We provide functional dry needling (FDN), also referred to as intramuscular stimulation (IMS). It is a physical therapy modality used to treat myofascial and neuropathic pain. It is grounded in Western Medical Science, and relates particularly to radicular pain.

FDN/IMS involves insertion of a filament needle into an area of muscle that has become contracted and shortened (trigger points), and/or an area near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. FDN/IMS directly treats the cause of the pain by relaxing the shortened muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state.

The goal of treatment is to achieve a local twitch response in order to release muscle tension, eliminate neuromuscular dysfunction and pain, and restore functional movement. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless. However, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation.

The resulting pain reduction and increased range of motion is achieved by:

  • Stretching the receptor in the muscle by stimulation, therefore producing a relaxation or lengthening of the muscle
  • Creating an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again (“reset”)
  • Drawing blood flow to the area of dysfunction, therefore initiating the body’s natural healing process

The number of treatments required depends on several factors: general health, the duration and extent of the condition, how much scar tissue there is, and how quickly one’s body can heal. The rate of healing also depends on the condition of the nerves. If the pain is of recent origin, 1-2 treatments may be all that is necessary. The average person responds very well within 4 to 6 treatments.

Practitioners that perform IMS/FDN

A woman runs down the middle of the road during a half marathon.

Within weeks she had me back to running!

I have rolled my ankles quit a few times over the past 2 years leading to swollen ankles to the point it hurt to stand for long periods of time and decided to make an appointment with Physiotherapist, Sandy Wilson. After the first visit, I had full confidence in her and within weeks she had me back to running!

Relief of back and neck pain

As a carpenter who is constantly throwing his back alignment out, i have been seeing Dr. Veronica Hewstan for relief of back and neck pain. She is a wonderful practitioner and has a beautiful clinic. I would highly recommend her for anyone seeking chiropractic care

Made all the difference in my quality of life

Dr. Veronica Hewstan is a talented and caring Chiropractic practitioner. Even when I have been away from the office for a few months, she remembers details about my life and previous treatments. The Active Release Technique & Graston Technique have made all the difference in my quality of life. I cannot highly recommend her enough.

Athletic background

Because of Sandy’s own athletic background she brings both a deeper sense of what is going on and the sense of urgency that most people feel when they are injured. When you have something wrong you just want to get on with it. Sandy has an incredible feel for what is going on and how to fix it.

Repair my body past what I thought was possible

I have been going to see Sandy for a few years now for various sporting injuries. She is great at what she does, and I highly recommend her and I send all my friends to see her. She is very strong and has worked out knots/scars in my muscles to repair my body past what I thought was possible. I have tried other practitioners in the past and have always felt like they ignore what I say and just do what they feel is best without telling me why they are doing it- Sandy takes the time to listen and really give feedback on what she is doing and why she is doing it.

I have also recently seen Veronica Hewstan for chiropractic needs, and she has been great as well. She has a wide variety of techniques (ART, Graston etc) to treat a wide variety of injuries.

Helped to resolve some of my old chronic injuries

I give Dr Veronica Hewstan 5 stars. She is a fantastic chiropractor who not only knows her profession well but offers genuine care and attention. I have always left the office feeling immediate results, and often have received relief with areas/injuries which I didn’t even consider could be addressed chiropractically. Her knowledge is extensive and Dr Hewstan incorporates both Active Release Technique and Graston Technique, both of which have helped to resolve some of my old chronic injuries as well. Dr Hewstan is knowledgeable, kind and compassionate and I would highly recommend her to anyone.

My rehabilitation program was easy to follow

Sandy Wilson is the consummate professional. My running injury was diagnosed efficiently, the treatment was highly effective and my rehabilitation program was easy to follow. What more could one ask for?

The first person I contact to assess and deliver treatment

Whenever I have an injury in need of diagnosis, Sandy Wilson is the first person I contact to assess and deliver treatment. Her advice on returning to training and racing comes from the fact that she is an athlete herself. Her treatment plans always get me back out there running and being active faster than I would have ever thought possible in the initial stages.

Everything you want in a healthcare practitioner

Rosie has helped me tremendously with my reoccurring back pain. Not only is she professional and knowledgeable, she is also compassionate and non-judgmental….everything you want in a healthcare practitioner. Rosie loves her job-and it shows! I never hesitate to recommend her to family or friends.

