Astym treatment is very different from IASTM. Astym is a highly effective and safe soft tissue therapy. Astym was scientifically developed, has a sound research base, and has standardized, highly-effective protocols – all of which make it different and a much better treatment than IASTM.
IASTM stands for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, and has come to mean any type of tool assisted massage. Sometimes it goes by the shortened name of ISTM, or by particular brands of IASTM such as Graston® and Fibroblaster. Westernized Gua Sha has often been called an IASTM as well. Consistent with other IASTMs, Gua Sha considers certain trauma to the tissues desirable and leaves patients with a “road-rash” effect immediately after treatment. The main focus of IASTM is the direct, mechanical breaking up of tissue. These tooled massages are generally unresearched and are usually quite aggressive. They vary in how they are done, whether they have positive effect, and how many negative side effects they can have. A big concern with IASTM is the damage it can cause to healthy tissue. To see an example of this process, watch this video.
While in certain situations IASTM can be effective, the result is often unpredictable depending on the practitioner, its application and the patient. Due to lack of research, variability of application, inconsistent outcomes, and the possibility for significant negative side effects, medical referrals for IASTM are rare.
Why Astym is so different…
Although Astym uses instruments, it is not a massage technique. Astym is regenerative medicine, and one of the most researched and effective therapy interventions available. Astym is safe and unmatched in its ability to resolve tendinopathies, scar tissue problems, and other soft tissue dysfunctions. Elite athletes, patients and knowledgeable medical professionals specifically seek out Astym because they want the best healthcare available.
Astym treatment works on a cellular level to stimulate the regeneration of healthy soft tissues and is based on years of scientific and clinical research. Astym does not damage healthy tissues…it targets and regenerates unhealthy tissue and stimulates the resorption and remodeling of inappropriate scar/fibrosis. Astym treatment is consistently safe and effective, and is a process that induces healing and restoration, unlike any other. Astym is widely recognized as a high-quality treatment approach, and medical referrals for Astym are common.
If you would like more information on the differences, follow this link ASTYM vs. IASTM (Graston, etc.)