Stretching is kind of like flossing... everyone knows they should be doing it, but who really does it? It’s one of those things that we’re all going to start making into a habit tomorrow, but somehow tomorrow never comes. To our credit though, when we get that cramp in our thigh, or piece of spinach in between our teeth, we know exactly what we need to do. But how do we identify the exact muscles that tend to cramp or spasm, and prevent it from happening? How can we isolate and stretch the muscles we hold the most tension in to prevent and alleviate pain? How can we most effectively just enhance our mobility for a higher quality of life? The answer, Assisted Stretching.
What is Assisted Stretching?
Assisted Stretching is a hands-on method of stretching in which a person is gently supported through a series of stretches by a trained practitioner. Assisted Stretching is more effective than stretching by yourself because the practitioner stabilizes your joints in positions that allow you both to isolate and stretch one muscle at a time while expanding your fullest range of motion. The benefit to being able to isolate and stretch individual muscles is to give both you and the practitioner a better understanding of where exactly your body may be out of alignment. Perhaps your low-back pain is just a result of tight hamstrings, or your sciatica is just a result of tight glutes. Both of which can be relieved from general stretching, but without the assistance of a trained practitioner, it is nearly impossible to isolate the exact muscle and relieve its tension.
Why is Assisted Stretching so productive?
Aside from being able to realign your body by isolating the muscles being stretched, Assisted Stretching is an opportunity for you to relax and repair your body and mind while still using your time constructively. Many of us after long days or weeks want nothing more than a massage to take the tension out of our backs, necks, shoulders, or hips, but aside from the relaxation, what is the massage doing to prevent that tension from returning? Most of the time, tension builds in areas of our bodies that are either overactive or misaligned due to habitual poor posture. While massages are great, if you’d rather spend your time relaxing AND simultaneously preventing the tension from returning, Assisted Stretching is for you.
Stretching is one of those things that people spend their lifetime studying and writing about because of its incredible complexity and near infinite amount of benefits. But instead of wasting your time with all that, experience the hype for yourself by scheduling a 20 minute Assisted Stretching session with Nick Macaluso at Evolve Physical Therapy. Sessions run in 20 minute increments and can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on how long you would like to be stretched. While this service is open to the public, all active patients of Evolve must first speak to their therapist to ensure an Assisted Stretch is right for them.
For more information or any questions, give us a call at 718-258-3300 or contact us today!