Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a skilled myofascial intervention used for soft-tissue treatment.
It is applied using instruments that are usually made of stainless steel with beveled edges and contours that can conform to different body anatomical locations and allows for deeper penetration. It is used for the detection and treatment of soft tissue disorders.
The technique itself is said to have evolved from Gua sha which is a method used in Chinese medicine. Gua sha uses instruments with smoothed edges to scrape the skin till red blemishes occur. However, Gua sha has different rationale, goals and application method from IASTM.
Studies have showed clinical benefits of IASTM:
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