Body tempering is slowly gaining popularity outside the power lifting realm. Yes its a passive treatment, but if you follow it up with active and resistive exercises afterwards it can help you gain more tissue extensibility and pain-free movement faster.
I use IASTM and cupping, in combination with manual therapy prior to exercises to enhance the benefits of exercise. I do not use a foam roller much, but do use a massage roller and there is research to show its benefit. All forms of manual therapy offer a transient effect, so unless it’s coupled with appropriate mobility and motor control exercises, it will not be enough for solid long term improvement
I love the Forge (http://forgehdf.com) because you can easily add more and more weight, which seems to be more safe and I’m a strong believer to gradually increase load for any type of treatment and let the tissues become more resilient.
I think that most of the effect from IASTM, Cupping and Body Tempering is neurophysiologic in nature. Stimulating mechano receptors in a non-threatening way can result in normalized motor output from the CNS. I also think this can help with smudged body maps on the cortex. Finally I think some sustained nocciceptive stimulus can help with DNIC, your medicine cabinet in the brain. Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Control, also known as CPM-Conditioned Pain Modulation, has been shown to modulate pain. Think of using a lacrosse ball on a tender point and it “hurts so good”: that is your DNIC at work. There is more research needed to learn more about how these treatments work, but they do work. There is sufficient research to show that Manual Treatment in combination with exercise is better than either treatment just by itself.
So if you have sore muscles, that have not responded to stretching: maybe its time to try to manual treatments. Starting with more gentle treatments like IASTM and cupping and then progress to treatments like body tempering as needed. Everyone is different, so seek out a good health professional to assist you with your recovery. If you are in Houston, just reach out to me at email@example.com