Helped in lowering my concussion symptoms

I was quite nervous to see a chiropractor for the first time. I had always heard that going to a chiropractor would make problems worse and how it was better not to take the risk in seeing one. I looked online, and thought I would give Arbutus Physiotherapy & Health Centre a try as I was suffering from severe concussion symptoms after falling at work. I highly recommend Dr. Veronica Hewstan, she helped in lowering my concussion symptoms such as headaches, tightness etc. as well as providing a comfortable, respectful and positive environment for her clients. She is always on-time for her appointments and uses the entire time efficiently. She is highly skilled in her techniques, and all the staff at this facility are super friendly and outgoing. On days where I was in a lot of pain…the staff managed to cheer me up!

So knowledgeable and take the time to really listen

All of the practitioners at Arbutus Physiotherapy are so knowledgeable and take the time to really listen to your concerns and address them. Everything about the office, from the practitioners to the front staff made me feel welcome and cared for. Definitely 5 stars!!

Respectful and knowledgeable

I have been going to Arbutus for a couple of years now, in that time I have seen one if not all of the people in there. Sandy the owner is exceptional and her team are fantastic ! They all take the time to listen and are respectful and knowledgeable in their respective fields. Shout out to Olivia , Mae and Natasha as well on the front line . They make it a friendly pleasant atmosphere to be in. I would not hesitate to recommend this business to anyone seeking out a multi use practice for wellness!

If you have a sports injury look no further

Fantastic care from Christy Mader, if you have a sports injury look no further, this is someone who really knows what she is doing!

So happy to have found this place

I am very grateful for the staff at Arbutus. I have received both IMS and physio treatments over the last few months and I am feeling wonderful. I am noticeably more flexible and no longer get aches and pains. Fawn is my regular physiotherapist (she is superb) and I have also seen Scott and Melissa when Fawn is away and they were equally as great. To top it off, Taelor and the other front desk staff are lovely. I am so happy to have found this place. Thank you, Arbutus!

Highly recommend

I had a suspected stress fracture in my foot and came in to get it assessed. Scott my physiotherapist was extremely throuough and very helpful. He took the time to ensure a definitive diagnosis within my first session and there was no pressure for a follow up visit. Definitely the best experience I have had at a physiotherapist. The front desk was also a delight to deal with. I would highly recommend this clinic.

Very impressed

Very impressed with the staff. Friendly, helpful and knew who I was after my first visit. Libby, my physio is great. Very knowledgeable, down to earth and really works to help my condition out.

Sweet, understanding and actually helped

Amazing people here. Friendly and awesome. My physiotherapist Fawn Whiting was sweet, understanding and actually helped relieve back pain from which i was suffering for a few years. She taught me few excercises which i still do from time to time to relieve back pain. Thanks Arbutus and Fawn 😁

Able to book online

Highly recommend! The staff are friendly, able to book online, street parking, and direct billing.

The framework to continue to heal

After being treated by Ashley Fradette at Arbutus, I felt the need to come back and edit my previous review.

Ashley is without a doubt, the best physiotherapist I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Ashley’s welcoming and warm demeanour meant that coming to physio was always a highlight of my day. In addition to that, she would take the time to explain her methods of treatment in easily understandable terms.

I initially came to Ashley with foot pain that was resistant to all treatment, I could barely walk for years – which meant that I couldn’t continue my previously active lifestyle. Because of this, I had gained some weight – and then most doctors had told me that my foot pain was due to the weight gain and wrote me off.

Ashley listened when I told her that the weight gain was a symptom of my pain – I haven’t been able to do much of anything for a few years. She said, after doing some tests, that she didn’t think the pain was originating in my foot, and was likely connected to the nerves or tendons connecting to my foot.

When I told her that my foot pain had gotten better with some stretching of the hips and back, she moved to treating my back, which nobody else had ever done before. Ashley would take the time after she was done work to email me and ask how things were going. It feels like she really cares about her clients, in addition to being very knowledgeable.

I’m happy to say that I am now pain-free with regards to my foot and back. Ashley has given me the framework to continue to heal – and hopefully return to my passions of running, squash and lifting weights.

I can’t recommend Ashley and the rest of the team at Arbutus enough – and I know if I am in pain in the future, I won’t hesitate to come back.

My life has seriously been changed!

