Integrating IASTM Technique is Easy
You should learn to integrate IASTM techniques for one simple reason- improved outcomes. While helpful for all myofascial conditions and sports injuries, instrument assisted protocols are especially helpful for extremity conditions, post surgical rehabilitation, and improving athletic performance.
Just to get you thinking about the clinical end of things… would you like to improve your results will less therapy time & effort with cases like tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, patellar tendonitis, post surgical ROM, carpal tunnel, impingement syndrome, tension headache, etc?
IASTM therapy sessions can be highly specific and take on only 3-5 minutes. You will focus your time in just the right area of myofascial dysfunction and provide the perfect “soft tissue component” of your treatment session. After an IASTM segment you are on to therapeutic exercise, mobilization, or movement therapies. Your perfect combination to get your patients feeling better quickly. But, is integrating IASTM as simple as that?
IASTM Technique Demystified
If you’ve come to this page you have some understanding of soft tissue therapies. Maybe it’s a general technique like clinical massage or sports massage. Or, its any number of specialty techniques like trigger point therapy, ART®, myofascial release, structural integration, cyriax cross friction, or Fascial Manipulation®. Each of these techniques has a diagnostic rationale– ways to evaluate the myofascial structural system for dysfunction. After anomalies are noted these techniques then have a treatment rationale– how to apply manual hand contacts to affect change in the system.
“IASTM helps the practitioner apply a new variety of contacts to
techniques they already know and practice"
There is no such thing as a stand alone IASTM technique. IASTM merely helps the practitioner apply a new variety of manual contacts to any number of techniques they already know and practice. It makes your manual contacts easier for you to perform (by acting as a force multiplier) due to the smaller surface area of the contact, and it makes your manual contacts more specific (by being smaller/thinner than traditional hand/forearm contacts) especially in the smaller areas of target anatomy and deeper layers of fascia.
That said, we’ve highlighted the fundamental characteristics of IASTM tissue strokes, basic precautions, strategies, and treatment tips in our 2015 Technique Primer. And, most importantly we describe 8 treatment strokes (4 basic and 4 advanced) based on commonly accepted soft tissue treatment rationales. See the 4 basic stroke videos below, but also keep in mind that you can apply instrumented technique to many other therapy approaches and rationales.
Basic Technique Stroke Videos
Here I will demonstrate four Technique Stokes. Each is showing how an instrument contact can make delivery of other soft tissue therapies advantageous in certain instances. Please note that I would never imply that instruments should replace traditional hand contacts altogether. We’re talking about increasing range and scope of your therapies… using IASTM as a helpful adjunct during diagnostic palpation, warming massage, cross friction, and deep fascial release. (These are defined with case studies, along with a lot of additional helpful information in the Technique Primer).
Video – Diagnostic Stroke
Video – Warming Pretreatement Stroke
Video – Cross Friction Stroke
Video – Deep Fascial Release
An updated introduction to IASTM current with the scientific literature- an “open source” guide for free use by any profession, technique school, or continuing education program. The Primer is 45 pages in length and includes easy to understand sections on 4 basic and 4 advanced technique strokes along with clinical tips for commonly treated conditions. Totally revised and updated from our 2013 Technique Primer.