To fully understand what Fascial Stretch Therapy is, we need to talk about fascia. Most people probably have heard of it but don’t necessarily know what it is, therefore don’t understand how important it is. Fascia is our connective tissue, it connects our skin, muscles, organs, and nerves. As a result of this connectivity, our fascia influences every system in our body. Not only our physical form but also our emotions, our digestive system, and how well we sleep.
At rest, our body is under a normal amount of tension, this is due to the atmosphere and gravity. Our fascia is counterbalanced by our bones, which keeps us balanced and allows us to move and adapt to the conditions our body experiences daily.
Think of a tent. The tent poles are the skeleton, the fabric is the fascia; the tent poles support the fabric which stabilizes the structure. If you are hit with a storm, and the wind starts to pick up, your tent will shake around and be pushed or pulled. But it always comes back to its original form. Our body does the same. It adapts to the activities of our daily life, the workouts and exercises we do, and any positions we stay in for too long (i.e., sitting for hours). One of the many ways our bodies differ from a tent- other than the obvious that tents are not alive, is the protective measures our body carries out. Whether we are sedentary or extremely active, the constant repetitive stress from either lifestyle results in our body producing collagen (scar tissue) as a protective measure to strengthen the fascia. The scar tissue creates adhesions, which prevent our body from moving and functioning correctly because parts of our fascia system are stuck. This can lead to knee pain when we run or squat, headaches, nerve pain, and even poor breathing mechanics.
FASCIAL STRETCH THERAPY (FST)
So what can you do? Making sure you do mobility work and foam rolling on a regular basis is an excellent first step. But on your own, you will never be able to reach the optimal amount of relaxation to target specific muscles, as FST can.
FST is an assisted manual therapy done on a massage table. I work on opening up your joints from the daily compressions of sitting or standing for too long. I realign your connective tissue to improve your balance so that you can move with better and with proper form. Most of the time we focus on how tight something feels, but we should also be addressing areas that have too much mobility. This is referred to as hypermobility and does have disadvantages. If your fascia is hypermobile, you lack stability which is not good. For example, hyperextended knees, usually result in an anteriorly tilted pelvis (you stick out your butt), which causes lower back pain. If I find that you have too much mobility in certain areas, I will get you to push or pull your limbs, to correct the range of motion in that joint.
For me to successfully improve your mobility, I need you to be relaxed and comfortable, that is why we focus on proper breathing throughout the entire session. I synchronize my movements to your breath because it allows me to regulate your nervous system. Slower breathing, slower movements, to downregulate your nervous system, when I am stretching you post workout or activity to focus on your recovery. Faster breathing, faster movements, to upregulate your nervous system before a workout or race. FST is very relaxing, we do not enter the ‘pain cave.’ You will feel some pressure, but you won't be tensing up from pain.
In the end, you leave feeling lighter, taller, relaxed, and re-energized.
WHO NEEDS IT?
New to fitness or sports, recovered from an injury, an elite athlete, or someone who is in a lot of pain. Regular FST sessions will improve your posture which will lead to improved performance during your workouts, your competitions, or your days on a snowboard. Since you will be realigned and moving better, you will be able to push yourself further and decrease your risk of injuries. You will gain confidence in yourself and your body. Your quality of life will improve.
FST also helps those who have chronic pain, stress, PPD (Postpartum Depression), and PTSD. When your body feels and moves better, your emotional and mental state improves. Hello, Endorphins!
So stop wondering and book an initial assessment with me.
Your body will thank you for it.