I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I first walked into Stretch Studio. Obviously, I have always been told to stretch pre and post work out, but assisted stretching was something that I was not too familiar with.
I happened to go in on a day when I was extremely sore. I had just started training that week again after getting the flu, so my first workouts back really hit me. My muscles were tight, it was hard to walk at pace or up hill so it really was probably the best day for me go.
Sara was my flexologist that day, and she was awesome. She really made an effort to explain to me what she was doing and why she was doing it.
I went in and filled out a form about where my flexibility is at and details if any issues, aches, pains and reoccurring injuries that I am nursing.
Once that was done, Sara took a photo of me standing side on, and then a second photo of me down in a squat with my hands overhead.
From the two photos, their computer system was able to point out where my imbalances are, where my fascia is clearly tight and where we need to start working on to improve my flexibility.
I jumped up onto the treatment bed which includes a strap that can strap one limb down, while Sara works on the other limb. We started by working with legs and hamstrings with a hamstring stretch. I had one leg strapped down and then Sara very gently pushed by leg into the safest maximum stretch we could get into.
We reset the stretch a few times with a technique called “nerve flossing” which involves a variety of gentle movements targeted at a specific nerve pathway, to mobilise the nerves. The movements are simple and often require no equipment. These movements are aiding mobilisation by “flossing” the nerve, back and forth. This helps reduce painful symptoms caused by irritated or compressed nerves. It can also help increase range of motion.
In the case of my hamstrings, Sara was focusing on nerve flossing for the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the legs to the toes. Irritation of the sciatic nerve can cause numbness, weakness and/or radiating pain in the lower back, legs, calves, and feet, often referred to as sciatica.
We then did some work to stretch and open up through my chest, shoulders and arms. Given I am often desk bound, that is where I often get tight and sore.
The pain that I felt before going into the treatment was reduced, and I also found that I had a great sleep after the treatment too. I would definitely book back into this treatment when I am feeling sore and tight. I would also consider going once every week or two for maintenance depending on how much time I have available.
Assisted stretching is a hands on type of flexibility training that is guided by a trained professional. Stretch therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques that can sometimes be hard to navigate on your own.
Flexibility is fundamental to all other physical capacities. Meaning is essential to have some form of flexibility in order to move in any way. You cannot be strong, fast, agile, etc., in places/positions you can’t physically access with your body. Put differently, if you want to develop any physical capacity, you must have flexibility. Therefore flexibility is crucial to anyone interested in health and fitness, but also anyone who just wants to move their body well for daily living.