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Stretching Boutiques, Are They Effective?

How effective are stretching boutiques? Assisted stretching is not very effective because the brain is not a part of the stretching.  One article said it was a waste of money and I totally agree.  Most stretching that is taught today, which includes stretching taught by professionals, are really not very helpful. Stretching is totally misunderstood by most people and the stretching techniques are not effective. Watch most tennis players and golfers stretch and you will see the ineffectiveness of the stretches for those sports.

Too many times prospective clients arrive in my clinic frustrated with stretching after months of trying the stretching techniques they were taught, which, unfortunately, had little to no positive effects. There are clear reasons why the stretching we are taught over and over rarely works. Though it may feel good for the moment, the problem will continue long term.

Stretching is Not About Pressure

Most stretching boutiques are not effective because they use force to stretch a person. Stretching is not about the pressure, but about letting go from the brain. Most people stretch with the idea that if we apply enough pressure the muscle will give up and release. The human brain was designed to protect you. Remember the “fight or flight syndrome” we learned in biology. Our ancestors needed that to escape from the Saber Tooth tiger. In our world today, we are not running from a wild animal, but when we feel pain, the brain kicks in to stop the pain. The same is true when we stretch our muscles with pressure. The brain knows it’s you pulling, but when there is a pain the brain will override the desire to pull which will force you to let go. The best way to use the brain in stretching is to feel the whole stretch as you slowly and gently apply a little pressure, breathe out, hold no more than 5 seconds, and then repeat it 10 times. Each time you stretch, try to reach a little farther. By stretching this way, you are teaching your brain that you can move in the desired direction. Your brain will learn that the muscle can extend to full extension without damage.

Assisted Stretching Needs You to Participate

In most boutiques the person being stretched may be strapped to a table,  use a machine or the therapist, or trainer is forcing your body to stretch. This makes stretching boutiques not effective. Your brain will not let you do anything if it thinks you could get hurt. Being strapped to a table will make many people feel uncomfortable, especially the first time. When a person is tense, the muscles cannot release. When the trainer or therapist begins to stretch your body, knowing you are tied down, your brain may fight, especially at the upper limits of the stretch. If the trainer or therapist pushes your body too hard, forcing it to let go, the brain will contract the muscles to prevent them from tearing. When someone is stretching you, they need to give you the time to see you are in no danger of an injury. That means feeling your body resisting and knowing when to stop so you can breathe and relax the muscle. If not, then you are doing more strength training than stretching. To see videos for correct streching go to https://www.youtube/musclerepairshop

Why is stretching important anyway?

Stretching is important for the health of your joints, discs, and posture. At every joint, there are muscles that crossover the joint which means that the muscles above the joint attach below it and the muscles below the joint attach above it. When muscles get tight and hard, it forces the joint closer together creating damage to the joint due to squeezing out the synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant. Over time this could lead to damage to the cartilage which is there to protect the bone. Furthermore, tight muscles will affect your posture and discs by compressing the spine making it difficult to stand correctly. To go a little deeper go to https://stretchnrelease.com/2018/10/04/stretching-is-more-mental-than-phyiscal/

A Huge Misunderstanding About Muscles

There is a huge misunderstanding about muscles, especially stretching the muscles. Most stretching boutiques are not effective because they do not include the client in the stretching. The same is true for many pro athletes who endure injuries that seem to take a long time to heal. I have clients, age 50+, doing the same sports, getting the same injuries, and we are able to get them back in days or at most 1-2 weeks. It’s frustrating to try to understand how we cannot figure this out. There are hundreds of studies on strength training and almost nothing on stretching. This results in little understanding of the importance of stretching.  I was told by a physician once that muscles were similar to nutrition, there is far more money in teaching how to lose 10 pounds than how to maintain the weight loss. Fixing injuries are more profitable than preventing them from happening. To learn more go to https://www.musclerepairshop.com

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