Stretch n’ Release Technique Benefits
The Stretch n’ Release Technique was born 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 onward. I am Florida licensed in Neuromuscular and Sports massage for 15 years, certified in Advanced Active Isolated Stretching, and have studied the relationship between the muscles and the brain.
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 Technique 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 brain. Holding a stretch beyond 5 seconds, when in pain, causes the brain 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 brain to resist pain and fight the stretch.
The brain is the key to better stretching. Your brain’s job is to keep you safe and alive. If your brain 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 brain goes into the “fight or flight mode.” The brain 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 brain, on an unconscious emotional level, controls your muscles 100% of the time. Muscle relaxers and pain medicines 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 Technique
With the Stretch n’ Release Technique, we will teach you how to relax the muscle with your brain 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 and discs to lubricate naturally taking 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 unique when compared to other stretching. I found that by releasing the muscle with the help of the brain while stretching, you 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, especially when you are suffering with pain. This will prevent the natural stretch reflex that your brain 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 brain 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 brain. Ignoring the role of the brain is a mistake I see in almost every stretching technique and I have seen hundreds. Your brain’s job is to prevent you from dying or getting hurt. That is why it is in total control of your muscles, do I fight the attacker or run. Otherwise, if you are standing on a cliff and your brain 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.
We will create a custom stretching plan just for you and your body, then give you videos to follow at home each day.
What We Do
When you arrive at our office, or on an online consultation, our first goal is to listen to understand your pain and when it happens. Next, we will explain why most treatment plans have failed you for long-term relief. Finally, we will do an assessment of your muscles to find the cause of your pain. When you leave our office, you will leave with a custom stretching plan for just you and your body. When you arrive at home, we will send you the custom stretches in video that will be easy to follow. Along with the videos will be a calendar of reminders to help you build the habit of daily stretching so you can live pain-free. Our goal is to give you a more pain-free life and empower you to stay there.