“S,” “M,” and “L” MyoBar IASTM tools are designed to treat a “sweet spot” on a SCALE of target anatomy. After choosing which size(s) fits your needs best for practice, there are several choices in each size category related to STYLE and additional features. See the videos below for a quick comparison of Healing Edge and Myofascial Bar styles. Following that is an in-depth guide describing the various aspects of our instruments along with a list of popular recommendations based on your area of interest.
Healing Edge Tool Comparison
In this short video, Dr. Matt explains the features and differences of the Healing Edge I, II, & III series. Decide what profile is best for you.
Myofascial Bar Comparison
We offer 4 unique Myofascial Bars. Watch and we’ll explain the difference between the Original Myo-bar, Advanced Practice, and XL bars.
In-Depth Guide: Choosing Tool Scale & Profiles
Importance of Scale
We offer several designs, sizes, and set combinations to please a wide range of practitioners- we’ve learned that there are multiple demands for instruments based on specific needs. What sizes of anatomy targets do you want to treat most with IASTM? A properly scaled tool improves treatment at the anatomical site while giving you the proper weight and profile for the intended tissue stroke. For example, the Detail tool will work great for the hand, and the AP L Bar will be perfect for the Glutes, but not the other way around.
From a scale perspective, you can decide which tool works best for the part of the body you are treating. Because Myo-Bar tools have multiple treatment profiles on every tool, you often need one selection per treatment session (unless you are treating multiple sites). From small targets and very fine strokes….to deep long strokes in big musculature and fascia, the Myo-Bar tools will help with many types of approaches.
Making selections based on the size of your tool is also important for your comfort as a practitioner. You can easily perform more intricate strokes in the “pen hold” with a smaller tool. When covering a lot of ground in the thigh or back you are best using a larger tool with more mechanical advantage, saving effort on your part. After scale, consider the tool profile.
Healing Edge Tools
HE "M" and "S" Profiles
There are three Healing Edge tool profiles. They all feature the combination head and are very ergonomic- easy to maneuver with both a handle grasp and a pen hold- because of the integrated finger rests and balance points.
The combination head has a 1/16” radius edge– common to most IASTM tools.
Additionally, Healing Edge tools have a 1/8” large radius edge (LRE) at the reverse end of the tool. This is used to either press deeper than is comfortable with the smaller edge, or when the treatment site is sensitive/painful even with light pressure. The “M” and “S” in each of the three (I, II, & III) Healing Edge profiles are the same, just differing in the size of the tool.
The HE I profile offers plenty of versatility. In addition to the combination heads, they have LRE’s noted in the drawings above. Finger rest (FR) for the tip of the index finger, and balance point (BP) for resting on the middle finger help to comfortably maneuver the tool with secure hold– without “pinching” the sides.
As you move up to the HE II you gain a fully symmetrical LRE head. All profiles of the combination head in both edge sizes are switched instantaneously with a simple “flip” of the tool.
The HE III features tissue reliefs in the head convexity and LRE scallops in the handle. These improve tracking during the tissue stroke, along with penetration of mechanical forces. The skin (+ blood/ISF) is allowed to “flow” up into the relief making way for deeper tissue penetration of the edge.
Original, LI, L2, and XL Bar Profiles
When considering “L” Myofascial Bars you have four to choose from. The Original Myo-Bar has a simple barrel edge, but is easy to maneuver and offers all the advantages of stainless steel for gliding over the skin, detecting myofascial phenomenon, and being easy to sanitize. The tracking relief in the middle helps the bar stay on target during the stroke.
As you move up to the Advanced Practice (AP) L I Bar you will gain heft, and more profile features of the treatment edge, namely the long convexity and long concavity. A relief notch in the concavity is helpful for tracking and focusing the bars mechanical energy deeper, by allowing a low pressure channel of skin/interstitial fluid in the middle of the stroke. Additionally, it prevents “squashing” the Achilles’ & Hamstrings tendons when working near these structures. The “trimmed” accessory handle makes the bar easier to maneuver, by not bumping into the table, when working around an extremity or the lateral low back.
The AP L II Bar adds a couple more finger notches in the handle and the “olecranon” on the top of the bar. The olecranon will focus pressures deep within the large structures of the low back, hip, and thigh. This especially helpful for Fascial Manipulation™.
The XL Bar has the same profile as above… just bigger. This is what you bring out for your weight lifters, football players, construction workers, and other really “big” patients.
Trigger Point, Gua Sha, and Detail Profiles
Our classic Trigger Point Tool can be held close in the hand with the thumb on finger rest to give you effortless applications of any techniques that are thumb dominant– a real thumb saver.
Rounded “ball” end gives a predictable afferent stimulus which means Myo-Bar tools are great for Gua Sha therapy and treatment you can work deeper with less patient discomfort. Ultra smoothness lets you work on skin without emollient or through the cloths, when necessary.
The Gua Sha (GS) Tool is wider & thinner than the Healing Edge Tools. Its profile is an amalgam of the timeless and traditional “whale” form that has been in use for thousands of years. We’ve improved on it (dare we say) offering it in stainless with ergonomic scallops/hollows, & consistent edges.
This Detail Tool will give you pinpoint accuracy & the ability to palpate the smallest of myofascial lesions hiding in small joint capsules and along tendons.
Common Recommendations... What If?
– You perform a lot of deep muscle or fascial therapies for longer sessions, or you work large areas of anatomy as an athletic trainer. You are concerned about stress to your own body when performing manual therapies. Recommendation: Myofascial Pro Clinic Sets or Sport Med Sets.
– You’re an experienced clinician who treats a wide variety of myofascial conditions looking for a complete solution for IASTM. Recommendation: A Complete Clinic Set.
– You like the idea of Gua Sha and/or integrating IASTM with Eastern and Western therapy approaches. Recommendation: Gua Sha “Fusion Sets.”
– You already have some tools, but would like one better suited for larger anatomy or a tool you can use in the “pen hold” for focus work. Watch comparison videos above to figure out which scale tool is best, or contact Dr. Matthew Hajzl via the website for a personal recommendation.
– You want more technique info & background on IASTM. Download the Technique Primer PDF.