What is IASTM?
Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is an evidence-based manual
therapy treatment using a stainless device to break down fascial scar tissues that surround muscle
fibers and connective tissues of the body (Graston Technique, 2020). The concept of using
metallic instruments for therapeutic purposes stemmed from ancient Greece and Rome when the
“strigil” was used to scrape the skin clean in bathhouses, leading to the modern-day use of
metallic instruments like Graston® tools in therapy settings (Kim, Sung, & Lee, 2017).
Additionally, IASTM also originated from a traditional Chinese manual therapy called “gua
sha,” which means to scrape the skin using therapeutic instruments for a specific redness on the
skin that increases blood and oxygen flow to the soft tissues to reduce sickness such as
headaches and migraines (Kim, Sung & Lee, 2017). These two ideas of scraping the soft tissues
with a metallic device lead to the modern-day IASTM therapy often known as the “Graston®
technique" (Kim, Sung & Lee, 2017). The Graston technique was refined by David Graston in
the late 1980s from the treatment idea by English orthopedist James Cyriax of crossing muscle
fibers in massage therapy to alleviate muscle tension (Myofascial Correction, 2020).
The IASTM instruments in therapy treatment are thought to benefit the client through
deeper penetration, while also benefiting the clinician by reducing the demand and potential
wear-and-tear on the hands. It is also believed to allow greater vibrations to be felt than through
manual therapy which allows the clinician to detect any atypical areas that require greater focus
(Cheatham, Lee, Cain, & Baker, 2016). The different tools and techniques in IASTM serve to
provide patients with the best-individualized results, whether it is a large area on the back that
requires tension relief due to lower back pain, or small areas on the palm of the hand from the
stress of constant use of the thumb muscles (Lee, Lee, & Oh, 2016). The IASTM instruments
should be applied parallel and perpendicular to the muscle fibers at a 45° angle for
approximately 20-seconds or the amount of time necessary for the individualized treatment (Lee,
Lee, & Oh, 2016). The selection of tools depends on the area on the body that is being worked on
and the patient’s ability to receive IASTM treatment.
The main focus of IASTM is to return the individual to the client’s functional range of
motion in their targeted muscle after the soft tissue is healed (Kim, Sung, & Lee, 2017). IASTM
targets myofascial restrictions in the body, breaking up adhesions, and “[facilitating the] healing
process through formation of new extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen” (Kim et al,
2017). “Fascia is an uninterrupted viscoelastic tissue which forms a functional 3-dimensional
collagen matrix.” (Kumka & Bonar, 2012). Fascia binds and encloses bundles of muscle fibers.
For example, the resulting inflammation following an injury and the creation of new cells can
potentially result in fibrosis and formation of scar tissue in the injured soft tissue (Sato et al.,
2003, as cited in Kim, et al. 2016). This can lead to adhesions and reduced elasticity, which may
increase pain and decrease function (Huard et al., 2002; Melham et al., 1998, as cited in Kim et
al., 2016). “Scar tissue limits perfusion to the injured soft tissue, restricting the supply of
oxygen and nutrients, and interferes with collagen synthesis and regeneration of tissues''
(Chen & Li, 2009; Gauglitz et al., 2011, as cited in Kim et al., 2016). Scar tissue is removed by
IASTM and will facilitate “functional normalization around the soft tissue” (Black, 2010, as
cited in Kim, et al. 2016). If done correctly with the appropriate pressure and shearing force of
the instruments, IASTM can cause “microvascular and capillary hemorrhage, along with
localized inflammation.” The “inflammation will remove the scar tissue and release
adhesions, while also increasing blood and nutrient supply to the injured area and
migration of fibroblasts'' (Baker et al., 2013; Davidson et al., 1997; Gehlsen et al., 1999;
Hammer, 2008, as cited in Kim, et al. 2016). As new collagen is produced and realigned,
regeneration of the injured tissue can occur (Davies and Backopp, 2010; Gehlsen et al., 1999,
as cited in Kim, et al. 2016).
