The Graston Technique – Using FAT Tool
The Graston Technique is a type of massage that creates micro-traumas in the soft tissue to speed up the overall healing of the area. If that sounds a bit counterintuitive, consider the pain that you get when you go for a deep tissue massage.
The logic is simple: by stressing the soft tissue with a controlled and perfectly placed level of pressure, the body begins a healing process that extends far beyond the initial spot to the surrounding tissue.
The FAT tool
When you come in for a Graston session, the therapist will use a FAT tool. FAT stands for the Fascial Abrasion Technique tool. In essence, as mentioned above, it allows the therapist to pinpoint the problem areas and reach deep into the tissue to stimulate healing.
What to Expect from a Graston Session
Before the session begins, the therapist is likely to put you on a stationary bike or treadmill for at least five minutes. This helps to get the cardiovascular system working. They might also apply heat or ultrasound to the injured area. This will help to stimulate blood flow and warm the s\tissue that’s to be manipulated.
Then the Graston tools are used to scan and treat the area that’s giving you problems. They will feel around in the tissue to discover the area where there is pain and concerns. Then, using the FAT tool, they’ll begin the treatment, which involves applying pressure to the areas that need to be loosened. Each area will be treated for about 30 to 60 seconds. The practitioner will move from area to area.
It is not unusual to experience some discomfort and even pain during this part of the treatment.
After the treatment is over, there will likely be small bruises on the skin. Small red dots might form over the treated areas. Called petechiae, these dots aren’t likely a bit sensitive, but not too painful. If there is soreness after the procedure, ice can be applied for 15 to 20 minutes to help reduce pain.
After the session
A stretching, strength training, and exercise program is usually recommended as the pain is often caused by a weakened muscle that has been traumatized by injury. This will also help to prevent adhesions from forming.
Most patients express their surprise that they have an increased range of movement and less pain after just the first treatment. In essence, this is caused by bringing blood to the affected area and causing the body to begin a healing process. The enzymes, proteins, and cells that are charged with healing the body will start working, not only on the small traumas that the therapist has caused but all of the surrounding tissue.