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Ashley. I was in such acute pain with sciatica all the way down to my foot. I had burning nerve pain and restricted movement for nearly a year – I couldn’t even walk my dogs for 15 minutes without limping home and needing to ice myself for hours, and I couldn’t sit at my desk chair for more than 10 minutes at a given time. Even when I was lying in bed I was in pain as I fell asleep. It had taken a toll on my physically and mentally for so long I honestly felt like I was running out of options. I looked up IMS in Victoria and found Arbutus Physio and made an appointment with Ashley. I was EXTREMELY skeptical because I had tried everything at this point so I was at my last resort. My life has seriously been changed!!!! I have now gone an entire week without any pain whatsoever. I couldn’t even remember what it felt like to be normal until now. I walked my dogs for 2 hours last night and it felt like the greatest achievement. Thank you so much Ashley for giving me my mobility (and life) back!!!!

Took the time to explain

I visited Arbutus Physiotherapy while experiencing pain in my neck and back which was significantly limiting my mobility. The reception staff was professional and friendly. Scott (the Physio) worked with me for four sessions and now I am pain free with my mobility restored. What stood out for me was how Scott took the time to explain what the problem was, sent me videos of exercises and of course he worked on me during the four visits. Scott is simply a nice guy who knows his stuff! Thank you for fixing me, Scott! Cheers, Neil

Exceptional practitioner

There’s a reason for the mountain of positive reviews. Exceptional practitioner. Thank you Sandy.

Knowledgeable, kind, and attuned to the body

So glad I started going to Arbutus Physio. Ashley is so knowledgeable, kind, and attuned to the body!

Multiple disciplines in one location

Direct bill and I like that I can see multiple disciplines in one location

Lovely environment

Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Clean facilities. Lovely environment.

Everything I could have asked for

My experience at Arbutus Physiotherapy was everything I could have asked for. The receptionists were always so kind and welcoming whenever I came through the door, and they were easy to communicate with. I was never intimidated or unsure when interacting with them. Whenever I would call the reception, I was consistently greeted with a warm hello, and the people I spoke to were respectful and understanding if I needed to change something and were sure to communicate effectively if I needed to know anything. The centre was always clean and they made sure to follow COVID guidelines well. I came here looking for support for my left shoulder and hip after an accident, and my physiotherapist Connor was an absolute dream! From the beginning I felt comfortable working with him as he is not afraid to be himself, which really helped ease my nerves. Throughout the whole process Connor was so clear about what we were doing and why, as well as how it benefited my body. He was able to give me an estimate on how long our work together would take, but was very flexible in this. I am a student so he also gave me tips on how to care for my body through hours of studying, which I really appreciated. When doing physical stretches and exercises, Connor made sure I was comfortable and consistently made sure they were effective, and adjusted when they were not. Anytime I asked a question he would answer it with no problem at all, being sure to explain everything clearly and he would always make sure that I understood what he was saying even if I didn’t ask (this really helped because I can be anxious about asking to clarify something, and I can just end up not asking at all). On top of this, Connor was SO SO easy to talk to, and he has quite possibly the best collection of patterned short sleeve button ups I have ever seen. TL;DR I would highly recommend coming here :)

Nice environment and friendly staff members

I had a frozen shoulder for over 3 months. My shoulder had been in constant pain, and the mobility had been getting worse and worse. I found a Physiotherapy clinic close to my home. The Physiotherapist only pushed my arm with a single finger and verified my shoulder pain. She then used the rest of the session to educate me on frozen shoulders. Finally, she told me that my situation was not good and that I might need to find a specialist or get surgery…

I decide to try another Physiotherapist. I followed Google reviews and found Arbutus Physiotherapy & Health Center because it has an abundance of 5 star reviews. I made an appointment with Jessica Cadangan, and I was lucky to meet up with her. She is marvellous.

Jessica was very nice and professional. She asked me questions, and carefully checked my shoulder. Jessica treated my shoulder and loosened my tightened muscles. She answered my questions while explaining what was to be expected after the treatment. She also made a plan for me… After the visit, for the first time since last three months, my shoulder felt better.

Arbutus also impressed me. It has nice environment and friendly staff members. Their website is easy to access, and I can login to my account with everything there. In addition to that, the appointment is able to added to my phone’s calendar conveniently.

I highly recommend Arbutus and Jessica Cadangan.

