Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Treatment (Gua Sha)
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), also known as Graston technique or gua sha, is a popular treatment for tight muscles, ligaments, tendons, or scar tissue. IASTM uses specially designed instruments of plastic or metal to provide a mobilizing effect to the affected tissue. It it thought that IASTM has its origins in the tradition Chinese technique called gua sha. In gua sha, which means “scraping sha-bruises”, the skin is scraped to produce light bruising, which stimulates the body’s natural healing process.
In this approach, your chiropractor will begin with a full history and exam to assess if the procedure will be appropriate for you, and to determine if you might benefit from this approach.
Your doctor will then use a special tool with an emollient to treat (scrape) the skin over the affected area. While some bruising may result, this technique is generally very safe and can effectively relieve muscular tightness, tight or lax ligaments, and reduce scar tissue from recent injuries, old traumas, or from chronic complaints.