Astym Therapy Vs. IASTM

What is the difference between Astym Therapy and IASTM?

Astym-Soft-Tissue-Therapy

Learn The Critical Difference

Not All Soft Tissue Therapies Are Created Equal

Astym therapy and IASTM are very different in application, goals, and results. Astym therapy was developed through scientific investigation and clinical research, whereas IASTM is trial and error, and what treatment you receive can vary widely.

Independent research has examined both treatments and has concluded Astym treatment is safe and effective, while IASTM has been deemed ineffective. The evidence (including Level One Evidence) concludes:

  • Astym therapy to be safe and effective
  • IASTM to be ineffective with questions
    regarding the safety of IASTM

Astym-Soft-Tissue-Therapy

Astym Therapy

There is only one Astym therapy. It was produced through rigorous scientific development: from theory through basic science investigation to clinical study and practice. It has been proven to be safe and effective in multiple controlled clinical trials, and in over 10,000 independently collected outcomes from multiple centers across the country.

Astym

IASTM

IASTM goes by different names including tooled massage, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation/Mobilization, and muscle scraping. Peer-reviewed research concludes it to be ineffective and there are questions regarding its safety.

We believe in effective evidence-based care.

With the dedication of experienced researchers, clinical partners, and medical staff, Astym therapy has achieved revolutionary scientific research that translates clinical study into real-world application. Years of clinical data have led to the safest and most effective treatment for the majority of musculoskeletal conditions. Read about the specific clinical research that led to Astym therapy’s success.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Patients
What does Astym stand for?

Astym therapy is a name, not an acronym. The name “ Astym” refers to how Astym therapy engages the body’s natural healing mechanisms – “A-stimulation” of the body’s natural healing response.

Can Astym therapy be uncomfortable?

The treatment you receive should always be within your tolerance. Talk with your clinician and be honest about your experience – that will help you get the best results.

I was treated with something I thought was like Astym therapy, but it really wasn't Astym therapy and it didn’t help me. Should I try the real Astym therapy?

Yes! You deserve to receive the best treatment for your situation. There is no other treatment that engages the regenerative mechanisms of the body and delivers the results that Astym therapy does. Astym treatment was developed from years of scientific and clinical research and is very effective in its ability to resolve soft tissue problems.

How do I know if my therapist is an Astym Certified provider?

All Astym Certified clinicians are required to go through advanced education and the certification process in order to provide Astym therapy to their patients. We keep a full directory of Astym Certified providers on our website. In addition, all certified therapists use specially designed instruments labeled with the “Astym” logo. Most of these instruments are blue, but some are transparent.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Providers
How is Astym therapy different from IASTM? Are both evidence-based?

Astym therapy and IASTM are very different in application, goals, and results. Astym therapy was developed through scientific investigation and clinical research, whereas IASTM is trial and error, and what treatment you receive can vary widely. Independent research has examined both treatments and has concluded Astym treatment is safe and effective, while IASTM has been deemed ineffective.

The evidence (including Level One Evidence) concludes:
Astym therapy to be safe and effective
IASTM to be ineffective with questions regarding the safety of IASTM.

Does Astym break up scar tissue?

While some treatments focus on misguided attempts to mechanically break apart scar tissue, Astym treatment focuses on activating the regenerative mechanisms of the body by using scientifically developed protocols to engage the body to resorb problematic scar tissue and stimulate healing of soft tissues.

How do Astym therapy instruments differ from IASTM tools?

Astym therapy instruments are specifically designed to maximize the effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of the Astym process – for both you and your patients. Astym therapy instruments are ergonomic, lightweight, used to stimulate the regeneration of tissues, and are registered as medical devices with the FDA. They are proven to be safe and effective in multiple controlled clinical trials and over 10,000 independently collected outcomes from multiple centers across the country.

Clinical trials and systematic reviews on the metal and stainless steel IASTM tools have concluded the IASTM protocols and tools are not only ineffective but can increase pain and decrease function in patients. IASTM tools normally are not registered with the FDA.