Due to the effectiveness of IASTM in increasing blood flow and helping the muscles
recover at a faster speed, IASTM has been implemented in various therapeutic settings for acute
injuries such as sports accidents with athletes to a chronic diagnosis such as tendinopathy, that
can cause injuries to the muscles (Kim, Sung & Lee, 2017; Lambert et al, 2017). Several
educational institutions for physical therapy and chiropractic care in America have now
organized IASTM training into their curriculum due to its various health benefits (Kim, Sung &
Lee, 2017). The use of IASTM is now expanding into other rehabilitation settings such as
physical therapy, sports therapy, occupational therapy, hand therapy, massage therapy, and so on.
IASTM combined with other strengthening treatments has also been used for patients with
musculoskeletal pathology to the upper extremities such as epicondylitis, carpal tunnel, and
increasing shoulder range of motion (Cheatham, Lee, Cain, & Baker, 2016). IASTM can be used
on patients of various diagnoses with specific contraindications and precautions to consider.
IASTM courses and certifications are available for students working towards the following
credentials: ATC, CHT, DC, DO, DOM, MD, MT, OT, OTA, PT, PTA (Hawk Grip, 2020).
CAMTC Certified #4862
Andrew has ten years of experience working with athletes who suffer from sports injuries, clients with chronic medical conditions, and individuals who experience muscle tightness and pain from spending too many hours sitting in front of a computer “office athletes.”
CAMTC Certified #11071
Nim has extensive training (one thousand hours) in therapeutic and sports massage, with certification from the Western Institute of Neuromuscular Therapy (WIN Therapy). She is a proud graduate of this institution, as it has provided her with an invaluable knowledge base and forms the foundation of her methods of treatment....read more
Andrew is nothing short of amazing! This is not your average massage envy style of massage (although he can do that), this is borderline physical therapy that actually works! His trigger therapy and deep tissue/myofascial release techniques are amazing! I play a lot of Raquetball and my shoulder, arm, legs, and back get abused weekly. Now that I'm older, the muscle knots don't just magically unravel themselves. Andrew is able to systematically free those deep down muscle aches and pains (some I didn't even know I had) and almost instantly free up the pain and movement. It's knot (see what I did there?) always relaxing, and sometimes I curse and cry at him, but I know he's doing what's best for my body and freeing me of my pain. His knowledge of the human body is awesome and his advice in post-therapy is excellent. So glad I found someone who's a great person, is great at what he does and truly cares about improving the lives of his clients! You won't be sorry to find him either!
Wow. I've tried a lot of different things to help my aching back and neck but nothing has worKed as well as trigger point therapy.
Andrew is amazing! He listens to you and knows what he is doing. After the very first treatment, I felt a huge difference.
If you have muscular problems and have tried chiropractic, stretching, pills, massage and everything else, quit wasting your time and money...Andrew is the man who can relieve the tension and pain.
He uses specifically designed tools to relieve the Myofascial muscle fibers that have been the cause of my pain for years.
I'm so glad I've found Trigger Point Therapy OC.
Nim is truly amazing! I was recently suffering from severe back spasms, where I could barely even get out of a chair. Nim was able to completely alleviate the spasms in one session. She has also taught me the importance of preventative massage therapy. When my back begins to tighten up, she has an uncanny ability to find the source of the stiffness and work it out. I had never had a professional massage before visiting Nim, and was skeptical of the benefits, but Nim has made me an absolute believer!
Andrew is hands down the best therapist I have ever met! I am a Fireman out of orange county and long time avid rock climber and athlete. For the past 7 years I have dealt with an ever increasing over use strain in my arm. the constant aching and pain was quickly reducing my quality of life. I have stopped training for almost a year and turning keys, opening jars, even using door knobs became painful. I have seen many other therapists with absolutely no results only to become increasingly frustrated with there gross lack of knowledge and capabilities. I recently found Andrew online and my life has completely changed. Not only was he was able to identify the exact locations of all my injuries, He has within a hand full of sessions completely eliminated all my chronic pain and have regained all the use of my arm. I have returned to work and climbing with amazing results! His technique, attention to detail, friendly personality and systematic approach to therapy is remarkable. I have never been so impressed with a therapist in my life! Thanks Andrew.
Professional, knowledgeable in deep tissue massage and trigger points. I have been going to see Nim for many years. She helped me to avoid going for neck surgery. Definitely, recommend it.
