Stretching is one of the best thing you can do for your body, for a lot of reasons.
Stretch Therapy is a type of bodywork that promotes flexibility, balance, and strength for improved physical performance. Whether you’re an athlete, or exercise for general wellness, or simply need to be more functional in your everyday activities, everyone can benefit from Stretch Therapy.
There is two main types of stretching: 1. Passive (static) and 2. Active (dynamic).
1. Passive stretching is when an external force is applied to stretch a muscle. That force could be gravity, a stretch band, or a partner. During passive stretching the muscle being stretched is more or less relaxed, which is good for lengthening a shortened muscle, improving flexibility, and increasing the range of motion (ROM) in the joint.
2. Active stretching is when you engage the opposite or antagonistic muscle being stretched. For example, to really stretch the hamstrings deeply the quadriceps need to be contracted. This dual action allows the hamstrings to relax and achieve a long-lasting benefit.
Generally, active stretching is used for improving the functional movements needed in sports because it works big muscles and muscle groups. Passive stretching is useful for all the other everyday movements we need to move with ease, stretching both the big muscles and the intrinsic muscles that are in or near the joints.
Tom Messina’s method of Stretching Therapy begins with taking you through a breathing exercise that encourages deep diaphragmatic breathing. This relaxes the body and supplies more oxygen to the tissue, making his manipulations in stretching more profound. Depending upon your problem Tom then applies a series of passive and active stretches in each joint with an emphasis on the areas that are especially tight. Patients feel looser, stronger, and ready to go after a session of stretching.
Stretching is key to recouping bound energy, a little “secret” that will help you keep up your athletic performance and help you move with ease throughout your day.