Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) is a manual table-based therapy that has been called by Charles Barkley, “the best stretch of my life”.
FST targets fascia, the most prevalent tissue in the body. Fascia is found around the muscles, joints, arteries, veins, the brain, and the spinal cord. The stretch helps reduce pressure and release stored stress in the fascia, improving circulation and flexibility while boosting energy. The key to unlocking your fascia is traction – which creates space in your joints to help them move better and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) allows for a deeper stretch without causing any pain.
Let’s talk about 3 Reasons why FST needs to be in your fitness routine!
1. IMPROVED POSTURE
In today’s society, most of us struggle with poor posture. We just aren’t built to sit all day over a keyboard or cellphone! Poor posture can also lead to inefficient form in the gym. If the muscles become too tight, the body will look for the easiest path to perform an exercise. This can lead to compensatory injuries, soreness, and less muscle growth. How can fascial stretch therapy help? FST is like hitting the reset button – FST will help retrain and relax the muscles that have begun to overcompensate.
2. JOINT HEALTH
Joint mobility is a critical element of healthy aging, especially for those who want to live an active lifestyle: running, lifting, cycling — the list goes on. These activities can put a lot of stress and compression on the joints if they are not properly taken care of. Joint compression can lead to increased chances of osteoarthritis, joint degeneration, and other painful conditions. Fascia stretch therapy uses a method called traction that creates space between the joint capsule to allow the joint to “breathe.” It allows the synovial fluid to flow through the joint cavity, making movement smoother.
One of the most common reasons why someone would sign up for an FST session is to improve their overall flexibility! Flexibility is defined as “the range of motion of a given joint or group of joints or the level of tissue extensibility that a muscle group possesses.” During your stretch therapy session, the therapist will target tight muscles using protocols that will lengthen and restore optimal flexibility.
How can this help your athletic performance in life and sport? Increased flexibility reduces the risk of injury – especially sprains and strains. FST is diverse – it can be used as a dynamic warm-up, a cool down, or to maximize your movement patterns during activity!