1. Is A-IMS® the same as acupuncture?

No. A-IMS® is distinctly different from acupuncture. The following table shows the difference.
acupuncture and a-ims data

In acupuncture, needles are generally superficially inserted along the meridian lines defined by Chinese medicine. In A-IMS®, needles are more deeply inserted into tight muscle bands that are palpable on physical examination. In some acupuncture style, manual needling is used but local twitch response is not actively sought because the needling is very painful to patients. Therefore, with acupuncture, in general, there is no significant break in the vicious pain cycle mentioned earlier. In A-IMS®, premedication is used such that patients can receive the treatment comfortably so that the practitioner can actively seek to elicit of LTRs.

2. Does the needle injure the skin or injure the muscle fibers?

Unlike some needles, the needle used in A-IMS is not rigid and does not have a slanted sharp beveled edge. Instead, it is very thin, flexible, Teflon coated and has a rounded edge. As a result, it does not cut or injure the muscle fibers. Also, the needles used during the A-IMS procedure are single-use, sterile needles.

3. Are there any side effects from A-IMS® treatment?

The most common side effects are occasional bruising and post-treatment soreness in the muscles treated. Patients are glad to trade the painful tight spasm for temporary post-treatment soreness.

4. Is the Intramuscular Stimulator, the device that automates the needling action FDA cleared?

Dr. Lee’s husband, Young Lee L.Ac., worked with Dr. Anna Lee to optimize the design of the automated device. It was patented by Dr. Young Lee and has been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration and cleared for marketing to treat patients with chronic and acute pain. Our FDA regulatory consultants have told us that as far as they can tell, this device was the first and only device of this kind cleared by the FDA for treating tension-type headaches of myofascial origin. We are very proud of this accomplishment.

portrait of man standing and talking

5. How do I find out if A-IMS® will help me?

Most patients come to our office as a result of persistent pain and/or sensory symptoms. The patient’s injury history and thorough musculoskeletal physical examination will be used to determine how A-IMS® can be most effectively used to alleviate the patient’s symptoms.

7. Is the treatment painful?

Most of the patients are pre-medicated to receive A-IMS procedure comfortably.

8. What does the whole treatment involve?

Most of the patients are pre-medicated to receive A-IMS® treatment comfortably.

Immediately following the A-IMS® treatment patients receive an application of hot packs to the treated areas. This reduces post-treatment soreness. Finally, patients are given an aqua physiotherapy in which they lie supine on a aqua bed receiving massage to the treated areas with the heated hydraulic water jet. This also works to reduce post-treatment soreness and promote healing.

portrait of patient on treatment