The first reviewer was right Andrew is the best HANDS down,I've had so many massage therapist over the years, they were are all worthless as far as effectiveness. Andrew is the MASTER. My problems coming from workouts,30-50 mile mountain bike rides and MMA. My neck and upper shoulder get really tense and full of knots, Andrew with his knowledge and Myofacial, trigger point therapy fixes the problem every time. If you just want to be pampered and rubbed his not the guy for you, but if you have any type of muscle aches,injury,knots, than he is the Master for the job.
Fantastic!! I have never felt so good in my life. Back pain is almost zero. Thank you Andrew for accommodating my crazy schedule!!
Andrew is fantastic. If you're looking for healing therapy, especially if you are an athlete or gym rat like myself, he is THE BEST! he knows his stuff and will fix you! I highly recommend his services.
I am very happy with the massage therapy I received. I came with dull pain in my arm causing numbness in my fingers. After a couple of sessions, my hand was already feeling better. I still had pain but the numbness was gone. At first, I wasn't very fond of the massage, because trigger point therapy is quite painful, but with time the massages became less painful, and I began feeling much better. I am free of pain for now, but still book a massage session once a while just to keep my muscles relaxed.
Andrew is the best! I've tried everything to relieve the tension in my neck and shoulders -- Thai, Swedish, Japanese, all deep tissue, EVERYTHING.. -- and Andrews trigger point massage technique is the only thing that has ever worked! I will definitely be a customer for life
The best! I have had chronic pain in different spots over the years. I forgot how good Andrew is when I think I can get away with a cheap massage or a spa massage. I always walk away disappointed at other places because they don't relieve the pain. Trigger point and Andrew are the best! And I am thrilled that he has teamed up with Nim, as now I have two amazing therapists I can rely on.
Andrew's work is deep and powerful and gives lasting results. I found Andrew here on yelp looking for someone who does trigger point b/c of previous positive experience with that modality. I first saw Andrew in 2015 before my first marathon and he focused the trigger point on my it band and glutes, releasing the pressure in my low-back. When I was running I had such freedom, as if the locked up it band and glutes had previously been limiting blood supply to the legs. I've since seen him two other times and had similarly wonderful experiences. His treatments are intense, and he knows how to be at that point where he can work deeply but doesn't go to the level where the whole body is resisting because the pain is too much. Now I'm having some shoulder pain and I just called Andrew because I know he can help.
Andrew was recommend by a friend to help with my back pain and he did an amazing trigger point massage to release tension, specially with my glutes. I really appreciate his professional advice on stretching. I highly recommend Andrew, I'm so thankful I found him.
Andrew is nothing short of amazing! This is not your average massage envy style of massage (although he can do that) , this is borderline physical therapy that actually works! His trigger therapy and deep tissue/myofacial release techniques are amazing! I play a lot of Raquetball and my shoulder, arm, legs, and back get abused weekly. Now that I'm older, the muscle knots don't just magically unravel themselves. Andrew is able to systematically free those deep down muscle aches and pains (some I didn't even know i had) and almost instantly free up the pain and movement. It's knot (see what I did there?) always relaxing, and sometimes I curse and cry at him, but I know he's doing what's best for my body and freeing me of my pain. His knowledge of the human body is awesome and his advice in post therapy is excellent. So glad I found someone who's a great person, is great at what he does, and truly cares about improving the lives of his clients! You won't be sorry to find him either!
I went in about a week ago for my own massage. I'd like to preface this by saying that I have had numerous deep tissue massages in the past. This was the first time that I had a trigger point massage. The pros that set Andrew apart from ALL other massage therapists: -Very professional, -Pricing is reasonable, -Goes above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable, -Gets deep into problem areas with minimal pain, -I didn't feel sore the next day! (That has NEVER happened before) AND my back felt amazing , I will honestly never spend a dollar on any other massage therapist for the rest of my life. Andrew has set the bar that high. It is comforting knowing that when I am having unbearable back pain I can simple call Andrew and have a loose back the next day! Such a lifesaver. My husband has chronic back pain and has been to a physical therapist, chiropractor, and his doctor. All noticeable improvement came after seeing Andrew. We will be lifetime customers. One of the best qualities about Andrew is that when he is asked how often to come in, he has said that hopefully the one session fixed the problem! He is the first massage therapist that has said that.
