Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)
Fascia is an "inter-connector" of the body. It is a connective tissue; a biological fabric that holds us together. It is fascia, not bones or muscles, that creates our physical structure. Think of it as a spider web.
This is copied from Susan Alderete’s book, Reconnect Your Dots:
Imagine your body as a gigantic 3-D spider web with one center-point. The fascia is the web that “connects” all of you to one central point, somewhere in your pelvis. As life and all its activities pulls your spiderweb out of balance (sort of winding up your web) pain begins to set in - FST (Fascial Stretch Therapy) slowly unwinds your spider web (fascial system) and relieves pain."
I believe FST (it is separate session from a scheduled massage) is valuable and complements my therapeutic deep tissue massage to help maintain a relaxed and responsive system.
FST (Fascial Stretch Therapy) - What Exactly Is It?
Fascial Stretch Therapy is an assisted 90-minute stretching session performed by an FST therapist on the massage table. The client is fully clothed and wears a t-shirt with either relaxed slacks, stretch/yoga pants or long shorts. The lower limb that is not being stretched is secured under four comfortable straps that are attached to the massage table. This allows for complete relaxation of the client and encourages the effectiveness of the stretching that is being done. The upper limbs and neck are also stretched and the straps are not needed.
"I strongly recommend that my clients who have tight/stiff joints or who "stretch all the time" and don't make gains to try Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) with Joann. The combination of traction, proprioceptive facilitation and specific movement patterns may allow further pain-free motion than can be received with traditional stretching or foam rolling, etc." Donna Smyers, Fixer-Upper PT
Each limb that is worked on is tractioned out, or pulled gently away from the body. This, coupled with slight resistance from the client, eases that limb at various stages and opens the joints effectively. Meanwhile a series of gentle, undulating movements are done to soften and relax the body. Pain is never allowed and is considered a negative response.
"After my last session FST session with you my legs felt loose and relaxed. I mountain biked a couple days after the session and my my legs felt strong and pedaling seemed easier." -Steve B.
You will leave refreshed, enlongated and with a sense of ‘space’ in your joints overall. This will allow your muscles and organs to slide amongst each other more easily, enabling a freer movement and relaxation. And who doesn’t want that?
"For endurance athletes like bikers and long distance runners, who experience tight joints, this is amazing and different than PT or massage. Joanne's FST work stretches and elongates hard to reach joints and areas. She moves your joints, limbs and core on different planes as you breath into joints. After FST, I feel longer, looser, more open, and my running mechanics feel more relaxed and aligned." -L.Peach