In sync with his patients

Connor is wise, professional and in sync with his patients. As a physiotherapist he tries to get to the root of what is causing your discomfort. He offers suggestions to support your healing process and is great at follow up! His care and attention is appreciated.

If there was another star, I would gladly give it

I normally do not provide reviews, but feel compelled to do so for Sandy and her team. What a fantastic experience. A team of consummate professionals, friendly, helpful and always willing to help. If there was another star, I would gladly give it as Arbutus Physio stands out from any and all other physiotherapy practices I have used. A hands-on approach, combined with the latest in treatments has helped me rehabilitate after a bike accident that I thought would be the end of my athletic endeavours. Big kudos to Arbutus!

Up-to-date on latest evidence based research

I had a physiotherapy appointment with Lena Walther for a longstanding minor shoulder issue. She had great communication skills/rapport and made me feel comfortable while simultaneously taking COVID precautions. Very thorough history ruling out red flags despite it being a minor ailment.

Lena asked about how the condition actually played a role in my life and did find out/enquire that I’m a health care worker. She gave me appropriate info with simple explanations but also respectable for my educational level.

My range of motion/strength were checked and she explained everything she did and always communicated before she touched or did anything that could be considered invasive such as a subscapularis release. She also provided other physical therapy and massage in the initial 40 minute session.

She gave me lots of exercises/homework to do since that’s what I wanted. She reduced the number of unnecessary follow ups since she was so efficient which saved me both time and money. I feel confident now applying my knowledge from the sessions to incorporate stretches and improve my condition.

I would recommend Lena Walther to anyone who is very motivated to want to get better/take ownership of their health and especially to those who are busy or would prefer less unnecessary follow ups unlike other physios I’ve encountered in Vancouver trying to make as much money as possible. She’s a recent UBC MPT grad and is up-to-date on latest evidence based research which was also a huge plus, I booked on random chance since she had the best availability but that may change soon!

Incredible feel for what is going on and how to fix it

Because of Sandy’s own athletic background she brings both a deeper sense of what is going on and the sense of urgency that most people feel when they are injured. When you have something wrong you just want to get on with it. Sandy has an incredible feel for what is going on and how to fix it.

In good hands

Thank you so much. You’re all so amazing, even during this difficult time. You are in good hands there.

Both soothing and informative

Stephanie is wonderful! Her personality is both soothing and informative. She fit me in early and I feel 100% better just a few hours later.

One of the most medically rewarding journeys I’ve been through

 

I’ve been to plenty of physiotherapists across Victoria, and none of them have lived up to the standard that Connor Willis delivers! I was referred from Babylon Telus to Dr. Thibodeau (who is also incredibly amazing), who suggested I go to physio. From Dr. Thibodeau’s suggestion, I decided to try their in house physiotherapists, since the location was near enough to be convenient. And I’m incredibly glad I did.
If you’re looking for a physiotherapist who is knowledgeable, patient, and good at what they do – Connor’s got your back! (Literally, if you have a back injury, which I began to work on with him in the last week). For the past 2 months, we’ve been working on my first injury, which has been my ankle, and for the first time ever, I don’t dread coming to physio or doing the exercises. Working together on our progress has been one of the most medically rewarding journeys I’ve been through. Connor tells you what we’re working on, why we’re working on it, and what to expect. In fact, he drafts up a game plan for you from the start, and it gives you a rough estimate of what things are going to look like if you keep up with the appointments/exercises for the set time. Physio is difficult, and it’s not an easy thing to stay on top of. But with the help of an app, with consistent appointments, and great availability of the office, it’s been an easily manageable experience with a cluttered schedule on my end. Also, every time I go into the office I’m warmly greeted, and the front staff do an awesome job of dealing with insurance (they direct bill) and appointment arrangement. Zoë always remembers me and it’s the best feeling. So forgive my novel of a review, but honestly, if you’re on the fence about physio or have had poor experiences in the past, Connor is a great physiotherapist to start your recovery with! 😊
Edit: At this time too, they’re doing all they can with Covid guidelines, especially with their clinic being such a hands on, physical treatment experience. I’ve never once felt uncomfortable or dubious about their efforts to keep their clients safe – so thank you!

 

A treatment plan to help meet my goals

Lena Walther is an exceptional physiotherapist. She completed a thorough examination, provided me information on the assessment findings, and structured a treatment plan to help meet my goals. I would highly recommend Lena!

