What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?
Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST as it’s commonly known) is a form of assisted stretching that can help to increase your flexibility, range of motion and mobility. By using gentle traction, FST is very different than stretching you may do on your own, or get done at one of the many stretching places in the area (you know the ones, they have that “10 stretch protocol” that they do on nearly everyone).
Traction helps to unglue those sticky, icky joints that are stuck from a sedentary lifestyle, or overuse in your daily activities, sports, etc. I like to tell people it’s like getting up into the corners of your home that are always neglected and full of cobwebs. We do a nice gentle sweep and clear out those spaces. If you ask me, FST is amazing. Around 85% of the clients that I see in our practice receive some stretching.
How Fascial Stretch Therapy Can Help You
47% of your flexibility is locked up in your joint capsule. Have you ever stood up after sitting in a chair for hours on end and it hurts to walk for a few steps?
42% of your potential flexibility lies in your fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs throughout your body. Think of fascia as your body’s wetsuit, or like sausage casing. It holds everything in. And when your fascia is restricted, problems happen.
Fascia needs to be lubricated and that is done through movement. Unfortunately many of us (even me, the massage therapist that spends her days fixing people) don’t move enough. Have you ever woken up in the morning and your shoulder hurts so you “rest” it by not moving it as much? Then the next day you still have pain so you continue to keep it immobilized? That is the WORST thing that you could be doing. And Fascial Stretch Therapy can help that by using gentle traction and slow movements to warm the tissues and thereby hydrating them back to their supple form.
What Are The Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy?
- Clinic studies have shown FST can increase flexibility by up to 52% in just one session.
- Athletes are able to recover more quickly between training sessions and gain an improved active range of motion than with other stretching methods.
- FST helps with proper body alignment and posture, increases circulation and energy, and improves muscle, nerve, and joint function.
- Improved posture and mobility. I had a client with frozen shoulder that started getting biweekly FST sessions and her biggest win was being able to put her hair up into a ponytail.
- Reduces the incident of injuries and may also help you recover from injuries quicker.
“Your fascia reacts to all stress- physical, mental, and emotional- by tightening & stiffening. Since fascia covers every muscle – from all of your organs to the circulatory system to the brain & nervous system to the musculoskeletal system and more- your whole body is at risk to react to stress by tightening & stiffening. When your fascia is left unattended to, aging of the body, mind and spirit accelerates, function decreases & quality of life deteriorates” -Ann & Chris Frederick: Creators of FST
Book your session with Rebecca at Michigan Massage and Wellness and get ‘stretch drunk’ today!
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT