Myofascial Tools for Soft Tissue Therapy, Why Design and Quality Matter.
I hear it all- and field hundreds of questions about instrument assisted therapies every month (by the way don’t be afraid to contact me if you have one). A common theme is a practitioner overwhelmed by the available choices for IASTM instruments. With 25+ popular brands, confusing terminology, and prices ranging from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars it’s hard to know what’s best.
What really IS important in a design profile?
To my knowledge, many available instrument brands are near copies of the profiles that came to market 20 years ago. Nothing wrong with that… but, there were some design limitations of these early profiles- most notably ergonomic considerations (eh, where do I grab this thing?) and inefficient use of metal “real estate,” (edges that could have been combined into one tool were separated out into 2 or 3). On this point my advice is not to assume the first forms are best- consider profiles that combine treatment edges and that offer a grip solution. Otherwise, you will be needlessly switching tools and/or fatiguing your hands with an instrument that is uncomfortable to hold during daily practice.
Okay…but what about quality?
Will it even last?
Once you have a well-designed profile, you will want to assess the “fit and finish” of the instrument. This term is used to describe quality. At the low end of the price continuum it’s going to be harder to find edge consistency, mirror polishing, and a certified stainless steel formulation. For better patient and practitioner comfort and the better results that come with quality, you deserve a nice IASTM instrument set in your life (even if they cost a few more dollars)- one that will give you all the versatility your need and last for a lifetime of daily practice.