Some people love to stretch. Some people don’t have time. 99% of people don’t understand how to do it properly. As I developed as a personal trainer, strength coach and lifestyle coach, I quickly understood that if a clients mobility is limited, no amount of cues or drills with the dowel will correct their movements. I was already using Functional Movement Screening to quickly identify movement deficiencies. Now I needed a tool in my kit to allow me to restore mobility and flexibility quickly, efficiently and pain free.
Enter Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST), a type of stretching that targets not only the muscles, but the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and joints. I have been blessed beyond belief with amazing mentors who have guided my continuing education. Mike, my roommate and long time collegue was the one who pushed me to get my Level 1 FST years ago when I had begun working in a physio clinic and I have never looked back.
FST also targets the entire joint and joint capsule, using traction to remove restrictions from movement and to stimulate lubrication. A therapist will gently pull and move the arms, legs, spine, and neck in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement. There is no pain, not even discomfort. Instead, the gentle movement is stimulating and relaxing at the same time. Simply the decompression from the traction can be a game changer with some clients
FST, in addition to being pain free, is extremely efficient. The Fascial Stretch Therapist will evaluate their client, looking for imbalances, as well as the source of those imbalances. Then using breath to help with movement, the therapist will first warm up the joints and muscles with undulating stretching to maximize blood flow. Then using techniques of slow undulating movement, as well as traction (gently pulling to create space in the joint) and modified PNF ( proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), synchronized with the breath, the therapist will stretch the entire body, balancing, lengthening muscle, increasing range of motion, and improving flexibility. The client often falls asleep!
The effects are cumulative. It took a while to develop the imbalances and stiffness in your body. It will take a while to reap the benefits of FST. But, that being said, you can feel immediate benefits, even after your first session.
I am a level two certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. I am planning to attend the level two certification course in October. My information comes from my experience as a therapist, a client, as well as from the Stretch to Win website, and the book, Stretch to Win, which is written by Ann Frederick and Christopher Frederick, the developers of Fascial Stretch Therapy.
The above, by the way, is an affiliate link. I will make a few cents if you purchase that book through Amazon. Other than that I have received no compensation for this post. I have experienced FST first hand and get treated routinely and I’m a believer in the benefits.
Its never too late to restore movement, mobility and suppleness to your body! Invest in yourself, your health and set your body free with FST!
Have a question? Interested in booking a session? Get started HERE