropathic) problems.

I’ll explain that with an analogy. Think of your car: if your headlight bulb keeps blowing because of a faulty wire in the fuse box, then you need to fix the fuse box, not keep replacing the headlight bulb. This seems obvious.

The way that human anatomy is formed in the womb means that the limbs can be considered an extension of the spine. So, specific parts of the body are controlled by specific nerves, their roots emerging at the spine. Just as in the car analogy, you could have pain in your foot because of a nerve problem in your back, or an elbow problem because of a nerve problem in the neck.


This is why people who suffer pain in the leg or foot get no relief from endless treatments on their leg or foot. Keep changing the light bulb and it won’t fix the problem.

To make matters worse, even our latest technology is unable to see pain caused by muscle spasm, so quite often patients who have suffered years of severe and constant pain, become depressed when they are told their scans are normal and thus nothing can be wrong.

This Is Simply Not True

It’s perhaps no surprise then that I’ve lost track of the number of times patients have arrived having suffered long term pain which they have been told was permanent and nothing could be done and just get on with it. Even worse, they have had many, many treatments on the symptom area, rather than the root cause of the problem in the spine.

Didn’t we just agree it was obvious to fix the fuse box? Clearly it’s not so obvious if you don’t have the right tool in the toolbox.

My Journey

As a child I grew up seeing my mother suffer years of horrific back pain and the best our western medicine could offer was pain killers, rest and exercises. Simply put, western medicine failed to kill her pain.  I was driven to do something about it, but when I qualified as a Physiotherapist, I realised that this was still the same western medicine and I was no more able to help people with spinal pain than I had been as a child.

I’ve searched long and hard for a solution to severe and chronic spinal pain and now I have total belief that the results I can achieve with GunnIMS far exceed anything else that western medicine can offer. The results speak for themselves and that’s probably why patients travel thousands of miles for treatment which could eliminate the need for surgery and or prevent a lifelong dependency on toxic drugs.

GunnIMS In Sport

Chronic, complex sports injuries are often not resolved by conventional physiotherapy techniques. In part this is because many sports injuries have a neuropathic origin. GunnIMS works by treating the root cause of the problem.

Athletes have been shown to recover far more quickly from their injuries when GunnIMS has been used in their treatment, and some national teams and Olympic squads require GunnIMS practitioners to be part of their core therapy team.

Dry Needling 

As a result of GunnIMS increasing in popularity, the term GunnIMS has largely been superseded by the more generic term Dry Needling. While I have no problem in using the term Dry Needling, I think it is always polite and proper to recognise that Professor Chan Gunn’s pioneering work is the basis of all dry needling today.


If you or someone you know is suffering from long term, severe and unresolved pain, then we can probably help, even when you have been told nothing can be done.

Call Now 01889 88144. Erica & Jean will be happy to help