What is IASTM?

Evidence Based Tools & Resources
The RMT Education Project provides tools & resources to simplify the complex - taking a intensive processes and break it down in to manageable chunks. Currently, The RMT Education Project features posts about:

The Research Countdown
 10 Articles All Massage Therapists Should Read
• 9 Open Access Articles All Massage Therapists Should Read
• 8 Researchers Who Are Changing Massage Therapy

Open Access Tools & Resources
• Curated Resources for Massage Therapists
• Open Access Research Papers
• Resources for Patients

Research Review
• A New Muscle: The Tensor Vastus Intermedius
• Pleasure Receptors Response to Massage
• Does Fascia Release

Time to Review Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage (IASTM)

IASTM tools are underutilized in the treatment of soft tissue injuries; part of this is due to lack of available training. I have put together a micro-blog post that will help massage therapists make an informed decision about IASTM. 

IASTM 101 for Massage Therapists

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a soft tissue mobilization technique that uses hand held tools, it is closely related to Gua sha. This type of treatment has gone by many different names in the past, including: coining, scraping and spooning. The Graston tools were one of the first modern IASTM tool to make it to the market, since then there has been many other tools enter the market at many different price points. Below is just a brief selection of the many tools available, please contact me if there are other tools you would like to see included on this list

How Can Massage Therapists Incorporate IASTM into Treatments?

I do encourage formal training before you incorporate IASTM into your assessment and treatment protocols. Once you therapists are familiar with using the tools  IASTM techniques are frequently combined with other techniques, exercises, positions or different types of stretching.IASTM tools are an extension of touch they provide feedback and a different type of contact. There are two techniques I recommend:

  1. Short Sweeping Strokes
  2. Cross-Frictional Massage

Types and Brands of Tools

Stainless Steel Tools

Stainless steel is found to be the best material for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques. Steel is very stiff and produces more resonance than other materials.

Ceramic Tools

Plastic Tools