Stretch n’ Release Technique Benefits
The Stretch n’ Release technique comes from my own experience. My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Aging Sciences from the University of South Florida. I studied the aging process from 30 to death. My Associate degree in Advanced Massage helped me understand how the body works mechanically. I have spent the last 15 years studying the muscles of the human body, their movement, and how the mind controls our muscles.
What intrigues me is how some people never seem to have the typical aches and pains as they age like their friends. There are several factors that play a role in their health and that is where Stretch n’ Release comes in.
Stretch n Release for Healthy Aging
Many of my clients, 80 and 90+ years of age are doing things most people could never imagine them doing. I found there are several commonalities among this group of people:
- First, they always have a purpose in life.
- They eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight which leads to lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or other diseases that are a direct result of diet and lifestyle.
- In addition, they remain very active, working out daily and playing sports that include a lot of cardio work.
- They work their brains daily by learning new things.
- Finally, they maintain their flexibility, in fact, most of them are as flexible as many people in their 20’s and 30’s.
Without their flexibility, everything else would fall apart and that is what led me to develop The Stretch n’ Release Technique.
The Problem with Traditional Stretches
Most people have been taught traditional stretches to increase flexibility. We were taught to hold the stretches too long, pull too hard, and nothing was ever said about the role of the unconscious mind. Holding a stretch beyond 5 seconds causes the mind to focus on the discomfort and not on releasing the muscle. Pulling the muscles hard or trying to stretch several muscles at a time causes the unconscious mind to resist pain and fight the stretch.
The mind is the key to better stretching. Your unconscious mind’s job is to keep you safe and alive. If your unconscious mind senses danger it immediately goes into the “Fight or Flight Syndrome” and quickly decides whether you should run or stay and fight. That worked well when we were faced with a saber-tooth tiger. Today, pain is our saber-tooth tiger. When we feel pain, our mind goes into the “fight or flight mode.” The unconscious mind contracts all the muscles around the pain to prevent any more pain. But the sad truth is, the tighter the muscles, the more pain you feel. Your mind, on an unconscious emotional level, controls your muscles 100% of the time. Muscle relaxers and pain meds can shut off the receptors to the brain which temporarily stops the pain, but the root problem is still there and usually gets worse.
Now, Stretch n’ Release
With the Stretch n’ Release Technique, I can teach you how to relax the mind and focus on one area at a time so you can release the muscles causing your pain. My technique allows you and me to determine the actual source of your pain.
You then learn how to do the specific stretches at home with videos to coach you while you are on your own. I will give you the tools you need to help yourself.
Stretching is not just for when you feel stiff. Stretching should be a daily activity like eating. Every movement we make will make our muscles tighter, every day, all day.
Therefore, we must stretch every day, several times a day. Think about your pet and how often they stretch each day. You will learn how to stretch daily without it disrupting your life.
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Why is Stretching Important?
Flexibility allows your joints to move easier takes the pressure off the discs, joints, nerves, and circulatory system. Our muscles are the only part of the body that can apply pressure to our bones. That is how we walk, run, or make any movement. Bones by themselves cannot move. At every joint, there are muscles that cross over the joint to hold the bones together. The muscles below the joint attach above it and the muscles above the joint attach below it. When our muscles are hard and tight, it affects the health of the joint.
Think about it. If our bodies are 70% water and we are hard as a rock, wouldn’t that make us an ice cube with two little legs? Not a very healthy state to be in, wouldn’t you agree? Yet we are told every day that we need to work towards “hard bodies and buns of steel.” This makes no sense.
Most think of flexible people as gymnasts or ballerinas. NO one needs to be that flexible to avoid pain. Obtaining any degree of flexibility for any length of time will take a tremendous amount of pressure off your joints and back leaving you with a more pain-free body.
How are we different?
The Stretch n’ Release Technique is different than any other stretching technique out there. I found that by releasing the muscle with the help of the mind while stretching can eliminate the stiffness and pain in joints and in the back. I learned this from personal experience. 20 years ago, I developed severe crippling back pain from overworking. Out of necessity, I found the answer that no other practitioner was able to find. Today I am living a pain-free life and more flexible than ever.
Here are the most common mistakes when stretching:
Holding the stretch too long. Unless you are already a very flexible person, I would never hold a stretch for more than 5 seconds. This will prevent the natural stretch reflex that your unconscious mind will engage for fear you may get hurt.
Pulling too hard. Most people believe that the harder I pull the more stretch I get. The truth is, the harder you pull, the more pain you create, and the more your mind will engage the opposing muscles to prevent you from hurting yourself. This is called strength training and if you trying to build muscle then continue.
Leaving out the mind. Ignoring the role of the unconscious mind is a mistake I see in almost every stretching technique and I have seen hundreds. Your mind’s job is to prevent you from dying or getting hurt. That is why it is in total control of your muscles as it’s a way to decide, do I fight the attacker or run. Otherwise, if you are standing on a cliff and your mind says this is dangerous, don’t take another step, without control of your legs, they could say, what the heck, I am going.
No massage included. I don’t mean a full body massage. Learning how to massage your body before you stretch it allows your mind time to relax as you break up the knots in the muscle. This allows for easier stretching and better freedom.
What We Do
When you come into our office you will get a yoga strap to assist you in the stretches that we teach you. We will send you home with videos of the 3-4 stretches we taught you during your session.
It is important to understand that stretching is an everyday event. I am not talking about what you see in a gym class but learning how to do a few stretches at a time throughout the day. You will create habits of stretching that you will become part of your routine.
Remember your pet and how they stretch multiple times each day?
We will teach you how to self-massage to prepare your body for stretching and finally, we will teach you how to relax your mind to allow your whole body to be in a better state for stretching. We want this to be simple and it will be once you learn how to put it all together. That is where we come in.
1217 East South Dr., Suite 207
Sarasota, FL 34239