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IASTM Frequently Asked Questions

IASTM Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a patient or athlete looking for information on instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation? Then check out our IASTM Frequently Asked Questions section below. We often get asked plenty of questions about IASTM. We’ve created this page to help those that are looking for more information on key topics such as what is IASTM, how popular is IASTM, history of IASTM, which professionals can use IASTM, different types of IASTM certifications, how to choose which IASTM practitioner to visit and much more.

We also have a great Blog Section or you can find our certified IASTM Practitioners near you for more information.

IASTM Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is IASTM?

    Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation, or IASTM, has become a generalised term which now defines the use of tools on the body to elicit a positive change in soft tissues.

    IASTM K-Tool

    Although there are several stories about where Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation originated, it wasn’t the 1990s when the techniques’ modernisation brought IASTM into the western medical model of thinking.

    Since then new research has led to its use as a treatment for pain and injury and also to address tightness or limited range of movement from restricted soft tissues. This ever expanding use means that IASTM practitioners now range from therapists to personal trainers or coaches and can be found in clinics, gyms & field side for sports teams. There are now many different companies through which practitioners can learn about IASTM.

    The use of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation has boomed in popularity with patients, athletes and practitioners alike over the last five years. This is mainly due to the increasing amount of research and the continual reports of great results.

    Our IASTM practitioners have attended one of the few training courses that teach and test them on all of the wide range of evolving IASTM theories, concepts and techniques to address your individual needs.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

  • How will IASTM help me?

     

    IASTM for All AgesInstrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation is a popular treatment for people of all ages for pain or injury of muscles, tendons, ligaments or fascia. However, the scope of IASTM reaches far beyond this.

    Many therapists use IASTM on patients that are not in pain but are looking for an efficient way to “loosen up” tight muscles after long hours working, traveling or training.

    IASTM is also being effectively used by a growing number of fitness and coaching professionals to dramatically increase range of movement in their clients as an alternative for stretching or foam rolling.

    However, everyone is different and rest assured, your IASTM certified practitioner has been taught the skills to assess whether IASTM is suitable for you. To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

  • Choosing an IASTM Practitioner

    We believe that your choice in selecting an IASTM practitioner should be as easy as possible. We believe that information that is easy to understand and apply gives you the clarity to make that choice.

    The world of IASTM is growing rapidly. There are now 10s of thousands of practitioners using a wide range of techniques to achieve a variety of results. All of which are advertising and describing their skills as IASTM. However, not all seminars teach similar techniques and not all tools they use are created the same. You may go to two different practitioners that use IASTM and have two completely different experiences.

    This rapid growth and use of the term “IASTM” have created a lot of confusion for patients and athletes alike.

    We believe we have the solution.

    By dividing the skill sets of IASTM practitioners up based on your goals, it will make your choice on which practitioner to visit as simple as possible.

    IASTM Solutions Based On Your Goals.

    Soft Tissue Mobilisation (STM) –  If you are simply looking to loosen up tight muscles, such as in your back or hamstrings, then a practitioner with Soft Tissue Mobilisation skills is perfect for you. They will use a variety of IASTM  techniques, in a similar way to massage, to help change the tone of the surrounding soft tissues and loosen up those tight structures.

    Instrument Assisted Therapy (IAT) – If you are looking for help recovering from pain or injury then a practitioner with Instrument Assisted Therapy skills is perfect for you. They will use a variety of IASTM techniques best suited for your individual case.

    Instrument Assisted Movement (IAM) – If you are looking for help improving a restricted range of motion then a practitioner with Instrument Assisted Movement skills is perfect for you. Whether it’s addressing everyday movements, such as touching your toes, or more complex movements that will get you squatting deeper in the gym, longer gait on the track or a better range of back swing on the golf course, these practitioners will use IASTM techniques to help achieve these goals.

    All of the clinics and practitioners listed on this website have information on which IASTM solutions they offer. Simply click on each icon under the clinic or practitioner information for more details. To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

    IASTM Mobilisation PractitionerIASTM Instrument Assisted Therapy PractitionerIASTM Movement Practitioner

     

     

  • What is Soft Tissue Mobilisation?

     

    IASTM Certified Practitioner

    If you are simply looking to loosen up tight muscles, tendons or other soft tissue structures  such as in your back or legs then a practitioner with Soft Tissue Mobilisation (STM) skills is perfect for you.

    We believe that your choice in which practitioner to see should be as easy. By dividing up the skill sets of IASTM practitioners based on your goals, it will make your choice on which practitioner to visit as simple as possible.
    IASTM of Hamstring

     

    Our certified STM practitioners will use a variety of IASTM techniques, in a similar way to massage, to help change the tone of the surrounding soft tissues and loosen up those tight structures.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner with Soft Tissue Mobilisation skills use our Locations Search Page

     

  • What is Instrument Assisted Therapy?

