What is Fascia? and how Fascial Stretch Therapy™ can help.
Fascia is a microscopic web-like fiber of connective tissue made up of collagenous tissues throughout the human body. Fascia penetrates through and wraps around the joints, muscles, nerves, organs, and just about everything else in your body. The health of our muscles, joints, arteries, veins, brain, and even interoceptive awareness, which is the individual's subjective sense of the inner body is determined by the health and flexibility of our fascia. When the bodies under stress physically, mentally, and emotionally, we can wind up our fascia which can make the cells in our body stiffer, and we amp up our sympathetic nervous system, which is our “Fight or Flight Mode”.
A vicious cycle can occur, as our body becomes tighter, the more fascia stiffens, the more pressure is placed on the nerves within these tissues. The less mobile our muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments become, the more our “Fight or Flight” response turns on and the more pain we experience.
FST™ is a very efficient and effective therapy technique created by Ann and Chris Frederick. FST™ is a therapist-assisted manual therapy where a certified practitioner assists the client in stretching by moving them through an active, passive, and resisted range of motion. This therapy targets the neuromyofascia, not just the muscles, which allows for relief at the deepest levels, specifically the joint capsules, and progresses through all layers of fascia leading to the superficial layers.
There is a problem with the current paradigm in the world of stretching. Some experts may argue that stretching pre and post-training provides zero benefits, and provides no protection from injury and post-exercise soreness. However, there are mountains of testimonial evidence that supports stretching to meet these claims. The other problem with traditional stretching is that most studies on this topic are done on the effects of “static stretching”. Static stretching on hyperactive muscles creates an increase of tension on the joints, which then compresses the tiny nerves and can cause pain.
The goal of FST™ is to down-regulate the nervous system, taking you out of “Fight or Flight”, and restore proper myoneural (muscle and mind) mechanics in areas that were once restricted, improving optimal movement pain-free! With FST™ there is no pain, not even discomfort because the practitioner uses traction to move the arms, legs, spine, and neck in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement, relaxing the nervous system. Using traction also decompresses the joints which take the pressure off nerves and also allow synovial joint fluid to develop and lubricate the joint capsule.
What does fascia look like?
This is an image of the fascia under a microscope. As you can see here, fascia is a web-like structure made up of collagen and elastin. This connective tissue intertwines throughout the entire body, connecting itself to the joints, tendons, ligaments, as well as through each layer of muscle cells. This tissue encapsulates and glues our bodies together forming as an intracellular matrix of webbing.
What are the benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy?
Pain is often greatly reduced or eliminated.
Finally wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Better posture, look, and feel healthier with more confidence.
Immediately and significantly reduce stress.
Greatly improved mobility after just one session!
Better mobility, which leads to more effective training, and keeps you staying motivated.
What can I expect from Fascial Stretch Therapy?
Fascial Stretch Therapy is not like other stretches, it is pain-free, relaxing, easy, and convenient for any person. Clients are fully clothed in athletic or loose clothing and remain relaxed as the practitioner performs the assisted stretches on a massage table. There is no use of oils or creams, and the client will leave a session feeling lighter, more relaxed, and renewed.
The beginning of each session starts with the practitioner evaluating their client, looking for imbalances, as well as the source of those imbalances. The practitioner and client synchronize breath to help with the movement, relaxing the body and allowing the warm-up of joints and muscles and thus increase joint lubrication with maximum blood flow to the tissues.
During each session techniques of slow undulating movement (known as the StretchWave™), traction (a gentle pull to create space in the joint), and a modified form of PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), and synchronized breathing, are used to stretch the entire body. The practitioner follows a safe and effective logical anatomical order to lengthen the muscle, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility.
Frequently Asked Questions.
What makes FST™ different?
It is pain-free! Stretching should NEVER hurt!
You receive a personal evaluation, which is essential to reach your goals.
Each session is customized for your needs.
What is FST™ good for?
Provides an improved quality of life.
It is very effective in reducing pain from a lack of mobility and flexibility.
You will have a faster recovery from fitness and athletic activities.
What are the techniques that make FST™ different?
The practitioner uses traction which produces faster and greater gains in flexibility and mobility.
There is a flow, this method moves your body like nothing else.
FST™ works the neuromyofascia, making it the most comprehensive way to achieve optimal function to your neural, muscular, and fascia systems.
Is FST™ based on scientific research?
YES! Research of FST first completed in 1997 with founder Ann Frederick at Arizona State University.
In 2017, research at the University of Arizona Medical School on the effects of FST on chronic non-specific low back pain showed significantly improved outcomes.