IASTM involves using a range of tools to enable clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft-tissue dysfunction. At Anderson Physical Therapy Associates we utilize Cupping and Gua Sha tools. Following injury or trauma, fibrous scar tissue forms creating adhesions that cause pain and reduce motion. Cupping and Gua Sha tools are utilized to help break up this tissue allowing for better movement with less pain.
IASTM is often accompanied by home exercise; stretching muscles to build flexibility and strengthening in the area of the injury. Patients who perform the home stretches and exercises prescribed by their physical therapist greatly accelerate the process.
Cupping Therapy is used to soften tight muscles and tone attachments, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways. Suction is applied to the cup creating a negative press on the tissue. Cupping Therapy is versatile and can easily be modified to accomplish a range of techniques, from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.
Gua Sha technique utilizes a tool to scrape the skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool. Gua sha is intended to address inflammation, fascial restrictions and scar tissue. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up adhesions, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.