What is Fascial Stretch Therapy
Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST), is a type of stretching that targets not only the muscles, but the fascia. FST also targets the entire joint and joint capsule, using traction to remove restrictions from movement and to stimulate lubrication.
The problem with many standard stretching programs is, when you cause pain with stretching, your muscles respond to protect themselves, tightening up in a rebound type effect.
Fascial Stretch Therapists look for imbalances, as well as the source of those imbalances. The therapist will first warm up the joints and muscles with undulating stretching to maximize blood flow. Using techniques of slow undulating movement, as well as traction and modified PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), synchronized with the breath, the therapist will stretch the entire body, following a logical anatomical order, to lengthen muscle, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility.
While many therapies can help these conditions, only FST can completely treat inflexible fascia at the deepest level. Tension in the tissue and around the joint is released to restore & improve range of movement and take away pain caused by past injuries. This system focuses on realigning, elongating and balancing the body.
This hands-on therapy utilizes a series of assisted stretch movements. A unique system of therapy by working through the fascial nets of the body, starting within the joint itself.
FST is based on original research and cutting edge discoveries in the field of neuroscience. It can help you restore and/or improve function and mobility particularly as it relates to joint areas.
Almost 50% of our flexibility is locked up in our joints…areas a therapist can’t reach with their hands, or with other methods of manual therapy.
What is Fascia
Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds all structures of the body. As you age, fascia will thicken & shorten. Add to this the stress that your body is under from poor posture, lack of exercise, injury, surgery, disease or over-training – and you get a body that is stiff, sore and injury prone.
The joint capsule consists of
- The fascia – a network of connective tissue that is layered around the muscles, bones and joints
- The connective tissue structure around the joint
- Disorders and imbalances in the joint capsule and fascia in general can result in a range of painful and sometimes progressive conditions. A restricted or compromised joint capsule can cause,
• Degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis
• Strains, tendonitis and tears
• Headaches, trigger points and muscle tightness from increase nervous tissue tone
• Formation of scar tissue
• Restricted blood flow
• Among others
Stretching Fascia vs. Muscle
Fascia surrounds each muscle, and connects them to each other both superficially and deep. It also connects tendons, ligaments, and bone to form a body-wide, functional network. Fascia connects to all of your organs and systems, too. By integrating a global perspective on stretching these fascial connections, we can reap twice the benefits as static stretching isolated muscle groups.
Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy
- Increase Range of Motion
- Muscular Balance and Symmetry
- Improved Performance
- Reduced Risk of Injury
- Improved Muscle Function
- Improved Circulation
- Decrease Compression and Impingement in the Joints.
- Improved Energy
- Naturally help your body align posture
- Reduce and remove pain
- Improve athletic performance
- Improve functional strength and gains
- Decrease stress
- Reduce muscle soreness
- Accelerate injury recovery
- Look and feel your best
- Improve your sex life
- Increased mobility
- Increased blood flow and circulation
- Improved strength
- Improved balance and posture
- Better performance as an athlete
- Improved flexibility
- And much more…
Clients tend to notice changes immediately once they get off of the table. A feeling of “lightness” and being more open is a typical description. Better posture without trying. Having them move around or do some stretches they notice more free mobility. It even makes you taller because it decompresses and creates space between all of your joints.
Who is Fascial Stretch Therapy for?
- People of all ages can benefit from fascial stretch therapy, including…
- Olympic and Power weightlifters
- Senior Citizens
- Weekend warriors
- Cross fitters
- Desk Workers
- Pregnant women
- FST is growing rapidly throughout the country, and the world. Professional teams and athletes have been using it for years as part of their treatment programs. The Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers all have FST therapists as part of their staff. The 2015 USA Women’s World Champion Soccer Team had an FST therapist as well. All over the country teams and pro athletes from all sports are starting to hire FST therapists because of how beneficial the treatment is.
- It is not just a treatment for athletes though, it benefits people of all ages and activity levels. We lose 10% of our flexibility for every 10 years that we age unless we actively work at maintaining it.
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.
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