Here's why you might benefit more from a graston massage treatment.
Soft tissue manipulation is used to treat and heal specific areas of the body afflicted by tension, pain, and immobility.
It is accomplished through many different techniques, but you're probably most familiar with deep tissue massage.
However, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), also known as GRASTON TECHNIQUE, HAWK GRIPS, MIYODAC, FAKTR, is gaining a lot of attention among chiropractors and their clients, and for good reason.
Here we discuss the differences between deep tissue massage and IASTM, and why you may benefit more from the latter.
Hands vs Instruments- The most significant difference between deep tissue massage and Graston massage treatment is this: Deep tissue massage relies solely on the hands of an individual, while Graston massage uses tools in the hands of an individual. Thus, it is commonly referred to as IASTM, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage/Manipulation.
Many IASTM treatments have been used for centuries within holistic medicine. It is similar to the traditional Chinese medical treatment Gua Sha, said to release unhealthy elements of the skin and stimulate healing.
The Graston method uses stainless steel instruments that have various edges and angles designed specifically to break up lactic acid and fibrous tissue (also known as scar tissue).
Scar tissue can arise after an injury, where the body quickly lays down new fibers in a chaotic fashion to protect itself by limiting movement and sometimes perhaps even causing pain.
Targeting- Both deep tissue massage and Graston massage focus on breaking up this "bad" tissue. Graston, though, is more proficient thanks to the instruments being used to deal with adhesions of the fascia.
Research shows that using tools designed for neurophysiological results is more effective in altering soft tissue than manual therapy.
Instruments used for Graston massage actually "detect" where trouble areas lie by providing greater sensory feedback of facial adhesions than a practitioner's finger pads. This makes targeting scar tissue more precise and therapy more effective than traditional deep tissue massage.
Efficiency-Chiropractors are not massage therapists. We aim to relieve tension and pain while increasing range of motion in the most efficient manner possible. Graston has proven to do just that.
Quicker Results- One of the most significant reasons for using IASTM as opposed to deep tissue massage is that the results of breaking up fascial adhesions are achieved much quicker. A typical session of IASTM is less than 15 minutes.
Treatment Versus HealingDeep tissue massage and IASTM have a common goal: to reach deeper layers of the muscle and the fascia.
Yet, here's the difference.
While deep tissue massage is traditionally used as a treatment for pain, stress, stiffness, and soreness, IASTM therapy is often used to heal various disorders such as carpel tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, as well as injuries like sprains or strains.
Healing Powers-Clinical studies suggest that the IASTM technique shortens rehabilitation time and may be an improved technique for healing injuries of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Graston helps to quickly replace scar tissue with new healthy tissue, which is why many professional athletes turn to IASTM after sustaining injuries.
It has also been shown to treat and heal chronic pain, as well as many disorders
such as fibromyalgia and plantar fasciitis.
Prevention- In some cases, IASTM can help prevent surgery from physical-activity-induced injuries such as torn or strained muscles, as well as traumas sustained from car accidents that result in scar tissue.
When scar tissue builds up under the skin, it causes adhesions and prevents the fascia (called fascia restriction) as well as muscles, tendons, and ligaments from moving efficiently. This leads to tightness and tension that can hinder everyday life.
IASTM breaks up these adhesions, releasing pain and restoring the ability for mobility of the organs under the skin and fascia.
Thus, advocates argue to try IASTM first, before turning to surgical procedures related to scar tissue and adhesions.
In addition, it can significantly reduce reliance on pharmaceuticals such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Targeting Fascia- You may be wondering, "What in the world is fascia?" You're definitely not alone.
It turns out, this neat part of human biology is actually really important and could be the cause of a lot of tension, pain, and injury.
Fascia is a layer of connective tissue that covers and protects our soft organs and enables blood flow throughout the entire body. It allows for transitioning movements.
When there are distortions in the fascia, it can cause serious pain, discomfort, and affect nearby body parts. It can also lead to kinks in the circulatory system.
Tight fascia can influence the nervous system as well, blocking nerve signals that are necessary for coordination and sometimes causing nerve pain.
While deep tissue massage does target the fascia, IASTM makes it easier to smooth out distorted fascia by applying even pressure like a rolling pin and dough.
When you use the roller, the dough spreads evenly.
When you use your hands, you're likely to come away with some bumps and an uneven product, right?
So, again, we are back to the benefit that IASTM is more effective and promotes quicker healing when compared to deep tissue massage.
IASTM and Graston Massage are Good for Your Skin-Yep. You heard that right.
It can not only improve the look of your skin, but it may also help you get rid of cellulite.
Cellulite is caused by the way the fat is distributed within the fascia connective tissue.
When fat pushes through the fascia, it can become stuck and create the dents known as cellulite.
People are using Graston massage to decrease cellulite. The treatments stretch the connective tissues, evening it out and removing those crevices.
Skin Care-When fascia becomes irregular, it blocks elastin and collagen from getting to the skin. An IASTM treatment breaks downs those distortions, allowing the proteins to do their job and give your skin a boost.
In addition, IASTM also increases cellular activity and blood flow, which has an effect on the appearance of our skin.
Give it a Try Today-These are some of the ways IASTM and Graston massage can be more beneficial than deep tissue massage.
At Full Spectrum Chiropractic PLLC, we are experts in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches, spine and joint pain, and disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system.
Schedule an appointment today to discuss how we may be of service to you today.
GRASTON TECHNIQUE, HAWK GRIPS, MIYODAC, FAKTR, DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE