Many of us are well acquainted with muscle and joint pain and lost range of motion due to many factors over the years. With the intent of helping our stiff, achy muscles relax, a stretch session can often be a big help. When our muscles are at a healthy resting length and tension, we feel better! Seeking out a good stretch, we can often end up feeling a fair bit discomfort and even pain. Anytime a stretch goes too far, even in what seems like a small range of motion, we’ve already made any potential gain impossible and likely even made our tension worse! That saying, “it hurts so good” is completely counterproductive when it comes to stretching!
Mild and gentle fascial stretching is successful at coaxing your nervous system to relax, leading to greater potential results both during a session and afterward. Fascial stretching does not cause the initiation of the stretch reflex – that signal for a muscle to contract against a threat of injury when it’s taken too far. Results are better, longer lasting and far more relaxing than any other form of stretching you’ve ever done.
So, what is “fascia” exactly, and why should you care?!
Fascia is your body’s connective tissue system, and we’re actually made up more of fascia than any other tissue! It wraps around and penetrates through every muscle, bone, organ, nerve, and blood and lymph vessel like a spider’s web. This single, continuous 3D web extends from head to toe, front to back and inside to outside. It’s the reason we keep hearing “everything’s connected”!
Why stretch fascia vs. muscle?
Your fascia connects muscles to each other and muscles to tendons, ligaments and bones. Instinct often tells us to stretch out a “tight muscle”, however focusing on a muscle in isolation can often be painful, gives us limited benefits and any improvement is most often short-term at best. Let’s use a practical example of how fascial stretching helps using someone with ‘tight muscles’ in their left shoulder… Do it with me now!
Grab the hem of your shirt and bunch all the fabric in toward your right hip. Got it nice and tight? Now, try to raise your left arm above your head. Does that feel a little “tight’? Does it make sense that the tension you feel in your shoulder isn’t simply coming from your shoulder? Instinct will tell us to stretch the shoulder, but will stretching it really help? Exactly. We can stretch every day until the cows come home and still have a tight shoulder because we haven’t addressed the cause of the tightness! Thinking about how “everything’s connected”, fascial stretching takes a big-picture view and addresses why our muscles are tight in the first place and enables real results more effectively than any other method of stretching.
In as little as 1-3 sessions, Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST™) can dramatically reduce and in many cases eliminate common concerns including:
- stiff, achy joints
- lost range of motion
- tension related to “old injuries”
- chronic low back pain
FST will also improve…
- amount and quality of sleep
- recovery post-workout/competition
- levels of stress and fatigue
- muscle pain and tightness that keep you from feeling and performing your best!
If any (or all) of these apply to you, you need to get acquainted with your fascia, find out more about Fascial Stretch Therapy and start treating your body what it really needs to feel great! If you’d like a one-on-one sample of FST, mention this blog for a complimentary 15-minute session with MCC’s Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist, Kelly Gibson! Contact MCC to book now!