Eyes Beneath The Skin – with Graston Technique®

Wouldn’t it be great to see inside our tissue when we are in pain and clearly see the problem?

Graston Technique® – RAPID PAIN REMOVAL – Now Available at MassageFIX

I recently had the opportunity to work (MediCupping®, Kinesio Taping® & Graston Technique®) on a very healthy and fit 60-year-old lady who is a recent retiree from an automotive quality control job. She had a history of a large (2 inch) circular scar on her left arm just above the elbow from a skin graft to remove a birthmark when she was four. She presented with intense pain and random numbness in the Deltoid, Tricep, and forearm. The movement restriction in her left shoulder was significant enough for her to be concerned that it would develop into a frozen shoulder, which she’d recently had in the right arm. I did six 30 minute MediCupping™ and Kinesio Taping® sessions on her left arm and restored her range of motion. Her pain was reduced by about 75%. Great result, right? Well, it gets better! On the seventh treatment, I introduced Graston Technique®. It allowed me to discover pockets of congested fluids, shortened muscles in the Tricep/Bicep, and an adhesion in the top of the Bicep. I was able to remove all of this dysfunction and soften her skin graft scar. Graston® turned the corner for her, and she reported being “healed” upon arriving for her eighth visit. On this eighth visit, using Graston, I found a piece of scar tissue that, when manipulated, created a direct pain link to the Tricep. Upon softening this piece of the scar, the pain/numbness left the Tricep, and warmth flooded the area. I believe that if we’d started with the Graston Technique®, she’d have only needed 2-3 treatments. This also would have saved her hundreds of dollars and hours of time.

Kinesio Taping® after Medicupping™ and Graston Technique®

Next, we tried Graston Technique® on our youngest client, an eighteen-month-old boy. His mom brought him in after a fall off the couch. He had a sizeable fresh bruise on his outer left thigh and two on his left calf. He had been walking gingerly on that leg for about a day and a half. The Graston tools revealed congestion around the bruising, as you would expect. After only ten minutes of gentle “sweeping” and “brushing” with Graton instruments, all congestion dispersed. Then we Kinesio Taped® the area to keep the fluids moving out and give the child a sense of support. After getting off the table, he promptly ran down the hallway full of joyful giggles and with no sign of his gingerly-limp. 

Graston Technique® uses six specially designed stainless steel instruments with unique treatment edges and angles to glide along a patient’s muscle, tendons, or ligaments. When knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the clinician and the patient sense a restriction or a granular feeling from the instrument*. Once located, the lesion is removed with techniques specific to the issue (scar tissue, congested fluids, or soft tissue adhesions).

Graston Technique® Instruments

Major League approval

The concept of cross-fiber massage is not new. Graston Technique® is grounded in the works of Dr. James Cyriax (1904-1985), a British orthopedic surgeon known by all as the “father of orthopedic medicine.”. The use of specially designed instruments and protocol is new. Graston Technique® has become standard protocol in universities and hospital-based outpatient facilities and industrial on-site treatment settings such as Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The technique is also used in industrial environments and by NBA, NHL, NFL, and Major League Baseball trainers*. 

Price and number of treatments

The tissue to be treated needs to be warmed before work is done, either by exercise or external heat. It only takes $20 & 8-10 minutes to treat a single area. After treatment and several days after, the patient needs to intentionally put the treatment site through a normal range of motion (or PT prescribed exercises) to help realign freshly compliant tissue fibers. Patients usually receive 1-2 treatments per week during 4-5 weeks. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment. Some respond sooner. The average number of GT sessions per episode of care averages between 6-12 for more chronic conditions. GT is not designed to be painful or cause excessive bruising. Occasionally, minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterward may be experienced. GT clinicians are trained to recognize these symptoms and adjust treatment intensity to minimize their occurrence*. 

*some information in this article is taken with permission directly from Graston Technique’s® Talking Points.pdf for consumer clarity.

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