My Level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapy Training

fascial stretch therapy, FST, myofascial release, michigan massage and wellness

Fascial Stretch Therapy, Level 2 recap

WOW.  What a week!  Well, I was actually gone 10 days, out of the office for a whopping 14, but while I’m still riding the FST wave, I have to give a recap of my level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapy training that I just completed.  I also want to chat a bit about what is being offered out there in the world as far as stretching and massage goes.

Let’s start with the class.  For those that don’t know, I did my level 1 Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST for short) training in January 2017, and in October 2016 I started out with Ann and Chris Frederick by taking the LifeStretch instructor course.  Of which I proceeded to do absolutely nothing with it until this past summer, but more on that later.

I’ll be totally honest, it sucks not having someone here to stretch me out!  I have had a few FST sessions from other practitioners in the area, but again to be totally honest here, if I book a 60 minute FST session, I want to be stretched for a majority of that time.  And that is the approach that I will be taking when someone comes to Michigan Massage and Wellness to see me for Fascial Stretch Therapy.  Now there will be an assessment of course, some checks and re-checks, but I am all about putting my clients into parasympathetic mode and really help them get down regulated.

It was wonderful to be reunited with a couple of classmates from my level 1 FST training from January, as well as the amazing teachers that were on hand to help walk us through these new techniques.  We learned how to do the butterfly (an absolutely fantastic move to free up the shoulders from impingements, frozen shoulder syndrome and more), reverse hip opener (because who doesn’t have trouble with their hips?), improvements on the ever popular glute series and just so much more.  We got 2 full days of lower body work and let me tell you, it felt amazing!  Thankfully we moved to the upper body because things were feeling a little unbalanced after freeing up all of those tissues.  And the best part?  NONE OF IT HURT!  After day 1 I described it as this: Level 1 was the dance lessons and level 2 is the dance at the wedding.  I have a much better feel for the tissues, and developed more of a flow-less mechanical/choppy and more fluid.  Level 2 FST is all about getting a feel for things and just letting the body do the talking (from a tissue standpoint) and as therapists, we just listen and go where it needs.  On our last day after a 90 minute session, I was basically worthless.  And it felt magical.

What sets Fascial Stretch Therapy apart from other stretch modalities

Fascial Stretch Therapy™ is all about pain-free movement.  The intention of an FST session is to improve the mobility in the nerves and flexibility of the muscles and fascia.  For those that don’t know what fascia is, it is the connective tissue that is in virtually every area of your body.  It wraps around muscles, bones, joints, organs and with Fascial Stretch Therapy the focus is on the fascia, the joint capsules, and freeing up movement restrictions.

There are a LOT of places offering stretching now.  Stretch franchises, massage franchises and other stretch modalities.  However, there is over 20 years of research that has gone into Fascial Stretch Therapy (including, most recently, a research study conducted at University of Arizona Medical School by Ann Frederick to see the effects of chronic low back pain with medical students and how FST worked.  The results of the study are going to be published in medical journals and I believe it will be discussed at the next Fascial Congress.  Think about that when you get a flyer in the mail from another place offering those seems too good to be true offer of a cheap massage or stretch session.  Between levels 1 and 2 of my training, it was 70 hours of class time, not including the mandatory 100 hours required to take level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapy.  Other places offer a 4 hour training session for their employees.

Recently, there was an article published in the Wall Street Journal about stretching, and unfortunately not a lot of research was done but Chris Frederick (co-founder of the Stretch to Win Institute) had a response that I just had to share:

Thanks for this timely article but, similar to your statements that research is lacking in the topic of ‘stretching’, your content also lacks adequate research into the origins of where the current ‘stretch movement’ all started and more. One of the first and earliest pioneers in assisted stretching is Ann Frederick (aka “The Stretch Lady”), creator of Stretch to Win® Fascial Stretch Therapy™ (aka “FST”) and group stretch class called LifeStretch: feel the freedom®.

Ann Frederick of Phoenix, Arizona opened up her first stretch studio in 1995. In 1996 she was hired as the first stretch coach of the Olympics, working with the USA Men’s Olympic wrestling team that won more gold medals and beat the Russians for the first time. Gold medalist teammate and WWE champion Kurt Angle gave much of the credit to Ann’s stretching.

In 1997, Ann Frederick’s stretching was given credit as the only difference resulting in decreasing injuries 45% for the Arizona Sun Devils, helping them get to the Rose Bowl that year. This experience inspired Ann to do a master’s level thesis at ASU with scientific research outcomes determining that her technique called of assisted stretching (now simply called ‘FST’) got an average of 50% more range of motion and flexibility than traditional methods. Today that number soars to 200%.

In 2006, Ann and her husband Chris Frederick, a physical therapist, co-wrote the best selling book on self stretching “Stretch to Win”, the 2nd edition released this year. In 2014, they also wrote the book “Fascial Stretch Therapy”, a highly scientifically referenced technique book for professionals. No one else mentioned in your article has written books on stretching, much less the unique methods that Ann and Chris Frederick have created that greatly differ from traditional stretching which most stretch studios practice.

Today Ann and Chris Frederick own and operate the global headquarters for the best training in assisted and group stretching called the Stretch to Win Institute in Chandler, AZ founded in 1999. They had an opportunity to franchise their unique technique way before any of the current franchises started to offer stretching. They refused because the franchise model traditionally takes a “cookie-cutter” approach that is more revenue based than service based.

While this can work for some people that shop based on price alone, it does not work for most people who want complete and total relief of pain and other challenges to function and a great quality of life. Stretch to Win and their technique called Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST) has a proven, long standing record. Google them for more information or to find a certified therapist near you that will radically change how you feel, function and perform in only 1-3 sessions.

Set it free with FST!

If you are suffering from pain, poor athletic performance, over training, sitting too long, poor posture, or you just want to see what this crazy awesome stretching is all about, I invite you to book a session with me and see what a session or two can do for your quality of life!  Book online anytime and get your body moving how it was meant to move.

In good hands,

Rebecca Tamm, LMT