Andrew performs an amazing trigger point massage that helps release built up areas of tension. He helped remove and release numerous trigger points which allowed me to move with greater freedom and without pain. His office is clean, professional and private. He plays soothing music and he focuses his attention on areas that really need help. Andrew starts each session by asking how I feel and what areas I need addressed during today's session. Andrews technique is relaxing yet he is able to get very deep into tight sore muscles without causing further injury. I highly recommend Andrew for anyone who has endured muscle pain for a long time and has tried other therapies.
I somehow injured myself while bicycling. Sought the help of several chiropractors and massage therapists and none helped. At all. Finally, after over a year of pain, I found Trigger Point Massage and was all fixed up after two visits. Can't recommend enough! Very knowledgeable and effective.
Andrew is, by far, the best neuromuscular therapist I've worked with to date--and I've tried dozens--on both coasts. With 3 cervical spine injuries, and a body full of trigger points & myofascial madness; I gave up using therapists that claimed one (or a dozen) "specialities" and delivered anything but. Out of frustration and chronic pain, I became my own practitioner & eventually got lost in "chasing the pain." Bad idea. Andrew's the real deal, and I've relief for the first time in six years. He knows his craft, which is becoming more difficult to find. I am beyond grateful for his expertise & help. There is still hope for anyone who suffers from myofascial "syndromes". I didn't think it was possible anymore to wake & be pain free--I was wrong.
Andrew is amazing. I decided to try his trigger point therapy two years ago, and I have been seeing him since. I had pain and burning sensation in my neck for ten years. The first a couple of visit were very painful, and I was sore after the massages, but after that the pain was gone. My neck feels relaxed and stretched after each session.
I have been working with Andrew for several years now and he is an extremely skilled and accomplished professional. I highly recommend him.
Andrew is very professional at what he does, trigger point massage. I went to see him as I had terrible pain in my sciatic nerves due to some injury in my piriformis muscles. The pain was so bad it inhibited my sleep and my days at work as I spend alot of time in the car. After one treatment I felt much relief and after a few treatments it got much better. I have slight pain now and don't need to see him much. My husband had the same pain as me and also pain in his shoulders. Andrew was able to help him as well and now he feels much better. Thank God for leading me to Andrew and thanks to Andrew! Anyway, trigger point massage is very painful. So if you're afraid of pain then it' not for you. I just wanted relief from the terrible pain I was having and now I can move without the nagging pain that made me miserable. I would most certainly recommend Andrew to anyone.
Andrew is fantastic. He is not only highly skilled but also friendly and very professional. I have had chronic neck and upper back pain, and his trigger point therapy is the only treatment that helps (and I have tried every other treatment available out there from chiropractors, physical therapy, regular massages, acupuncture, you name it!). I have seen Andrew for about four sessions now, and I have noticed a huge change. My quality of life is so much better, and I can do daily activities now without feeling that I am going to die of muscle ache and tiredness by the end of the day. I am happy I found him!
Andrew is amazing! After battling with overtraining injuries and severe muscle tightness and pain, I kept hearing trigger point therapy being mentioned in my research, which led me to seek out a therapist. Luckily I found Andrew right off the bat. He's rediculously knowledgable, experienced, and really takes the time to speak with you and explain everything before digging in. Now I must warn you, this is not a massage you seek out for a relaxing day at the spa! This is therapeutic massage meant to release and heal muscles and tissue. To be honest I still find it relaxing during my session, but the real relaxation comes about 24-48 hours later when I'm in significantly less pain than I was before my session. I have found more relief with my trigger point therapy than I had from countless chirporactic, deep tissue, and PT.
Works with you to understand the symptoms, identify the source(s) of the problems, and release knotted muscles. 5 stars for performance. Professional, respectable, and enjoyable to work with. 5 stars for customer service. (I am a guy who has walked out of lower performing establishments. 5 stars from me is a not easy to attain.)
I moved to CA recently from the east coast and needed to find a good massage therapist in the area. Andrew has been fantastic. As a triathlete, I get treatment every few weeks and have also been coming off a glute medius strain. My first treatment with Andrew, he took extra time at the beginning of our session to ask lots of questions and learn about my past issues and preferences for techniques etc. I really appreciated this. He continues to do so at the beginning of each session to understand what I want to focus on. My injury has gotten much better and I am able to stay healthier longer due to his treatments.Andrew is skilled in various techniques and has plenty of strength to really dig in when needed, Also, Andrew is very flexible and easy to schedule appointments with.I would definitely recommend him; I'm confident you will be very pleased with the results.
