The wait is over! A post has finally appeared! While I pluck away at some fantastic posts, my wonderful coworker, Taylor Manney has given a fantastic write up on the benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy. I myself have had fantastic results with FST.
After having my migraine implant put in a little over a year ago I’m unable to get acupuncture, massage or chiropractic for my serious back injury from several years ago. For several years doctors were pumping me with medications, shots, etc until I finally chose a holistic route. Taylor has worked with me to relieve the stress from that part of my back to where I am pain free, even after just one session.
Taylor and her knowledge on everything holistic makes the work that she does just that much more amazing as a whole. So I’ll stop rambling now & let her explain!
Hey! My name is Taylor Manney and I’m here to tell you about Fascial Stretch Therapy…..you’re probably thinking, “What’s that?!”
Well first off, we need to answer the question “What is fascia?”. Fascia is the most prevalent tissue in the body that spans from head to toe like a giant net. It surrounds every cell, organ, muscle fiber, muscle, ligament, tendon, and joint, as well as encompassing the lymphatic system, nervous system, and circulatory system. The fascial network groups muscles with similar function patterns together, called myofascial meridians. The eight meridians are the road maps within our body; if one of our roads is damaged the rest are soon to follow and develop compensation patterns.
The main function of fascia is to withstand tension and compression. That’s how your body can form to the pressure of a hard chair or melt into a soft mattress. Or why when a child falls down the stairs they will bounce like a ball but not get hurt, because they have youthful tissue. When grandma falls down the stairs, she doesn’t exactly bounce. When areas of the body are stressed from holding compression for too long, the body will develop more layers of connective tissue (usually in the form of collagen, a.k.a. scar tissue) to protect it from future stress. These fascial adhesions cause stiffness, joint compression, pain, axial deformation, nerve impingement, decrease in circulatory profusion, decrease in proprioception (balance), decrease in range of motion, and decrease in performance. It is imperative that we keep our fascia young, healthy, and hydrated. When a child falls down the stairs they will bounce like a ball but not get hurt, because they have youthful tissue. When grandma falls down the stairs, she doesn’t exactly bounce…….
Stretch to Win – Fascial Stretch Therapy® (STW-FST®) is an assisted stretching program that his been thoroughly researched and designed by some of the top professionals in the industry. It is performed on a treatment table, using stabilization straps to hold limbs in place, giving the therapist better control and leverage when performing the stretches. During a session, the body will be moved and stretched in ways that a person can not do on their own, with areas targeted for release that have likely never been felt before, or even realized how tight they are. FST works deep into the joint capsules of the body (almost 50% of flexibility is locked up in the joints), areas a therapist can’t reach with their hands, or with other methods of manual therapy. Traction is a major component of the treatment. The therapist will apply gentle traction to the joint being targeted, opening up the joint and creating space for increased range of motion before taking the limb through the movement pattern, paying attention to the fascia restrictions that may need to be addressed. It is pretty pain-free for the client, although some areas can be intense or uncomfortable if it is really restricted. The therapist will work slow through these areas and stay within your comfort zone. The therapist’s overall goal is to release the myofascial meridians as mentioned earlier, a term coined by world-renowned fascial researcher Thomas Meyers and author of “Anatomy Trains”.
The most common benefits experienced with FST are reducing and helping prevent the risk of injury; improving posture and muscle function, which allows your body to move more freely; improving/increasing circulation, flexibility and range of motion; reducing or eliminating pain and soreness, promoting development of body awareness; increasing balance and symmetry in the body; and improving recovery and sleep.
If you are a supporter of holistic or alternative therapy, I definitely recommend looking into FST as part of your preventive self-healthcare. It’s way cheaper and better for the body than surgery, shots, injections, or pain meds. It is still a rather new modality in the healthcare industry. There are only about 4,000 Fascial Stretch Therapists in the world. I happen to be the only one located in the Janesville and Madison, WI area. If you are not from this location, visit stretchtowin.com and look on the Therapist Directory tab to find a practitioner near you.
To learn more about FST and the other holistic services I offer or to book an appointment, please visit my website: www.taylormade-body.com.