What is Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)?
Fascial Stretch Therapy(TM) is a unique, complete and complementary system of table-based assisted stretching, focusing on the fascia and joint capsule as the key elements in achieving optimal flexibility, strength, performance and pain relief.
The fascial stretch therapy session takes place on a massage table and incorporates comfortable straps used to stabilize the limbs or part of the body that is not being worked on. This facilitates relaxation and enhances the effectiveness of the technique.
FST is very client oriented. The client needs to contract and relax a muscle as the therapist moves it through various stretch positions. FST uses the client's nervous system to improve the muscle's response by targeting the muscle stretch reflex. While you relax on the table the therapist will cue your breathing and movements and gradually ease you into a series of gentle, but deep stretching movements.
FST is guided by ten principles
- Synchronize your breathing with your movement
- Tune your nervous system to current conditions
- Follow a logical anatomical order
- Make gains in your range of motion without pain
- Stretch the fascia not just the muscle
- Use multiple planes of movement.
- Target the entire joint
- Use traction for maximal lengthening
- Facilitate body reflexes for optimal results
- Adjust your stretching to your present goals
After an FST treatment, a client typically reports an immediate sensation of "lightness" and experiences more open movement at previously restricted areas.
What is Fascia?
- Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, joints, blood vessels, organs and nerves
- Fascia binds some structures while allowing others to slide smoothly over each other
- Fascia reduces friction to minimize the force put on muscles
- Fascia can be very elastic to allow appropriate stretching over a joint.
Why is FST beneficial?
- The fascial system is often under recognized and treated. However, research is showing improved long term effects post FST treatment as it assists with the following:
- Provides muscles with an environment where they can smoothly move
- Transmits movements from muscles to bones
- Acts as a supportive blanket for nerves and blood vessels as they pass through and between muscles
Who would benefit from FST?
Anyone will benefit from Fascial Stretch Therapy, from young to old. Whether you are a professional athlete or a sedentary office worker or someone in between, FST can add a new level of self care to your lifestyle providing you with decreased pain, increased mobility and a more balanced body.
Regardless of your career, lifestyle or age, impaired mobility, over exertion, and stiffness can cause muscles and connective tissue to "stick" to one another. When structures stick to one another, they reduce the proper flow of blood and increase compression on nerves. Therefore, muscles lack proper circulation and nutrition causing an increased sensation of tightness. This is where FST can help to rebalance you.