Tool Assisted Massage is an Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) technique, used to release fascial restrictions within the body. This technique is used to detect restrictions within the musculoskeletal system altering the body’s normal mechanics.
IASTM helps increase range of motion, muscle flexibility, muscle strength and release pain from restricted motion. IASTM may be performed post operation, before and after exercise, and as a key supplement to any athletes program.
Fascia is the biological fabric that holds our body together. It is found throughout our body and is best visualized as a webbing that weaves its way around our muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons, bones, arteries, veins, and organs to offer support and assist with transferring forces. This webbing can become bound up or stuck together forming thick tissue masses that limit range of motion, alter biomechanics, and cause pain.
At Catalyst, we like to describe fascia as a sponge. When a sponge is dry, it’s brittle and stiff. Through this technique, we can break down the adhesions in the tissue and restore fluid channels that allow for springy resiliancy. This fluid nature is essential to restore full muscle function and properly disperse the forces traveling through the systems of our body as we move in life.
In short, the tools are not any more painful than a pair of hands. There are many different techniques we can use that do not require inflicting pain. However, some of our customers prefer a heavier force to be applied. Your practitioner will match the best style for you based off of your injury type and preference for bodywork.
Although nothing will ever replace hands, IASTM tools offer unique advantages that hands do not. They allow for better sensitivity when navigating fascial restrictions that are known to bind down the muscular and nervous systems.
Some people bruise easier than others and discoloration (redness/brusing) is fairly normal depending on what technique is chosen. However, it is important to note that the technique does not need to bruise or cause pain to be effective. If you bruise, it should go away within a few days. If it doesn’t resolve in that time frame or actually worsens, we recommend contacting your physician.
Sessions are typically 30 minutes in length but can be shorted to 15 minutes if the area being worked on does not need the full duration of time.
Not a problem! Your therapist can customize a session to address all your needs by adjusting the length. It isn’t uncommon for people to ask for extra time once they start seeing the results.
You can see and feel results after one session, however it is common for the long-lasting benefits to be experienced over 4-6 sessions depending on the nature of the issue. Results will always be case by case, so please have this conversation with your treating provider!
Just as you want to know if we can help you, we want to be sure our team will be a good fit for your particular needs. Call or fill out a form below to get in touch with us and have your questions answered.
We have compiled a list of the most common questions we get in our office.
This guide will answer those questions and allow you to make a more informed decision on what’s right for you.