What is Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)?
FST is a type of stretching that targets not only the muscles, but the fascia – which is the connective tissue surrounding your muscle, bones and joints. 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 different planes of movement. There is no pain, not even discomfort. Instead, the gentle movement is stimulating and relaxing at the same time.
Do I need FST?
As we age, our mobility decreases and our fasica begins to tighten up to a point where standard stretching techniques or programs will no longer be effective. FST does what standard stretching cannot do. The problem with many stretching techniques or programs is they are ‘standardized’. (Think of an athlete after finishing a workout who runs through several of the usual stretches, perhaps paying extra attention to tight hips, even pushing through some pain to get a final stretch.) Sadly, this type of stretching has proven to be so ineffective, it potentially can cause even more tightness and inflexibility. When pain is caused from stretching, muscles will respond to protect themselves – tightening up producing a rebound effect.
By contrast, a Fascial Stretch Therapist will evaluate their client, looking for the source of any imbalances. Using breath to help with movement, they will first warm up the joints and muscles to maximize blood flow. Then, using techniques such as traction (gently pulling to create space in the joint) and slow undulating movement, the therapist will stretch the entire body following a logical anatomical order to lengthen muscle, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility. Results of FST can be immediate, but most times are designed have a cumulative effect.
Some of the amazing benefits of FST:
Increase Range of Motion
Muscular Balance and Symmetry
Reduced Muscle Tension
Reduced Risk of Injury
Improved Muscle Function
Improve Sport Performance
Release of Endorphins (natural pain suppressants)
Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Facet Foint Dysfunctions
Treatment of Chronic Headaches, Plantar Fasciitis and more