IASTM stands for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. It is tool assisted massage, that has additional benefits to regular massage. IASTM is a modern evolution of traditional Chinese medicine practices that went by the name Gua Sha. Today it sometimes goes by particular brands of IASTM such as Graston® and Fibroblaster.
IASTM allows the practitioner to detect and treat scar tissue and fascial restrictions. This allows for decreased pain and increased movement and strength. It does this by creating micro-trauma to the affected soft tissue, which results in an increase in blood flow to the area and a controlled inflammatory response. The inflammation and increased blood flow facilitates the healing process and allow the tissue to regenerate to its original quality. Once the tissue returns to its original quality and the scar tissue and fascial restrictions have decreased, pain is reduced and there is an increase in your movement and strength.