Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation
"Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for myofascial restriction based upon the rationale introduced by James Cyriax.
Unlike the Cyriax approach utilizing digital cross friction, IASTM is applied using specially designed instruments to provide a mobilizing effect to soft tissue (e.g., scar tissue, myofascial adhesion) to decrease pain and improve range of motion (ROM) and function. The use of the instrument is thought to provide a mechanical advantage for the clinician by allowing deeper penetration and more specific treatment, while also reducing imposed stress on the hands. Using instruments for soft tissue mobilization is theorized to increase vibration sense by the clinician and patient. The increased perception of vibration may facilitate the clinician’s ability to detect altered tissue properties (e.g., identify tissue adhesions) while facilitating the patient’s awareness of altered sensations within the treated tissues."
The efficacy of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization: a systematic review
It seams to have apeared in the US as Graston technique, in 1993 applied with surgical steel type tools and is common with chiropractors and phisios from certain schools.
Gua - Sha
There is also an asian folk therapy knows as gua-sha, scraping, coining , spooing, etc started from china traditionaly performed with a ceramic soup spoon , or a coin. Similar with the western version except an effect of it is producing non painful marks called pedichia or sha (bust aways the stagnation)that last for a few days. It is said to boost the imune sistem and has quite a few variatons, including as a beauty treatment for rejuvinating the face.
There is also the strigil, "a tool for the cleansing of the body by scraping off dirt, perspiration, and oil that was applied before bathing in Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. [...] primarily used by men, specifically male athletes; however, in Etruscan culture there is evidence of strigils being used by both sexes. The standard design is a curved blade with a handle, all of which is made of metal."
The articol goes on explaing that these tools where used people from all walks of life ,especialy those that use their muscles more, and the rich had slaves do the scraping for them.
It's obvious for me that this is a form of massage, not just mearly clensing.
I have collected a few tools over time and I enjoy using them when apropriate. They range from ceramic spoons to wood, basalt, marble, resin, jade and oxhorn blades, bords and shapes.
I found these types of therapies a way to acheve faster results in some cases.
It's a very interesting sensation and some tools can get much deeper that fingers will ever.