Myofascial Release/Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Release


Specialist Massage Therapy

At Kensington Physio we offer a special type of massage technique known as IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue release) also known as the ‘Graston Technique’.

This is a soft tissue therapy which physios may use for the treatment of muscle tightness, immobility and pain. It involves the use of a metal hand held massage tool, and aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, improve scar tissue and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.

The Fascia

Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. It consists of a thin layer of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.

Trauma, inflammatory responses and surgical procedures can create myofascial restrictions that can produce huge tensile pressures on pain sensitive structures. Because fascia permeates all regions of the body and is all interconnected, when it scars and hardens in one area it can put tension on adjacent pain-sensitive structures as well as on structures in far-away areas. Irritation of fascia or muscle can causes local inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in fibrosis, or thickening of the connective tissue, leading to pain and irritation and reflexive muscle tension.

Muscle Treatment

Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be addressed as well, including other connective tissue. During myofascial release the physiotherapist may work to “release” the fascia in areas that have a strong “drag” on the area of injury, often away from their painful site. This is therefore a whole body approach to treatment. A good example is the chronic low back pain patient, although the low back is primarily involved, the patient may also have significant discomfort in the neck. This is due to the gradual tightening of the muscles and especially of the fascia, as this tightness has crept its way up the back creating neck and head pain. If the neck tightness is not also released, it will continue to apply a “drag” in the downward direction, thereby continuing to affect the lower back.
As a final point, do not let the gentleness of myofascial release deceive you. One may leave after the first treatment feeling like nothing happened, but up to a day after (and with continued treatment sessions) you will start to feel the immense benefits.

For more information on IASTM or to book in for a treatment, please call us on 0207 6030040 or email us on


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