Online Learning

Massage Therapist Track

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation For Massage Therapists

For 6.5 CEUs - Approved PROVIDER # 1119 By The NCBTMB,
CE PROVIDER #1000532, Expires 12/5/23

Price $75.00


PTCS has created a dynamic home study course entitled “Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM).” This is a course designed for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants teaching the foundational material that most PTs and PTAs did not learn while in school.

Why use IASTM?

  • Significantly increases the range of motion (ROM)

  • Decreases peripheral resistance whereby increasing tissue temperature

  • Decreases pain

  • Increases microcirculation

  • Increases tissue perfusion and alters microvascular morphology in the vicinity of healing knee ligaments

  • Accelerates tissue and ligament healing

  • Reduces the compression forces on the clinician's hands, especially the DIP joint 


This course was designed to be systematic, evidenced-based and most importantly, have a direct application that can be used immediately with your patients. The course material nicely compliments a one or two-day live seminar on IASTM offered by other CEU providers. In 2018, it is our intent to also offer both a one-day and two-day IASTM live seminar courses that will complement the home study course. It will provide the attendee with the ability to gain and understand new knowledge on IASTM, learn how to assess more efficiently and practice the skills learned from the home study course.  The course comes with the following:

  • A 150-page comprehensive CEU approved course manual that has over 240 references is divided into twelve distinct and separate chapters. The course is filled with over 100+ illustrations and graphics to enhance the learning experience. Delivery is sent electronically from PTCS to the customer or a physical manual can be shipped at an additional fee.

  • The student will have access to over 70 videos that compliment and review each of the twelve chapters of the IASTM Home Study Course. To access these videos, each student is required to provide a sign in on our secure website. 

  • All examination costs are included. To earn respective CEUs, a student must sign in on our secure website verifying to PTCS who they are. Once verified, PTCS requires every student to take an online 25 question multiple-choice examination. This examination can be taken anytime or are your leisure. Once the examination is complete and the student earns a score of 75%, the CEU certificate is sent directly to the student from PTCS.



The course is divided into twelve separate chapters. Which are listed below. The reason we choose this order is that the material synergistically blends and compliments the previous chapter.

Chapter 1: Foundation and why behind of IASTM                                                                
Chapter 2: Research and effectiveness of IASTM                                                                   
Chapter 3:  Principles and benefits of IASTM                                                            
Chapter 4: Physiologic and neurophysiologic responses of IASTM                             
Chapter 5: Type of tools available                                                                              
Chapter 6: Type of strokes, application and use                                                        
Chapter 7: Indications, precautions and contraindications with IASTM                     
Chapter 8: Fascia, fascial chain and the fascial slings                                      
Chapter 9: Trigger points and adaptive shortening                                                      
Chapter 10: Clinical Patterns of Movement Dysfunctions and using IASTM              
Chapter 11:  IASTM techniques for the upper body including cervical, shoulder, thoracic and elbow regions
Chapter 12: IASTM techniques for the lower body including lumbar, hip, knee and ankle regions



At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Interpret and list two sources on the foundation and origin of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) and the latest research as it applies clinically.

  • Apply the fanning stroke with a patient who has active or latent trigger points in their upper trapezius muscle.

  • Independently defend the selection of one IASTM tool and treatment plan for a specified clinical condition. 

  • Correctly compare mechanical and physiologic responses of IASTM when provided with a case study.

  • Explain three key differences between a fascial restriction and muscle tightness.

  • Identify two indications and two contraindications of IASTM for an instructor named clinical condition. 

  • Explain the rationale behind IASTM by comparing mechanical vs. neurological responses using the most current research.

  • Understand what fascia is, how to identify common fascial restrictions using the IASTM and latest research.

  •  Based on instructor specified example indicating evaluation findings, will accurately choose the IASTM technique to manage the condition. 

  • Compare the difference between the clinical patterns of spinal stenosis, spondylosis and lumbar radiculopathy in terms of each diagnoses behavior of symptoms, clinical findings, and common muscle imbalances. 

  •  Compare an active trigger point vs. a latent trigger point for patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 

  •  Justify the IASTM tool selected based on the presence of trigger points in a therapy evaluation.  

  • Design a plan of care, including the IASTM, for a patient diagnosed with either a rotator cuff repair, subacromial decompression, shoulder impingement or similar diagnoses.



Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation Home Study Course has been approved by the NCBTMB for

The policies created by PTCS are in place to assess each students knowledge of the information learned. The scoring process is consistent each time where the student is required to sign in to the PTCS website(under the examination tab) and provide verification of their identity. Once the identity of the test taker is confirmed, the student will be required to take a 25 multiple-choice standardized online examination. The student can take this online examination whenever is convenient for them. As soon as the examination is completed, the score is sent to PTCS immediately.

The examination is standardized where every student receives the same formatted examination. When the student passes the online examination, earning a score of 75% accordingly. The CEU Certificate will be electronically sent to the student receiving the appropriate CEUS earned for their respective state.


Course creator: Chris Gellert, PT, MMusc & Sportsphysio, MPT, CSCS, C-IASTM, CPC
Chris has been a practicing physical therapist for 18 years, uniquely is also a personal trainer with over 20 years experience and has taught seminars, courses and at conferences to personal trainers, massage therapists, physical therapy assistants and physical therapists for the past 15 years. He has developed over 15 home study courses, 5 live seminars and webinars teaching the foundation science, functional assessments and applied science on human movement.

His expertise is in orthopedics, particularly the spine, but has an insatiable desire teaching allied health professionals and fitness professionals on human movement, post-rehabilitation training and related topics. Chris will be pursuing a Fellowship in Orthopedics and Manual Therapy as well as an advanced Doctorate of Science (DSc) in the near future.


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If a student/customer cannot access or download either the home study course or related

videos that support the course, the student/customer must contact PTCS by email or phone accordingly.

As soon as PTCS receives communication from the student/customer, PTCS will look into the technical issue
and will directly communicate with the student/customer to fix and remedy the situation as efficiently as possible.



In order to obtain a refund, the student/customer must have first reached out to PTCS for support as stated above. Then must be able to provide indisputable proof to PTCS. After these steps has been taken and PTCS is unable to assist, provide the customer/student access to download the home study course, receive a physical copy, or access related videos, then PTCS will offer a full refund accordingly.

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Phone: 443-528-0527

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