Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is nothing new in the massage field, or even in other soft tissue therapy protocols. It is an ancient way of providing relief from fascial and muscular adhesions, only the tools have become more fancy, and METAL. Now here is where I differ from the newer practices of IASTM. I have a holistic background in my approach to the body, using the Traditional Chinese Medicine model to healing. Metal has it's own particular effects on the body and it's organ systems and it is not a balanced one. I also feel that the metal tools are too sharp and they must be well seasoned before applied to the body.
I prefer to use jade tools for jade has historically been used for tool and weapon making; it's a tough stone. The molecular composition of the stone speaks to the cells of your body through a frequency of abundance and health. The Chinese called it "Imperial" stone as it helps to dissolve blockages and increase the body's ability to absorb and utilize energetic and physical nourishment. So, with that said, this is a perfect stone tool to use to clear waste product out of muscle tissue and fascia.
Not only can IASTM be used locally to treat a particular group of muscles and fascia, but a well trained practitioner can treat whole organ systems with the gua sha techniques to affect the flow of energy in the body. One could clear themselves of a cold or headache, for example, with specific scraping protocols which cover various acupressure points. It is said that gua sha, or scraping, is as powerful as blood letting, massage and acupuncture all together.
Now, I don't say that we should do away with massage and acupuncture for there is nothing like human touch, as well as the skilled application of acupuncture, but gua sha definitely has its place in the effective treatment of the energy and physical tissues of the body. Don't just take my word for it, go for it in your next session with me.
Disclaimer: Therapeutic inflammation usually occurs with this technique as much blood is brought to the surface to nourish the tissues with oxygen and circulate out the debris. This technique is not necessarily a good practice for the very young, the very old, or for open wounds and contagious skin infections.