What is Stretch Therapy?
How I discovered Stretch Therapy…I have been practicing yoga for over a decade. Of course, my flexibility, range of movement and general health has improved over the years because of it. I don’t easily hurt myself when twisting or doing sudden movements because I’m flexible and supple. In general, I easily go into certain postures like kneeling, squatting and sitting cross-legged on the floor. Over the years though, certain parts of my body have been “stuck”, no matter what I did. I did emotional work on these areas through kinesiology, I practiced my yoga & stretched more often, but…..NOTHING! It was as if, I had reached the limit to my mobility for these areas. Except, I knew that was not correct & that I SHOULD be able to go further…I wanted the mobility I was entitled to dammit!! So as usual, I was on a mission to hack this!
I had a vision that what these areas in my body needed, was to be massaged whilst I was in a particular pose, so that there was a “release” which would allow me to go further into the stretch. I came across Stretch Therapy quite unexpectedly (watch the video to hear the story) and it kind of does that. Not exactly as I had envisioned, but in essence, there are some special techniques that Stretch Therapy utilises, to get your body to release further into a particular pose.
Kit Laughlin, the creator of Stretch Therapy gives this explanation on his website about what it is, “…a comprehensive system that includes stretching, fascial remodelling, strengthening, neural re-patterning, and relaxation. The goals are grace and ease, and this is experienced as enhanced awareness and elegance in movement”.
One of the techniques they use is the ‘contract and release’ method. What you do is, go into a particular stretch/pose, then you do an opposing contraction (you can get a better understanding of what this means in Kit’s videos and books) then, once you hold that contraction for some time, say 10 seconds, you release the contraction which will enable you to go further into the original stretch/pose you attempted. It really is amazing because you see the results immediately & it’s so simple to do and you feel really loose & free afterwards.
I have been going to the Sydney Stretch Therapy studio for the past 18 months and it has helped me in a number of different ways:
- more awareness throughout my whole body
- improved flexibility
- reduced tension in my neck & shoulders, which has helped with reducing my migraines
- improved stability
- getting closer to my goal of doing the splits (both side & front!)
Kit shares a lot of his stories in this interview which will be in 2 parts over the next two weeks – Part 1 is below. I highly recommend you listen, as he is very knowledgeable & wise!
I also suggest that you look into Stretch Therapy to enhance any of your current stretching practices (eg, yoga or pilates) or if you don’t have one, then this is a great place to start! The great thing is, If you can’t make it to a studio, then Kit has many videos on youtube (free) & vimeo (small fee) – follow along with, that will make you feel amazing and see results in your body, in a short period of time – the perfect practice for living limitlessly. Check out Kit’s follow-along video program Overcoming Back Pain here
Looking forward to your feedback on how you go with Stretch Therapy!
Hack yourself to health, happiness & abundance
ps…go here for >>Part 2<<
[1:02] How Stretch Therapy came about
[7:50] How Stretch Therapy works
[13:00] How our brains constrain our range of movement
[20:50] Is sitting the new ‘smoking’?
[22:00] Your body is the result of the things we don’t do
[28:30] Being symmetrically is more important than being flexible
[32:30] Faschia release
[36:00] Our bodies as ‘adaption machines’