Most people are aware that in order for our muscles to work, we need to stretch them regularly. Muscles that stretch are muscles that function. To achieve optimal muscle health and keep our bodies nimble with a full range of motion (especially in order to prevent sport injuries caused by the pulling of tight muscles) stretch therapy is a scientific application of techniques that target specific muscle groups in order to keep them limber. With stretch therapy, a trained professional can help keep your muscular system strong, flexible and prepared for exercise.
This form of muscle therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques, including foam rolling, massage, myofascial release and an active range of movements, in addition to assisted stretches. Stretch therapy can treat certain physical problems associated with tight muscles and restricted joints, and when performed properly can help prevent sport injuries and improve daily performance by addressing joint imbalances, tightness in the muscular system and tissue restrictions.
The therapy is similar to sport massage in that it is administered one-to-one on a special table designed for the application of muscle therapy. The therapist will shift your limbs into specific postures known to exercise certain groups of muscles and the connective tissues associated with them. It is not painful—many people who undergo this form of muscle therapy report that it is comfortable and leaves the body feeling relaxed and supple, greatly easing motion.
Benefits of stretch therapy
Stretch therapy has a range of beneficial effects that contribute to your general good health, helping your body to feel refreshed and properly maintained—as well as to prevent sport injuries and distortions in movement.
Some of the key benefits of assisted stretch therapy involve the easing of aches and pains that are commonly experienced in connection with taut and tense muscles. By releasing that tension and stimulating blood flow and proper circulation, comfort is restored, making movement easier and more comfortable. This also allows a greater range of motion to the body and improved movement patterns, which contribute to restoring the body’s full capacity of strength and mobility.
This therapy can help with imbalances in muscle lengths caused by repetitive movements that strengthen some muscles in the body while neglecting others, leading to poor quality of movement and ultimately, soreness, imbalance and discomfort.
Flexible muscles have a great impact on posture. A more relaxed and confident bearing while moving the body improves the way you look and can contribute significantly to your self-esteem. It can also make you appear younger and more invigorated.
As with sport massage, stretch therapy can boost your overall fitness level, allowing you to reach higher levels of athletic performance and counteracting injury risk and the potential for stress. It can also provide you with a deeper sense of calm, allowing you to relax more easily.
Safety and effectiveness
Stretch therapy exercises have been subjected to careful scientific inquiry to prove their effectiveness and safety. This means that therapists have examined the efficacy of different stretching regimes used in the practice of muscle therapy and identified the most helpful and beneficial practices to achieve the desired results at the lowest possible risk to those undergoing the treatment. In this way, it is an optimally safe and effective form of treatment, and a reliable tool in efforts to prevent sport injuries.
Practitioners of stretch therapy are professionals who are trained to use more than 100 standard exercise forms. Those forms that have proved less effective or less safe in scientific trials are excluded from treatment regimes. Only the most effective safe treatments are selected for this therapeutic technique.
The practice of stretch therapy involves a range of techniques designed to facilitate proper movement and full range of motion. Among these, sport massage techniques serve to accentuate comfort and ease of movement—and these techniques can also include self-massage with the aid of rollers and similar tools.
Stretching techniques employed during sessions can be passive, active or dynamic, or partner-assisted techniques designed to cycle you through the full complement of muscle stretching exercises.
Maple assisted stretching
While most people understand the basics of muscle stretching—especially people who exercise regularly and play sports—it’s not always easy to learn the proper way to stretch groups of muscles to achieve optimum positive impact, let alone maintain a regular, healthy stretching routine.
At Maple, assisted stretching gets the work done for you. By working directly with an experienced stretch therapist with a broad understanding of anatomy, physiology and stretching techniques, you will be introduced to a comprehensive routine of stretching exercises personalized for your needs.
Your postures during these muscle therapy exercises will be sometimes completely relaxed, and sometimes at full engagement as you work your muscles according to the direction of the therapist. The sessions can keep you accountable to stretching and improving your muscle health.
Maple Healthcare offers full treatment with chiropractic and stretch therapy performed by a team of well-trained professionals, helping you to move freely and with ease, without pain or discomfort.