Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)
“I have always been stiff as a board”
“I can’t do yoga because I am in-flexible”
“I have iron clad IT bands”
“I can’t move after sitting for a while”
“My posture is horrid!” “I just don’t feel I can move”…
Can you relate to any of these comments? Do you try to stretch and nothing changes? Well if you haven’t figured it by now traditional stretching doesn’t work.
You know the kind I am talking about, sitting down on the ground and leaning over your extended leg/legs pushing and holding-maybe even trying to grab your food and pull for up to a minute (or more!) This type of “stretch” initiates the Stretch reflex in your body, which is for the muscle to contract (not relax) to protect itself.
Done gently (no pushing or pulling ) it can feel good and not initiate the stretch reflex but it still isn’t getting into the heart of what you want: “Feeling looser and more mobile all the time”. The primary restrictions to mobility in a joint actually have nothing to do with the muscle and everything to do with the space in the joint capsule. If the joint is compressed no amount of pounding on the muscle will help.
In FST you use traction, where appropriate, to help with this. The next restrictions are fascia AND muscle. Fascia is the connective tissue layer which surrounds muscles, bones, and joints providing support and protection and giving structure to the body. Fascia has many functions and the role of fascia in our bodies is being expanded constantly with research. Some say fascia is the consciousness of the body, that it can send messages to the brain quicker than your nerves…cool stuff.
That said both it is the results of FST AND the supporting research that have made this modality in such high demand. All FST is done according to body rhythms. You will hear lots of cues with breath and breathing. FST uses what is called a stretch wave that is married to your body rhythm for optimal results. Are you curious what fascia looks like? Check out this video clip if you aren’t squeamish, real cool stuff.
Increase in range of motion for shoulder flexion after a single FST session!
Gains made in a single session of FST can be profound (see photo above) …like the guy that could never sit cross legged and could after a session (this happened at my Level 2 training). The key after gaining this mobility is to learn how to use it, after a few FST sessions you can expect to see more therapeutic yoga movements both in session and prescribed in a home practice.
FST sessions are 1 hour long and usually conducted on a massage table. Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and bring clean socks. Would you like to get started with FST? Click here to set up for a private appointment if you are in Kimberley or Canmore AB or if you are distant click here to locate someone near you.
Want to try some things on your own? Click on the videos above to check out my free youtube clips on the key core four self stretches for the lower body that can help you get moving better now. I will be adding to this series with the upper body core 4 so be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel so you don’t miss them!
Don’t Forget! Presentations and workshops are a great way to convey self fascial stretching to a group. Just contact me to learn what can be done.
“Age is a matter of mind, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter” Mark Twain