When most people think of the body, they think of bones, muscles, and organs. Those are the parts of the body most of us worry about on a day-to-day basis. If you’re going to suffer a problem, it will most likely involve a bone, muscle, or an organ, right?
An often overlooked part of the body that fewer people know about is the fascia. The fascia is the vast network of connective tissues that run through your whole body. It surrounds your muscles, nerves, bones, joints and organs. It turns out that many injuries and loss of flexibility over time involve the fascia.
The good news is that with the proper stretching technique (fascial stretch therapy) you can help resolve many of these problems.
What Is Fascial Stretch Therapy?
Fascial stretch therapy (FST) is a form of table-based assisted stretching that focuses on the fascia and joint capsule to achieve optimal strength, flexibility, pain relief and performance. It is a pain-free method of stretching, typically performed on a massage table, that can provide almost instant results.
Here are some of the main benefits of FST:
Problems with your fascia can cause you actual physical pain. The tightness in your fascia can encourage unnatural motions or postures that increase your odds of minor injuries and unwanted pressure on your nervous system. Those minor injuries, in turn, can encourage even more unnatural motions.
FST can help reduce those pains by releasing tension in your fascia. The natural increase in flexibility will help end those unnatural motions and relieve underlying stresses in your body.
Lingering tightness or tension anywhere in your body decreases circulation. By reducing tightness and tension, FST improves blood flow.
Improved blood flow has a couple of beneficial knock-on effects.
It helps speed up recovery from exercise by allowing more blood to reach your muscles faster, which improves toxin removal. It improves overall energy by allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles and organs. That additional oxygen can also improve your mental clarity.
People often seek sports medicine, surgery, massage or stretch therapy to rehab an injury or break up scar tissue, which can be painful. Injuries and the surgeries that repair many of them can damage or distort the fascia. Once that happens, it can further limit your range of motion by making movement painful.
Fascial stretch therapy can help loosen or realign the fascia. This helps restore mobility, one of the key goals of physical therapy. Of course, stretch therapy can’t replace physical therapy, but it can complement your other physical therapy activities.
FST doesn’t result in weight loss directly, however it does help facilitate the physical activities that lead to weight loss.
When your body moves with less or no pain from head to toe, it makes it much easier to talk yourself into going for a walk or working in your garden. Every incremental increase in activity improves overall health and stamina. Those improvements encourage more physical activity, which helps reduce weight.
Who Can Benefit From Fascial Stretch Therapy?
- People with chronic pain, such as back pain
- People who train regularly
- People who are rehabbing and injury
- People who are active
Parting Thoughts on the Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy
Fascial stretch therapies offer many direct and indirect benefits.
You can see pain reduction, improved flexibility, and improved circulation. That improved circulation can improve workout recovery time and mental clarity.
FST can act as a complement to your physical therapy by restoring mobility; although, you should consult your physical therapist before getting FST.
Whether you’re in the recovery phase from an injury or just feel less limber, fascial stretch therapy can help. Do you work with a personal trainer? It may be time to invest in a personal stretch coach. Contact Stretch 22 to schedule a stretch session with a stretch therapist today.