First, what is fascia?
“Fascia” has become a pretty hot buzz word over the past few years. As we learn more about it, we’re discovering the many functions and effects that this tissue has throughout the body. In short, fascia can be described as a continuous web of connective tissue that surrounds and links virtually every part of our internal body. Just how abundant is it? Well, it accounts for about 16% of our total body weight and 25% of our body’s total water content! It has the tensile strength of soft steel and is the reason our bodies are so resilient. Keeping that in mind, we’ve discovered that an abnormality in our fascia can create restrictions in our movement, and sometimes even pain throughout the body. To picture this, think of wearing a really tight shirt. When you try to breathe or raise your arms, it’s difficult, and if you pull on any part of that shirt the restrictions increase all over and it tightens up even more. Wouldn’t it be nice to loosen that shirt so that you could move more? Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) can help with that.
What is FST?
Fascial Stretch Therapy is a modified form of assisted proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretching that incorporates not just muscle, but joint capsules, nervous system tissues and of course fascia. FST doesn’t just isolate and stretch a certain muscle, but creates length along entire fascial lines. So, not just one section of the tight shirt gets loosened, the entire shirt as a whole gets loosened.
What are the benefits?
People have experienced a number of benefits from having an FST treatment. Some of which include:
- Improved range of motion & movement quality
- Reduced pain & better pain management
- Stress reduction
- Greater mental acuity
- Myofascial release
- Improved posture and structural balance
- Enhanced sports performance
- Injury prevention
- Better sleep
Again, treatments will vary depending on an individual’s unique circumstance, but typically you can expect to be clothed, lying on a treatment table with the assistance of stabilization straps while a therapist uses specific manual techniques to gently move and manipulate the body in a pain free manner, releasing tension and restrictions.
FST is offered as a stand-alone service but can also be incorporated into a massage therapy treatment.