More range of motion and less pain

Serious improvement after one visit. More range of motion and less pain and discomfort. Cody upped the ante and tackled some sore spots that will move the whole process along. Excellent work and easy-to-work-with personality. Many thanks.

Much less pain

Excellent – managed to work through all the necessary joints and muscles with much less pain than I have experienced with others in the past!

Feels like one big family there

Connor is a wonderful physiotherapist, I highly recommend him! I always feel so much better every time I leave. I am very grateful for him for all the help he has given me since day one! Great asset for your wonderful team at Arbutus! Also the ladies at the front desk, every time I come in they are so nice and always happy. It feels like one big family there.

I look forward to my appointments

Lena is the best! I had a difficult time finding a physiotherapist I could click with and would listen to my concerns. Now I look forward to my appointments and the positive environment the entire clinic brings. She is extremely talented in what she does, and I can’t recommend her enough. The outcome, and care provided is beyond exceptional. The receptionist team is always there to help and bring a positive attitude and very understanding to my needs and schedule. Thank you Lena, and the entire Arbutus Health Centre team!

Stronger than before the injury

Connor is great! he’s extremely knowledgeable with physiotherapy and is a great guy. I went in with a knee injury and he diagnosed it quickly and built a recovery plan that worked great! my knee is now stronger than it was before the injury. His shirt collection is outstanding also.

The front desk staff is very friendly, helpful and welcoming too!

A friendly pleasant atmosphere

I have been going to Arbutus for a couple of years now, in that time I have seen one if not all of the people in there. Sandy the owner is exceptional and her team are fantastic! They all take the time to listen and are respectful and knowledgeable in their respective fields. Shout out to Olivia, Mae and Natasha as well on the front line. They make it a friendly pleasant atmosphere to be in. I would not hesitate to recommend this business to anyone seeking out a multi use practice for wellness!

Extremely effective massage therapy

As always, Kristin provided very expert, very focused  and extremely effective massage therapy.

The relief is immeasurable!

After a year of at times agonizing pain and repeat misdiagnosis, I feel I finally hit a pot of gold being in Sandy’s highly skillful and very thorough care. The relief from finally knowing the cause of my pain and from receiving effective treatment at last is immeasurable!

Dedicated to ensuring you make a full recovery

Connor is the best physiotherapist I have ever worked with. He takes the time to get to know you and your problems. Moreover, he is sincerely dedicated to ensuring you make a full recovery. I would recommend him to anyone in need of an awesome physiotherapist.

Gratitude

Lena was amazing! So grateful

Balance of professional conduct and personal ease

Super pleasant personally, thorough assessment and Connor made helpful suggestions and treatment plan. Nice balance of professional conduct, knowledge and personal ease- Impressed!

Skilled and thorough

Staff is always friendly and engaging. Practitioners are very skilled and thorough with assessments and treatments. Highly recommended!

14 years

We have been seeing Sandy for last 14 years. She is a fantastic professional know her stuff very well. We strongly recommend her for all your physio needs.

Knowledgeable with a sense of humour

Brandon is great very knowledgeable and effective with a lovely sense of humour.

Making lives better

These folks are working really hard to make our lives better !

If I could rate it higher I would

Yesterday was my first visit to Arbutus Physiotherapy and if I could rate it higher I would. The location was perfect (lots of free parking all around), upon entering the staff was warm, welcoming and professional, and my appointment with Brandon was the best I’ve ever had with a physiotherapist. After his assessment he took the time to explain in detail, as well as show me, exactly what was going on so that I could understand as well. He told me how long I could expect treatment to last and sent me links to my exercises so that I didn’t have to remember everything in the appointment (at 50 years old, with a fading memory, that was a benefit all on it’s own!!!) I waited almost a year to take care of my aches and pains…I wish I hadn’t but I’m certainly grateful that I found this place. I’m feeling hopeful and excited about my appointments and the new me! And for anyone interested, I went in for shoulder, neck, hip and knee pain. Thank you Arbutus! See you again soon!

A restorative tonic

Kristen makes the world a better place! She is a wonderful listener, full of a gentle vitality and always a willingness to provide great advice. An hour in her company is a restorative tonic. Thank you!

There’s hope

There’s hope for my knees, which I did not have. Professional and knowledgable. Happy I went in.