Have you ever considered getting some body work done for yourself but you were not sure where to go? Whether it is to manage fatigue and stress or to reduce recovery time between training sessions FST is a great modality to try out. Fascial stretch therapy is suggested if your well-being and body movement are at risk due to complications related to the tension created in the fascial lines of the body. Whether you want to get rid of body tightness or just want to enhance your recovery time – here’s everything you need to know about fascial stretch therapy for recovery and wellness..
What is Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)?
Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) is an established form of therapy to relieve stress, improve energy levels and decrease pain. This pain-less stretching technique improves a variety of movements, improves the ability to work, and accelerates recovery in training. It is one of the most beneficial treatments for everyone, including athletes. FST not only stretches the muscles but the entire fascial system, which allows your body to transfer agility, power, and strength at its best performance.
There are 12 myofascial lines on the body ranging from superficial back/front line, deep back/front line, spiral line, functional lines, lateral line, and arm lines. Each of these lines are interconnected with a series of muscle groups, joints, nerves, and even organs for some. An issue that may be reported from one line can be affected by another area of the fascia line and/or from another fascia line altogether. This unique aspect of the fascia allows practitioners identify the root cause of reported issues.
How does Fascial Stretch Therapy help?
When you feel rigid, stiff, or uncomfortably painful on daily basis you might assume you’ve injured a muscle. Unless you are a health professional or an athlete, you would not think that you have actually injured the surrounding tissue known as fascia. The fascia is a thin connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. Rationally it will need a little TLC just like our muscles do! Because our fascia works so hard and it can be holding a lot of stress just like our muscles so, fascial stretching is needed to help in:
- Reducing pressure/tension
- Releasing stored pressure/tension in the fascia
- Reducing/eliminating pain
- Improving body movement and elasticity
- Boosting overall energy
- Improving joint health and posture
How FST Is Different from any Other Stretching Technique?
The difference between Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) and other common types of assisted stretching is certain features such as Circumduction i.e. rotation or circular motion, Oscillation i.e. going back and forth at normal speed, and Traction i.e. Flare-and-pulling in FST, no muscle compression is done as the therapy follows anatomical and logical order without pain. These techniques allows practitioners to work from the superficial layers (surface) to the deeper layers of the tissue as well as into the joint capsule. Practitioners take on a ‘less is more’ approach during these sessions which allows a gentle, pain-free approach in stretching which in effect provides a longer lasting effect. By having this focused fascia line approach, the investment in the client will be lower in a medium/long term plan as they will be able to achieve their recovery/wellness goal(s) faster.
Other stretch modalities offer a basic approach in isolating a single muscle group and stretching it. There is little to no consideration in how intense a stretch should be which then becomes a very intense if not painful experience for the client. This approach can lead to the body becoming defensive in the session and could result in poor results such as a tighter muscle group or increased tension in the given area. With these methods, the forceful and painful approach will lead to small improvements with temporary relief. This can prove to be costly in a medium/long term care plan as more sessions will be needed in order to meet the goals your client wants.
The Science behind Fascial Stretch Therapy
In recent times, the world of Fascia research has changed our perception of body image, function, structure, and physiology. Fascia has become such a new scientific interest that the discoveries are surfacing at a rapid pace; accompanied by the same kind of growth that is now reflected in neuroscience and brain research.
Studies show that only 20% of our proprioceptors are located in the myelinated nerve endings found in the muscles and joints. 80% are located at the end of free radicals, known as “interstitial muscle receptors” located in the fascia and in multiple layers of all connective tissue. 90% of those free nerve endings follow a different path than proprioceptors of muscles and joints and end up in the insular cortex, not the sensory-motor cortex to which 20% connect. Therefore, this has great hands-on applications and re-teaching movement.
Fascial restrictions are one of the most vital obstacles to effective living. Luckily, fascial stretch therapy is here to overcome all of your flexibility and mobility problems. In addition, many studies have been conducted on FST that have shown that the Neuro-Myofascial system should be included to have positive effects on pain management, recovery, and effective training. Fascial Stretch Therapy has been used successfully in medical, intensive, and sports fields around the world. ACE Performance and Recovery is a mobile recovery service based in Lake Worth FL. If you are interested in a fascial stretch session, contact us to schedule a session today. If you are not in the palm beach county area but interested in fascial stretch therapy, check out this link for a directory on FST providers worldwide.