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Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Patient receiving instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization treatment on arm

What is IASTM?

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is the modern evolution of traditional Gua Sha of Chinese medicine. This technique enables Dr. Joe to detect & treat myofascial restrictions to improve mobility, increase muscle activation/strength & decrease pain. This facilitates the restoration of optimal movement as well as increases the effectiveness of exercise.

Strong evidence suggests that IASTM may enable an injury to be therapeutically stressed earlier which may speed up the return to activity following injury with less risk of re-injury.

IASTM is Effective in 3 Ways

01 Mechanically, it helps to break up the adhesions, or the “fuzz”, between fascial layers to restore sliding which enables movement & releases stress concentrations in the tissues.

02 Neurophysiologically, it helps to reset the tone of a muscle to either reduce spasm in hypertonicity or improve firing of inhibited muscles. This benefit is best achieved when followed up with exercise to reinforce the changes.

03 Biochemically, it creates localized inflammation which is the first stage of healing. This further initiates the removal of toxic buildup and allows for new cells, or proliferation, to be layed down in the area. The healing process is restarted/improved by promoting an increase of nutrients and fibroblasts into the region which results in collagen deposition.