    IASTM Certified Practitioner

    If you are looking for help recovering from pain or injury then a practitioner with Instrument Assisted Therapy (IAT) skills is perfect for you.

    We believe that your choice in which practitioner to see should be as easy. By dividing up the skill sets of IASTM practitioners based on your goals, it will make your choice on which practitioner to visit as simple as possible.
    IASTM of Wrist

     

    Our certified IAT practitioners will use a variety of IASTM techniques best suited for your individual case.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner with Instrument Assisted Therapy skills use our Locations Search Page

  • What is Instrument Assisted Movement?

    IASTM Certified Practitioner

    If you are looking for help improving a restricted range of motion then a practitioner with Instrument Assisted Movement (IAM) skills is perfect for you.

    We believe that your choice in which practitioner to see should be as easy. By dividing up the skill sets of IASTM practitioners based on your goals, it will make your choice on which practitioner to visit as simple as possible.
    IASTM for Toe Touch

     

    Whether it’s addressing everyday movements, such as touching your toes, or more complex movements that will get you squatting deeper in the gym, longer gait on the track or a better range of back swing on the golf course, these certified IAM practitioners will use IASTM to help achieve these goals.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner with Instrument Assisted Movement skills use our Locations Search Page

  • Is there a simple explanation on how IASTM works?

    Simply put, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation, or IASTM, has become a generalised term which now defines the use of tools on the body to elicit a positive effect.

    This could be to simply “loosen up” tight muscles, increase range of motion to achieve an athletic movement or integrated as a part of a treatment strategy for pain or injury.

    Khealth-first selection-50 copy

    We strongly recommend finding a practitioner that has the IASTM training to meet your goals: Soft Tissue Mobilisation to loosen up tight structures, Instrument Assisted Therapy to address pain & injury or Instrument Assisted Movement to improve restricted movement.

    Rest assured our certified IASTM practitioners have been taught all of these wide range of  IASTM theories, concepts and techniques to address your individual needs.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our Locations Search Page.

     

  • I'd like more in-depth information on how IASTM works.

    Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation (IASTM) continues to evolving in its application and the range of professionals using it. This growth is based on research both new and old, below are a few of the concepts that are currently being used include:

    IASTM of the back

    Remodelling Concept: This treatment concept is the most commonly used by  medical IASTM practitioners worldwide and a fundamental part of Instrument Assisted Therapy. By using certain IASTM techniques the practitioner can promote a healing or physiological response by the body to change the soft tissues at a cellular level. This has been reportedly used for many different goals from softening and reducing scar tissues to better alining repaired tendon and ligament tissue to make them stronger after they have been injured.

    Neurological Concept: This is one of the more modern concepts and increasingly popular amongst medical, fitness and coaching professionals. It’s used to explain the extremely quick change to range of motion or changes of tone, by using IASTM instruments and techniques to influence particular nerves and stimulate the surrounding muscles and fascia. Practitioners most often use this concept to achieve Soft Tissue Mobilisation – a loosening up of tight structures, or Instrument Assisted Movement – an increase in restricted range of motion.

    Tissue Densification Concept: This concept is used by medical IASTM practitioners and is based on influencing a recently discovered substance called hyaluronic acid, or HA for short. HA acts like a natural lubricant between the layers of soft tissue to keep everything moving and gliding across each other efficiently.

    However, it can be negatively influenced by dehydration or localise tissue hypoxia from poor posture, acute trauma or repetitive strain. These negative factors create changes turning the hyaluronic acid matrix from a lubricating liquid to a sticky thickened substance that binds the local structures together inhibiting normal muscle function and fascia glide. These areas can usually found as tender knots or trigger points that never seem to go away.HART of Traps

    Recently designed IASTM instruments with a special coating can be used to work on these areas of thickened hyaluronic acid and heat them until its natural lubricating consistency is restored.

    We strongly recommend:

    Finding a practitioner that has a knowledge of the many different soft tissue treatment theories and concepts is fundamentally important to increasing success of the treatment.

    Unfortunately there are very few seminars providing this level of information or testing participants to ensure they have attained a safe and effective level of proficiency.

    Rest assured our certified IASTM practitioners have been taught all of these wide range of IASTM theories, concepts and techniques to address your individual needs. To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page

  • I've read the simple and in-depth explanations of how IASTM works - are there more resources?

    The simple and in-depth explanations will have most of the information that vast majority of patients, the general public and athletes will need or want on how Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation works.

    However, if you have a real thirst for knowledge on this subject why not visit the practitioner section of this website which is accessible from the home page. It’s contains resources such as a blog designed for practitioners to keep them up to date on the latest information.

  • Background of IASTM

    No, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation has been around for a long time. Origin stories vary from the Egyptians to Ancient China, from the Greeks and to the Roman gladiators as part of their  body care before a fight.

