What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?


What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) is an assisted, table-based stretching system that targets muscles as well as fascia; the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones, and joints and connects the body as a whole.

What can I expect during my first Fascial Stretch Therapy appointment?

During this 90-minute session, you will receive a 30-minute assessment followed by 60-minutes of treatment. The assessment may include a thorough review of your health history as well as a postural and movement analysis. The purpose of the assessment is to determine functional limitations and to gain insight into any potential injuries so that your therapist can treat you in the most effective way possible.

How many follow-up appointments will I need?

Follow-up appointments are currently available in 60-minute and 90-minute increments. The recommended frequency of appointments will depend on many factors and is case specific:

  • Maintenance Plan: For someone who doesn’t have any body issues, a monthly or bi-monthly FST session is recommended to eliminate any adhesions that occur due to every day functional patterns such as driving, work, sleep, walking, daily activity, etc.

  • Mobility Makeover: For someone with poor mobility and multiple restrictions, a commitment to 10 regular stretch sessions over 3 months would be most effective. For example, 2 FST sessions per week for 2 weeks, then 1 FST session weekly for 4 weeks, and then once every two weeks.

What should I wear to my Fascial Stretch Therapy session?

Unlike traditional massage therapy, we do not use sheets on our table. Please wear athletic-type clothing that you can move in and the therapist can access skin to treat soft tissue, as necessary. Ideal clothing includes stretchy athletic wear such as leggings, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sports bras, etc. Tight fitting spandex shorts are great, but please do not wear loose fitting short-shorts.

Does Fascial Stretch Therapy hurt?

Your Fascial Stretch Therapy session should be a pain-free, relaxing experience. When it comes to mobility, pain is the enemy because it sends signals to the brain that prevent the tissue from relaxing and letting go. It is extremely important that you provide feedback to your therapist during each session. If you are in pain; please don’t grin and bear it. Say something!

How will I feel after my Fascial Stretch Therapy Session?

After a Fascial Stretch Therapy session, you should feel extremely relaxed and comfortable. Since new patterns of movement and muscle activation are involved, you may experience slight muscle soreness and joint stiffness for up to 24-72 hours, similar to after exercising.

Can I work out before and/or after my Fascial Stretch Therapy session?

The answer to this question is very specific to an individual’s training goals, training type and training intensity and how that individual’s body responds to a Fascial Stretch Therapy session. It is best to discuss your unique situation with mobility specialist Jess so that you get the intended results out of both your FST and training session.

Fascial Stretch Therapy sessions can be adapted to suit both pre-training and post-training requirements as needed, but will have different purposes:

  • Pre-Training: FST is used to tune the body to the sympathetic nervous system and work within sport specific ranges of motion to avoid potential injury. This style of therapy will help increase blood flow to muscles and enhance mental focus and body awareness so that you are fully prepared to perform your desired activity.

  • Post-Training: FST is used to tune the body to the para-sympathetic nervous system, decreasing muscular tension and tone while relaxing your body for complete recovery.

Why is mobility important for sport performance and long-term health?

Mobility is a crucial component of both sport performance and every day general health. A person’s level of mobility dictates their ability to effectively and safely perform the universal human movements, such as squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, crawling, and rolling, that are required for healthy, functional living.

If you are unable to move each of your joints freely through their intended range of motion, then you are already putting yourself at risk of injury before even attempting to pick up a weight or load that joint.

Nothing is more disruptive to your physical activity or performance goals than recurring injuries, fatigue and muscles just that never seem to recover.

What is the difference between mobility and flexibility?

Many people think that mobility means flexibility, however, flexibility is only one component of mobility. Being able to move a joint properly through its full range of motion requires a combination of flexibility, strength and neuromuscular control (muscle-brain connection). Mobility is the measure of how all three of these components work together to positively impact our quality of movement.

The goal of Healthy Movement Therapy is to not only improve flexibility, but to ensure that you have optimal control over the entire range of motion of each joint. Doing this can help enhance performance as well as decrease the risk of injury during every day activities and sports.