Implement Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation…. sounds fancy, doesn’t it?

Implemented assisted soft tissue manipulation (or IASTM for short) is a form of soft tissue work that uses an implement / tool. You may have heard of it called Guasha or Graston technique, but ultimately it refers to any soft tissue work done with a tool.

Our physiotherapist Chris recently drove down to the University of Canberra to participate in the Rockblades course (made by Rocktape, hence the name)… so if you see him holding something that resembles a set of brass knuckles, don’t worry! It’s for your own good…


IASTM aims to improve movement between layers of muscle and connective tissue, resulting in better quality movement. This is then built upon via corrective exercise to assist in improving motor patterns, and thus in turn decreasing pain/symptoms.

As an example – if someone is getting pain in the lower back, due to chronic tightness and restriction creating a negative feedback loop (I have pain > I move > ouch > I have pain), then improving movement between the layers of the muscle / connective tissues through the lumbar spine and the thoracolumbar fascia will allow greater pain free range. This range is then utilised with an exercise, for example squats to a box, to start cementing this movement neurologically and preventing the tissue regressing back to it’s restricted state.

There are different techniques within IASTM, some for activating worked muscles, some for toning down muscular activation, some to improve tissue movement and some to decrease sensitisation.

If you want to see how IASTM can potentially help you, please feel free to contact us on (02) 9674 5596 or via our website at!