IASTM technique is an easy, effective treatment for sports injuries and soft tissue rehabilitation. As with any new alternative therapy or treatment, there are doubts among some about whether it works or not and if so, how effective it is.
The first question one might have, naturally, is what is IASTM? Using stainless steel instruments, they’re applied on the body to treat soft tissue dysfunction. IASTM stands for ‘instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization’, as you may have guessed. The technique takes decades-old ideas on treatments for the soft tissue and adjusts them to increase effectiveness.
IASTM is similar to a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice called gua sha. A gua sha treatment involves using stones or crystals along the body’s meridians to move negative energy out from the body. To some degree, how IASTM works is similar which is why some interpret it as modernized gua sha. Using stainless steel gua sha massage instruments, gentle scraping is performed on specific areas of the body. This helps to move circulation to affected areas. Conditions that are notoriously hard to treat – such as fibromyalgia, hip pain, wrist tendinitis, and ITB tendinitis – can all benefit.
Where can you use instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization – almost anywhere, including the arms, back, shoulders, and on the legs. Ultimately, IASTM has not been intensively studied and research is very limited. That said, numerous Canadians who do use IASTM report less time in treatment for soft tissue injury, a faster recovery from tired and/or tight muscles, and less pain. More and more, we are seeing acupuncturists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, osteopathic doctors, and chiropractors express interest in adding IASTM tools to their inventory because of emerging research showing its effectiveness.
Although IASTM can be performed on one’s own body, there are still specific techniques employed. This isn’t just scraping the skin as a visual will communicate. The motions must be controlled, in specific areas, and with a certain amount of pressure to work to reduce inflammation.
A few other guiding tips on how to use is to ensure you employ the smooth side, always use oil on the targeted area to help with the glide, and strokes should be done in lengths of about 4-6 inches. Through the use of IASTM, you can avoid the use of topical skin medications, dangerous pharmaceutical medications, and to use something with no side effects or pain associated.
Are you looking to add instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization to your practice? Shop your stainless steel gua sha IASTM tools at Lierre.ca today and get high quality for a fair price. All available Canada-wide, we’re here to help.