Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization or Simply IASTM is a new range of tool which enables clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft tissue dysfunction. The technique itself is said to be a modern evolution from Traditional Chinese Medicine called Gua Sha. However Gua Sha was not used to treat Musculoskeletal conditions but was traditionally applied along meridiens to move the bad chi out through the skin. IASTM is a is a procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity due to its effectiveness and efficiency while remaining non-invasive,with its own indications and limitations.
IASTM is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, encourage rapid localization and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration. As in any Manual therapy treatment ,supplementation with exercises and additional modalities e.g. joint mobilization designed to correct biomechanical deficiencies by addressing musculoskeletal strength and muscle imbalances throughout the entire kinetic chain should be used in conjunction with IASTM.
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions and allows the clinician to treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of a local inflammatory response. Microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate fibrosis or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.