Assisted Stretching: Fascial Stretch Therapy

Stretch To Win System

Fascial Stretch Therapy is assisted stretching technique that is performed by a Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist with the client on a treatment table or on the floor or field. When assisted stretching takes place on a treatment table, comfortable straps are used to stabilize the limb or part of the body that is not being worked on, thus facilitating the complete relaxation of the person being stretched and enhancing the effectiveness of the actions of the therapist. This technique uses a modified proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) technique. In contrast to traditional PNF, clients using the FST system isometrically contract their muscles with as little as 10% of their strenth and up to 50% (versus 100%) and hold the contraction until they feel the release, approximately 3 to 4 seconds (versus 6 to 10 seconds), for a more effective relaxation response. See also proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

Core Stretching

The foundation of our stretching system is based on beginning at the core of the body and opening the joints and surrounding muscles and connective tissue first. It is our belief that until you unlock the restirctions deep with in the core, you can not truly have complete flexibility. It is from here the stretching matrix is developed and progressed.

Core Four Lower Body Stretches

Commonly called the core of the body, these key lower body areas affect the low back, pelvis, and hip area. The core four stretches for the lower body includes the hip flexors complex, the gluteus complex, (including the deep 6 rotators), the quadratus lumborum, and the latisimus dorsi.

Core Four Upper Body Stretches

The core of the upper body is the shoulder girdle and the key upper body areas affected is the shoulders, back and neck. The core four stretches for upper body includes the pectoralis minor, rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) rhomboids and the levator scapulae.


Stretching Matrix

This is the name we use for our method of developing a stretching program. It begins with the core eight stretches for the low back, pelvis, and hips for the lower body and the shoulder girdle for the upper body. It builds outward to the rest of the trunk and extremities. The program progresses in a logical and comprehensive fashion, with stretching regions of muscle and fascia that are both short and long as well as both deep and superficial. See also, core stretching.

Stretch Wave

This is a metaphor used to help people visualize a stretch as being made up of undulations of movement coordinated with proper breathing. This metaphor comes from observing that many physiological and kinesiological processes in the body occur in waves, from the light waves that stimulate the retina in vision to the pulsing waves of the blood in arteries and veins. See also undulating stretching.

Rebound Effect

This refers to the tendency of muscle (or group of muscles) that has just been stretched to tighten up again immediately afterward. This may happen from stretching with too much intensity or for too great a duration. It could also occur from re-contracting the area by returning back through that same pathway that was just stretched, which is why we return through a different plane of motion in our technique. It may also be a possible indication of a high level of waste products or toxic matter in the body.

Fascial Traction

This instrumental component that is used in FST gets the joint capsul open by decompressing the joint and eliminates the jamming of joint while stretching. It creates optimal mobility of the joint capsule that dramatically helps the effectiveness of ROM increases and flexibility gains. This specific type of manual traction releases adhesions in the joint capsules and other connective tissues. It increases the level of relaxation through joint mechano-receptors, called reflexive relaxation of the muscles that share the same innervation source and cross on or near the joint. It increases the good endorphins into the blood stream as well as significantly reducing pain levels during the stretching. Traction allows for maximal lengthening of all the connective tissues as it targets all facial components from deep inside joint capsue, ligaments, tendon and muscle tissues and all the conective tissue throughout the body.

Fascial Traction - As Listed In The Official Book Ch 1 Pg 11 And Ch 8 Pg 214

  1. Gets joint capsule open, decompressing the joint
  2. Creates for optimal mobility of joint capsule
  3. releases adhesions in joint capsule and other connective tissues
  4. Increases level of relaxation through joint mechano-receptors called reflexive relaxation of the muscles that share same innervation source and crosson or near joint
  5. Increase good endorphins into the blood stream
  6. Reduces pain levels
  7. Allows maximal lengthening of all the connective tissues
  8. Eliminates jamming of joint while stretching
  9. Targets fascial components deep inside joint capsule, ligaments, tendons and muscles as well as all other connective tissues
  10. Dramatically helps the effectiveness of ROM increases and flexibility gains

Undulating Stretching

This is the term we use to describe the difference between the Stretch To Win technique and traditional techniques of stretching. Instead of holding a stretch, the person undulates into and out of the stretch, oscillating at various tempos and directions as their tissue dictates. This type of stretching is used in conjunction with the Stretch Wave Concept.

Anatomy Trains

This is the term for a system of myofascial meridians (also called myofascial lines) as discovered and defined by Thomas Myers. He is an advanced Rolfer and creator of Kinesis Myofascial Integration and author of the book by the same name. In the simplest terms, the system shows how muscles are strung together longitudinally to form a supporting tensile network for the skeleton.