PRODUCT IN PRACTICE: THERAvantage: Stainless Steel Gua Sha/Myofascial (IASTM) Tools

My name is Matt Callison, Founder of The Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification Program. On each one of my patients, I use various myofascial techniques after the acupuncture treatment to help reinforce the acupuncture protocol and balance the postural disparities that have led to musculoskeletal pain and injury. To quote Ida Rolf “put the tissue back where it belongs…” is the foundation for all myofascial education techniques. These techniques are performed with fingers, knuckles, palms, forearms and elbows. As we know, these anatomical tools work very well in changing myofascial tension with a common goal to release adhesions, increase circulation and reestablish the fascia’s lubricating factors called visco proteoglycans. However, these anatomical tools can be limited because of the particular shape contacting the patient’s tissue. I have found that certain “instrument assisted soft tissue mobilizations (IASTM)” can be extremely effective to help get into areas where a finger or knuckle is not shaped for the particular application. For example, and in my opinion, where the iliotibial band attaches and can adhere to the vastus lateralis and biceps femoris, certain IASTM tools can help lift and release the tight ITB from the muscle tissue better than fingers. This is only one of the many examples of where I use IASTM tools and I continue to learn more and more applications with each patient. 

To be clear, I am not suggesting for practitioners to replace using their fingers, knuckles, palms, etc., with IASTM tools, but to incorporate these tools into their practice where the shape of the tool is better equipped for a particular situation. My patients enjoy the combination of using my hands followed up with a tool that targets a particular point or region. 

In addition, using IASTM as an adjunctive tool helps practitioners with finger fatigue and injury prevention. We all need to keep our bodies healthy for the duration of our clinical practice. 

Lhasa OMS has these THERAvantage tools that have become part of my daily treatment protocol and can be used on all patients of various age groups and injuries. 



Matt Callison, L.Ac., Founder of Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification Program

Matt Callison’s unique ability to blend Chinese Medicine with Sports Medicine for over 25 years is demonstrated by his excellent reputation. This is particularly evident in his educational program, the “Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification Program,” which is attended by acupuncturists worldwide. He has over 20 years experience in cadaver dissection that has helped him to further broaden and deepen his educational program for the acupuncturist. Mr. Callison has had a clinical practice for over 26 years and is well-known for developing innovative and successful treatment protocols for musculoskeletal injury. He has published many articles including a clinical study on acupuncture and tibial stress syndromes (shin splints) as well as an article on Sports Related Muscle Tension Headaches in the Journal of Chinese Medicine. Furthermore, Mr. Callison is well-known for his work with professional athletes. Mr. Callison is the creator of the Motor Point and Acupuncture Meridian Chart as well as the author of three publications—The Motor Point Manual, Motor Point Index and, The Sports Medicine Acupuncture textbook.

Matt Callison earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education/Sports Medicine from San Diego State University in 1985. He worked in the Sports Medicine field at Alvarado Sports Medicine Clinic in San Diego and Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA for six years. In 1991, Mr. Callison received his master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where the class he developed, “Treatment of Orthopedic Disorders,” is still being taught. Mr. Callison continues to guest lecture in many acupuncture doctoral programs across the United States. 

As Clinic Supervisor for Pacific College at the University of California’s San Diego Sports Medicine RIMAC Center, Mr. Callison guides acupuncture interns in providing Sports Medicine Acupuncture to their athletes.