I like to keep up with the latest in new concepts as far as bodywork go, so last year when I heard about Rockblades a new tool from the makers of Rocktape, a modality I use and am trained in for equines, I pricked up my ears.
After getting to feel and use the product at Equintana I purchased one and have been using it in both my human and equine practice, the tool has been designed for the human market at present but as the company also have an equine division they saw how it could possibly be well received in the equine market. As some of you may or may not know I have a background in in human sports therapy so a lot of the ways I work are to some extent a crossover between horse and human as I still see human clients each week.
So when a course came onto the market I went along, now although it is a human based course, it is easy to see how the concept would be no different for horses, and believe me, it’s only a matter of time before the equine course is up and running.
So what is this Rockblade? Well it’s a new form of IASTM which stands for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation, Rockblades are thought to cause Change within the tissue rather than causing a release, It is suggested that by increasing the glide between the interfaces which are essentially the fascial planes that are between muscles, fascia etc increased movement can be seen in that area. when there is a lack of glide between these surfaces it is also suggested that there is a reduction in HA (Hyaluronic Acid) ah ha I hear you say, is this not the stuff we are injecting into joints (Halo gold) and feeding to our horses!!!(Synovate HA) Yes it is, we often see it used alongside Pentosan. Well it has been shown through research that using this tool in a certain way can improve the flow of HA.
Look there is plenty of heavy scientifically based theory to all this, but ultimately what we are finding is that when used in a fast treatment it can improve proprioception and primes the muscles for action whilst also helping with the oversensitivity we see in chronic pain patients. Whereas when used slowly it will relax local tissue and can help to reduce oedema.
I have been trialing it on the horses, you may well have seen me using it on your horse, and so far the results have been very favorable. The horses seem to enjoy it and it gives a great softening to the tissue allowing for greater depth of treatment.
My human clients have said that it feels very comfortable on the body and they have experienced extra stretch and lengthening to the muscle post treatment, with an overall feeling of increased wellbeing, and goes hand in hand with Rocktape.