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    Whichever origin story you prefer we know there has been a big gap in time where its use was missing from “western” medical culture whilst it has remained relatively unchanged in Traditional Chinese Medicine for roughly 2000 years. In the late part of the last century IASTM was reintroduced into the western medical model and evolved into techniques that fit with the way chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, sports therapists, massage therapists and other manual therapists think and work.

    Since then new research has led to its use not only as a treatment for pain and injury but also to address tightness or limited range of movement from restricted soft tissues. This ever expanding use means that IASTM practitioners now range from therapists to personal trainers and are found in clinics, gyms & field side for sports teams.

    The use of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation has grown hugely in popularity with patients, athletes and practitioners in recent years, mainly due to continued reports of great results it gets and research into its effects. Now there are many different companies of IASTM that practitioners can learn from.

    Our IASTM practitioners have attended one of the few seminars that keep abreast of the wide range of evolving IASTM theories, concepts and techniques to address your individual needs. To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

  • What is Feedback?

    Scanning technique of deltoidHeard your practitioner use the term Feedback? wondering what it means?

    There are many different forms of feedback but the two most commonly referred to by IASTM practitioners are auditory and palpatory. Auditory feedback refers to the sound the IASTM instrument makes when moving over an area of superficial fascia that is an issue. Palpatory feedback is refers to the feeling of vibrations transmitted through the IASTM instrument as it moves over a problem area of soft tissues.

    Palpatory feedback is the most popular form of feedback as both client and practitioner can feel whats going on. Often the client will tell the practitioner that there is a problem area as quickly as the practitioner can identify it.

    Different IASTM instruments may vary in the levels of feedback they give depending on the materials, design and manufacturing processes used.

    Feedback is an essential component of Instrument Assisted Therapy (IAT) which used IASTM techniques that utilise feedback as part of a diagnostic and evaluation process.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner with Instrument Assisted Therapy skills use our Locations Search Page

    IASTM Certified Practitioner

  • How Popular is IASTM?
  • What is the best IASTM frequency?

    IASTM of QuadThat is completely dependant on each individual. Once your practitioner, from whichever professional background they come from, decides that IASTM is suitable they should discuss this, along with expected outcomes, before using the techniques.

    This could be:

    • A massage therapist using IASTM as a one off to loosen up tight muscles before your long trip.
    • A chiropractor, physiotherapist or sports therapist using IASTM two to three times a week as part of a treatment plan for pain or injury.
    • A personal trainer using IASTM to increase your range of motion in the gym to get more out of each training session.

    To find your nearest practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

  • Which professionals can use IASTM?

    The simple answer is…any!

    Traditionally instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation was only ever used by professionals as a form of physical therapy and part of a treatment plan for pain or injury. Since then new research has led to its use not only in a clinical setting but also to address general tightness or limited range of movement from restricted soft tissues.

    The growing range of uses, along with an evolution in understanding how to make IASTM tools that work best for different practitioners, means the range of professions that use IASTM continues to grow. A few examples could include:

    •  A massage therapist using IASTM as on a home visit to loosen up tight muscles before your long trip.
    • A chiropractor, physiotherapist or sports therapist using IASTM in their clinic as part of a treatment plan for pain or injury.
    • A personal trainer using IASTM in the gym to increase your range of motion to perform some exercises better.
    • A Coach using IASTM trackside on their athletes as part of a performance care programme.

     

    Rest assured our certified IASTM practitioners have been taught all of these wide range of IASTM theories, concepts and techniques to address your individual needs. To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use our  Locations Search Page.

  • Finding an IASTM Practitioner

    LocationMapDue to the tremendous growth in IASTM training for manual therapists many clinics use Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation techniques around the world. Unfortunately not all training is at the same level of quality.

    There are very few seminars teaching the full scale and depth of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation techniques and knowledge and even fewer testing participants to ensure they have attained a safe and effective level of proficiency.

    Both of these facts are extremely important to us and rest assured our certified IASTM practitioners have been taught and tested on the safe and proficient use of a wide range of up to date IASTM techniques  when address your individual needs.

    To find your nearest IASTM practitioner use this link to our IASTM Locations search page.

    IASTM Mobilisation PractitionerIASTM Instrument Assisted Therapy PractitionerIASTM Movement Practitioner

  • How do I know if my practitioner is IASTM certified?

    Due to its success and popularity, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation has grown hugely over the last decade. Unfortunately not all seminars teach practitioners the same level of quality of information, quantity of information, or test the practitioners to assess their capabilities.

    Rest assured, therapists that attend our IASTM seminars are taught the highest quality of IASTM techniques including how to apply them safely and effectively. They also have to pass our seminar certification test to make sure they have consolidated what they have learnt. Look out for the IASTM logos and use our website to find IASTM Locations near you.

    IASTM Certified PractitionerIASTM Certified PractitionerIASTM Certified Practitioner