Life is guaranteed to bring a full range of aches and pains, some of which can be so serious that they affect both the ability to move freely and quality of life. In an effort to help individuals with chronic pain or limited mobility, new techniques like Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) have been developed. FST is one of the most effective manual therapy and movement training methods. Similar to Massage Therapy, FST is performed on a massage table and is best described as assisted stretching—but in a pain free, relaxing approach. By mobilizing and manipulating fascia (an internal connective tissue that connects layers of muscle and surrounds all internal body tissues—it has the appearance of a very thin spider web), the body can rapidly achieve gains in function. Although it’s a relatively new treatment, FST is quickly gaining support and popularity across North America since it is a very effective therapy that helps to restore, improve and maintain mobility as well as general well-being.
Although FST is mainly used for rehabilitation, it can benefit anyone and everyone! As we age, there is a loss of flexibility in our joints, muscles and fascia –which occurs even sooner in amateur and professional athletes. The loss of flexibility causes poor posture, muscle imbalances and joints to deteriorate, which, in turn, makes us more prone to pain and injury from simple movements. Many of us experience daily aches, pain and fatigue that seem to have no obvious cause, but are likely the result of prolonged and accumulated restrictions in our fascial system. Not only do we lose flexibility at an average rate of one percent per year, but poor lifestyles due to stress, inadequate hydration and nutrition, and too little or too much physical activity cause an even more rapid acceleration of the aging process. While general stretching and other therapies can help these conditions, only FST can completely treat inflexible fascia at the deepest level – your joint capsule. What really separates FST from other therapies is the ability to traction (gently pulling and moving body parts in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement) to remove restrictions from movement and stimulate lubrication. This causes no pain or discomfort. Instead, the gentle movement is stimulating and relaxing at the same time.
Whether you’re an athlete seeking to avoid injury and gain a competitive edge or an everyday individual who simply wants to de-stress and relax, FST is guaranteed to benefit your body! It can be offered as a stand-alone, separate service, as well as integrated with other training and therapy approaches for better, faster and longer lasting results. However, it’s important to note that the effects of FST are cumulative. Just as it takes time for things to build up in the body and cause problems (e.g. muscle imbalances, stiffness, etc.), it also takes time to restore the body from all the damage. You will feel some immediate benefits after your first FST session (more range of motion, less pain, sensation of relaxation, etc.) but it will likely take multiple sessions to fully reap the benefits of FST.
Here is a list of just some of the many benefits of FST:
- Manipulates, lengthens, re-aligns and re-organizes your fascia.
- Overall enhanced nervous system response
- Decrease compression and impingement in joints
- Pain reduction or elimination (especially for conditions such as disc herniation, facet joint dysfunctions, plantar fasciitis, pinched nerves, chronic headaches, etc.)
- Improved posture
- Improved range of motion
- Improved muscle function
- Improved balance
- Improved performance
- Increased energy
- Reduce risk of injury
No one should have to settle for living with pain every day. If you want to experience one of the most effective manual therapy and movement training methods that has endless benefits, then FST is for you! Both Coach Ericka and Ryan are certified Fascial Stretch Therapists and can give you the most relaxing and rewarding therapy like you’ve never experienced!
Demara, Bruce. (2012, August 14). Thrive: What is a Fascial Stretch Therapist? Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2012/08/14/thrive_what_is_a_fascial_stretch_therapist.html
Frederick, Ann & Chris. (n.d.). Level 1 FST Certification. Retrieved from http://stretchtowin.com/page/Level1Cert
Manuel, Dai. (2014, September 3). Fascial Stretch Therapy: A Secret Weapon to Beating Your Personal Best. Retrieved from http://www.daimanuel.com/2014/09/03/fascial-stretch-therapy-a-secret-weapon-to-beating-your-personal-best/
Runs, Debbie. (2017). 10 Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy. Retrieved from http://coachdebbieruns.com/10-benefits-of-fascial-stretch-therapy/