Andrew is the best massage therapist in the O.C. He is the perfect blend of relaxation and the regular "Get it out!" massage. He is an expert in his field and he has the degrees that most massage therapists don't even bother with and it shows in his work. I would highly recommend him to anyone just starting to think about massage or if you already have someone who's great (you're wrong!) Try Andrew and see what you've been missing.
I moved to Orange County in August of 2016, having previously lived in Los Angeles for several years, enjoying the services of an excellent body worker there, in West LA. Alas, my body worker moved to Florida and I relocated to Tustin. Orange County can be a bit more difficult to navigate, versus Los Angeles, insofar as connecting with health and wellness specialists who understand how to properly work on the body and employ proven techniques that work to de-age the body and remove scar tissue and lessen inflammation. After over a year of combing OC to find the right person, I can honestly say that Andrew is a "diamond in the ruff" - a truly rare find, indeed. I discovered Andrew on Yelp and reviewed his website and was very glad to see that he offered the approach of trigger point therapy, as well as the "Graston technique" of removing scar tissue. I have been suffering from severe tennis elbow, since April of this year, 2017. After over a dozen visits to assorted rolfers, masseurs and even physical therapists, Andrew improved my condition by over 50% after my very first visit and session, with him. His rapport and professionalism is excellent. Andrew knows the body, he works with a myriad of athletes and clients of different ages and I would highly recommend him to anyone - especially serious athletes - who is seeking a legitimate body worker who will work with you to personalize a program for you to better your body. Great guy, superior technique.
I've been going to Andrew for a couple of years now and I can safely say he is not only the best at what he does, but also the most affordable. He's quite literally the best of both worlds. I've had massages at spas, chiropractors, and from other private therapists and none of them are as skillful and knowledgeable as Andrew. I refuse to go to anyone besides him. Some massage therapists like to talk your ear off while they massage you, but let's be honest, who wants that? You're not there to make their day pass faster, you're there to relax. Andrew is very friendly, but once you're on the table it's all business and I really appreciate that. He provides a very relaxing atmosphere with no pressure to keep him entertained. The only other thing you should know is that Andrew is a specialized therapist and if you're looking for a light "feel good" massage (Swedish) than you might want to try someone different. Andrew is trained to really get in deep to loosen your muscles and that's what's really going to help you feel better. 10/10 for Andrew, I personally feel there isn't a single better massage therapist around, and I've been to a lot.
I have pains in my lower back every once in a while and they are getting really annoying. I tried pretty much everything but Andrew is keeping me out of pain successfully. Except for pain gone, Andrew is a pretty decent guy and every hour seems like a breeze.
A google user
Andrew is fantastic! If you are looking for solid, deep, effective, painful, trigger point work - look no further. He is the consummate professional, and can tailor fit the treatment for what you can handle; he listens well and encourages your input. I have been seeing him now for a year and a half and will continue with weekly visits, because he has changed my life. I was getting nowhere with traditional doctors. I cannot thank him enough.
I have tried a lot of therapists and Andrew definitely knows what he is doing. Usually I feel achy one or two days after the massage, but after that my neck feels great.
I am very pleased with the entire experience. The trigger point massage helps alleviate the pain I get from stiff muscles due to hip replacements. After a massage I find moving much easier and specific areas of pain feel much better. I have used this massage technique through 2 hip replacements, gait adjustment physical therapy, and ongoing problems with tight muscles.
Found Andrew on yelp and based on the reviews and booked an appointment because I was having shoulder pain from working out that I was unable to heal. I was about ready to go to an orthopedic surgeon but figured I would try one more thing before doing so. My sister in San Diego is an athlete and she swears by the trigger point method for injuries. Figured I had nothing to lose because I knew it will take me a couple weeks to get into an orthopedic anyways so found Andrew in the meantime! Andrew said he would try to help me but wasn't sure if he could get the pain to completely go away but after a one hour session and a couple of days to recover after, the healing begin. I was amazed that after only one session he saved me from going to an orthopedic and completely healed my injury! I have since come back for more preventative measures to help make working out more effective and prevent other injuries. If you are an athlete or suffering from some form of related injury, I can't recommend Andrew enough! Trigger point in general is supposed to be a very effective method at healing injuries but he especially is phenomenal as work! Thanks Andrew!