What is Stretch Therapy?
Stretching your body is actually a great way to relieve tension in your body. Besides tight muscles there are many other body parts that could benefit from regular stretching. We introduce to you stretching therapy, also called fascial stretching, a new stretching routine that many pro athletes do on a daily basis.
Stretch therapy, ST, is a special type of physical treatment that involves stretching (obviously), along with fascial strengthening, remodelling, relaxation and neural re-patterning. The reason why many pro athletes engage in stretch therapy is because it enhances awareness and increases flexibility in movement. By participating in stretch therapy, a person can move with ease and grace, something many people dream of.
Why Stretch Therapy is Important
Stretch therapy focuses on the fascia. The fascia is a band of fibrous connective tissues that binds muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and organs together. Your facia pretty much connects everything in your body. Also called fascia stretching, stretch therapy gives your body a sense of relaxation that no massage can provide.
What make stretch therapy interesting, or fascial stretching, is that it was developed by Ann Frederick, a famous ‘flexibility specialist’ who worked with Olympic athletes. She was responsible for improving performance and recovery of athletes under her care; and she did a great job.
Because of her vindication of the stretch therapy, many more athletes have used it to up their game. It didn’t take long for therapists to realize that stretch therapy is the best way to improve flexibility. Although extremely difficult to accomplish, stretch therapy when done correctly can be very effective in improving body movement and coordination.
Today, stretch therapy is practiced by thousands of people globally. There are no restrictions whatsoever to stretch therapy. It is suitable for everyone, no matter their age or build.
How Stretch Therapy Helps Body Movement
As aforementioned, stretch therapy (ST) comprise of some important elements that make it an effective physical treatment. These elements include stretching, strengthening, repatterning and relaxation of everything movement related in the body. We analyze each element as follows:
- Stretching: Our bodies have something called the Range of Movement (ROM). It includes important organs such as nerves, muscles, and fascia which directly influence the brain. By stretching often, our body and brain can come in sync more often leading to better body coordination.
- Strengthening: Other therapies focus majorly on body-weight. Fortunately, stretch therapy focuses on the entire body’s capacity to exert force. Stretching strengthens the muscles and other connective tissues in our bodies for better movement.
- Repatterning: With stretch therapy, inactive muscles are instantly made active. Connective tissues found in the shoulders, elbows and knees are immediately balanced. This enables you to have better posture and proper body alignment.
- Relaxation: The most important health factor may yet be relaxation. Like meditation, stretch therapy has been known to enhance rejuvenation and regeneration of the body. With all the elements of stretch therapy combined, a person can perform ordinary tasks with ease and better performance. As such, stretch therapy is suitable for everyone; and that includes teenagers, athletes, employees, pregnant women–really anyone.
Benefits of Stretch Therapy
After a few sessions of stretch therapy, you may notice the following:
- Less pain
- Faster recovery from injuries or traumatic accidents
- Improved physical performance
- Increased body motion