Blog Archives

IMS Dry Needling: an expanded explanation of how & why

IMS dry needling is an increasingly popular form of treatment used by physiotherapists in Vancouver, Canada due primarily to the strong influence of local retired physician Dr Chan Gunn. He studied and refined the use of acupuncture needles specifically for treating persistent pain and ran a training and research center in Vancouver over the past thirty years. He engaged physiotherapists that had experience with manual therapy and taught them how to feel and treat inside the muscles instead of just pushing and prodding from the outside. It was a new modality that strayed from traditional acupuncture and pushed physiotherapy outside of its’ customary box. More physiotherapists in Vancouver adopted the new technique than elsewhere due to the local availability of training and the allowance of our regulatory body in British Columbia that permitted physios to puncture the skin.

Early adopters of IMS learned from Dr Gunn in the ‘90s, but relatively more and more have adopted dry needling as a staple of physiotherapy practice in the past ten years. I learned from Dr Gunn in 2008, after being exposed to the technique at Diane Lee’s physiotherapy clinic in 2006. In hindsight I am glad that I had some exposure to the dry needling technique in the hands of physios before I learned it directly from Dr Gunn because it helped me put the model that Dr Gunn was teaching in perspective. His model of intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is very valuable and the underlying principle that I apply when needling, but it is too simplistic and limited in its explanation and application. I wrote this article a few years after taking the IMS course to help explain to clients what I was doing and how IMS was different than acupuncture. If you want a history lesson about acupuncture and to see how many people have different views about needling, please scroll through all the comments at the end of that article. Read More

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Resistant Pain: A 3-Dimensional Moving Puzzle

Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A (NASA, Chandra, 1/6/09)

The following is a copy of an article I recently wrote for BC Physio Magazine:

After fourteen years of literally poking and prodding other people’s bodies all day, I have learned a few things about pain, anatomy and human nature.  I have done more than my share of market research in the hurting yourself category and have managed to work with or train under some of the world gurus in the pain and rehab space.  My name is Brent Stevenson.  I am the co-owner of Envision Physiotherapy in Vancouver and the author of the new book Why Things Hurt: Life Lessons from and Injury Prone Physical Therapist.  It is a collection of stories and lessons, written in a humorous, conversational tone, that I have found to be the most meaningful and helpful for my clients as they navigate their journeys down the path of resistant pain problems.

I refer to pain as a 3-dimensional moving puzzle due to the entanglement of physical and emotional factors that contribute to the end perception of a person’s pain.  When I started my training as a physiotherapist I learned about anatomy and the different systems of the body, like the boney framework of the skeleton and all the muscles that attach to it.  I learned about the nervous system and the basic electrical wiring of the body followed by a superficial look at some of the organs that the skeleton was protecting.  I was then released into the healthcare world to try and help people with my new found knowledge, but quickly realized how superficial my understanding of the body and my ability to help people really was.  I knew about most of the pieces but didn’t really grasp how most of them integrated together as layers of systems within the body.  I helped people, but not the way I am able to today. Read More

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Golf: The fundamentals of movement

Austin's
Movement is a skill and skill is the key component to strength.  If you learn to move well, you will build functional strength.  If you spend time trying to get stronger and ignore movement, you will likely get functionally weaker and be prone to hurting yourself.

Golf is a game about finely controlled movement and cognitive management; two things that elude and frustrate people their whole lives, which is why golf can be so addictive.  How a person approaches a golf game reflects a lot about their personality and their physical body, and both factors tend to contribute to their consistency, power, form and ultimately the number on the scorecard after 18 holes.  It also has a lot to do with how sore they may be during or after a round.

Rotation is the obvious movement pattern that golfers need to master, but it is only one of three movement planes that exist in the golf swing and it is by far the most complex.  It is a mistake to try and address anything to do with rotation until you learn how to move in the forward-back and side-to-side planes first.  I tell my clients that they need to earn the right to rotate by first learning to squat properly and load their legs well.  You would be surprised just how poorly most people bend or squat down, but it is a key part of the address position in a golf swing.

Step 1: Learn where your hips actually are (see video playlist at bottom of post):
–    4 Point Neutral Spine Video
–    4 Point Rock backs Video

In order for your trunk to be able to rotate properly, you need the muscles in your back to be reasonably relaxed because they need to lengthen as your body turns.  The way most people bend or squat ends up creating way too much tension in their back and butt to allow them to freely rotate their trunk. 

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Envision Physiotherapy becomes a Multidisciplinary clinic

This post is just a quick update of what I have been up to in the last
two months and my excuse for not updating this site as I had intended.  I
promise there is lots more content to come.

In the last three months I have:

  • Located and negotiated a great 1600 sq ft space on South Granville to move Envision Physiotherapy into (#201-3077 Granville St., Vancouver, BC)
  • Met with and built a team of some of the best allied health
    professionals in Vancouver and arranged for them to join us in our new
    space
  • We now have registered massage therapists, experienced Pilates instructors and a veteran Kinesiologist all under the same roof EnvisionPhysio.com
  • My wife had our third baby in three years.  I now have two boys and 1 girl
  • In the middle of all this my partner fell sick and hasn’t been able to work for 6 weeks
  • My receptionist quit and I interviewed and hired a new one
  • I hired a new physio named Tony Gui
  • Renovated the new clinic space to be ready for November 28th, 2011
  • We redid our website EnvisionPhysio.com

 

This is officially the home stretch.  We are moving everything into
the new clinic this weekend and will be up and running on Monday,
November 28th, 2011.

Starting next week I will get back to editing videos and writing
posts for this site.  Please feel free to leave comments on the blog
with feedback.  There is lots of content on here, but much more to come!

 

 

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