WITH CHRIS GORDON
Graston is a trademarked therapeutic method that comes under the banner of IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue massage) – other tools are available.
The historical roots probably lie in Chinese medicine. They perform a technique called Gua Sha, using amber and pottery. Graston uses different shaped tools to identify areas in the fascial chain of faulty movement. The tools help identify areas of adhesion or restriction and then are used to try to release adhesions and re-establish better movement.
This technique fits very well with my image of the fascial web. I find it gets deeper than I can with my hands and is, therefore, often more effective.
I trained to do Western Acupuncture in 1994 at the Royal Homeopathic Hospital in London.
Western Acupuncture involves using very few needles and I insert needles in and around
the injured or painful area.
The aim is to reproduce the pain and stimulate a chemical reaction from the body. This
chemical reaction can promote healing, reduce pain and change tension in the
surrounding tissues. Normally the needles are only inserted for 2-3 minutes and can
produce very effective pain relief.
The central part of my treatment philosphy is about good quality movement. Recognising
poor movement patterns and trying to correct them. Probably the most important point of
my treatment therefore, is exercise. Over our lives we learn different postures and
movement patterns, many of which are less than optimal. It takes a concentrated effort to
alter these patterns, but it can be done.
Part of most of my treatments will be in the gym looking at movements and postures and
feeling how to correct them. If I am critical of the Physiotherapy profession in general, it
would be that we have moved away from our roots as Physical Therapists. Part of this is
due to the “system”, not allowing time to focus on exercise, but also the profession was
lead astray to focus on other lines of therapy.
I would argue that no physio ever fixed an injury, we simply allowed the body to fix itself.
After some holiday reading several years ago of “Born to Run”, it led me to further
research the mechanics and the physics of good running form. It struck me that running is
central to most sports, but no-one ever gets taught how to do it properly. Quite often some
very simple observations and minor corrections are enough to settle down that niggling
knee or back pain that so many athletes worry will end their sporting careers.
All my appointments last 45 minutes at a cost of £55 and I am registered with all insurance
companies. I usually ask patients to wear shorts, leggings or suitable clothes so we can go
into the gym and look at movements.
To make an appointment please contact the clinic on 01243 372 446