The Benefits of Passive Stretching

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We have all been told about the benefits of stretching, but did you know there are even more benefits to Passive Stretching?

Stretching improves your circulation, flexibility and range of motion. Stretching can help to prevent and facilitate healing back pain and even improve your posture. Believe it or not, stretching has even proven to have calming effects and reduce the tension many get from headaches.

What is Passive Stretching?
Passive stretching is a type of stretching where you stay in one position for a period of time. You will be focused on relaxing your body while a therapist extends and intensifies these various stretches by placing additional, external pressure on your body.

What will the therapist do during passive stretching therapy?
Your therapist will identify and stabilize one side of a muscle muscle group to be extended or stretched, then he or she will use one (or more) of the joints/connections that the muscle crosses to deliver a stretch to the muscle tissue. Your therapist will then hold this position and instruct you to breathe in and out slowly and relax.

How does Passive Stretching Work?
Stretching damaged or injured tissues has been shown to aid in the healing process of muscle injuries, by breaking up/mobilizing scar or fascia (fibrous connective tissue) promoting functional healing patterns. There are 3 types or layers of fascia in the body binding us together and holding us upright. In order for our fascia to remain healthy it requires movement warmth and proper hydration.

Stretching aids our bodies from a neurological perspective as well. By targeting the nervous system, stretching conditions once-stiff joints to be able to move throughout their entire range in a pain-free manner. Passive stretching can teach patients how to move their body in a pain-free way during their daily activities.

Why Should I Worry About My Fascia Health?
The health of your fascia determines your overall health. Layered within your fascia are adipose tissues that regulate whole body homeostasis, vascular structures (arteries and veins), as well as nerve receptors. When your fascia is unhealthy, tightened or stiff your whole body can be affected. Over time, arteries and veins commonly become compressed, joints may miss-align and People can often experience increased discomfort.

What is the Benefit of Passive Stretching?
As your muscles and tissues are stretched slowly and held for a period of time then slowly released, the tissue will begin to relax and circulation will commonly begin to increase. Areas around the relaxing tissue will also be affected as joint and nerve pressure are released, aiding in overall comfort. With less pain and compression, blood pressure begins returning to a more normal state. Oxygen and blood can begin returning to the symptomatic area and promote natural healing and reduce the inflammation.

What Will I Experience During a Passive Stretching Session?
When you arrive for your session you will be placed lying down on your back and your therapist will instruct you on how to properly begin abdominal breathing. Proper breathing is key to experience maximum benefits from your therapy. As you relax your therapist will begin their assessment by gently squeezing, moving and kneading your muscles from your feet to your hips checking movement in each leg. Your therapist will do the same on each arm from the fingertips through shoulders also noting how movements are affecting the entire vertebral column. Once your assessment is completed your therapist will then begin to move your limb into position holding firmly while verbally guiding your breathing and slowly releasing the pressure on the limb. This process can be repeated 3-6 times until a full stretch is achieved. You should feel no discomfort during the therapy session. If you do experience any discomfort, please communicate that to your therapist immediately.

You will end your session with a few more deep relaxing breaths and should continue to feel better even after your session is completed.

Book Your Passive Stretching Session at Massage and Wellness Spa
For your comfort and convenience, we offer both male and female therapists who provide Mobile or Clinic appointments. Please call for details 727-459-2861 or contact us online with any questions. Many of our therapists are specialized in specific massage modalities and wellness techniques.

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