At The Grand, our massage therapists are trained in Active Isolated Stretching, the highly acclaimed Aaron Mattes technique*.

His approach is designed to stretch muscles in a methodical sequence for enhanced mobility performance and well being.  This approach to stretching isolates each muscle in its relaxed state, stretching it gently and holding it for no more than 2 seconds.

This is repeated 5-10 times for each muscle depending on time available and expectations in the session. The 2-second hold is in a place of slight irritation, but not pain.  The client always communicates comfort level.  On each repetition the body part is brought back to its resting location before being stretched again to a further progression.  stretch-body

Holding a stretch for longer than 2 seconds puts a muscle in contraction mode to protect itself from being over stretched.  This will only hurt the muscle and hinder progression.

Stretching Recommended

Stretching is recommended before every workout to warm up the muscles and after every workout to relax muscles and flush waste and reduce soreness.  If there is no workout planned, it’s recommended that stretching be done in the morning and at night.  Your stretching routine should be done every day, twice a day.  It takes almost a month for a habit to become routine.

There are other opinions out there about stretching.  Some believe loose muscles around a joint create injury and poor performance.  The Aaron Mattes approach to stretching, along with Wharton’s believes otherwise.

Tight muscles are not strong muscles.  Tight muscles limit range of movement.  They are ineffective for performance and well being.  A tight muscle can’t lengthen and relax quickly to create joint movement when needed.  It has to call on other muscles for help, potentially injuring those that aren’t strong enough to handle the load as well.  Muscles not being able to work on command create a great potential for injury by not being able to move fast enough or position correctly to avoid a trauma or overuse effects.  A powerful body is composed of strong flexible muscles, not tight ones.

Benefits of stretching include:
•    Optimizing muscle and tendon range of motion
•    Aiding in metabolic waste removal through the lymph system, improving oxygenation to blood cells, tissue and organs
•    Enhancing athletic performance – (flexibility requires less energy to move providing for improved stamina, speed, agility and strength)

Improve your well being!
Improve your performance!

Book your next massage as a sports massage incorporating the Active Isolated Stretching Technique to the full body, concentration areas, or incorporating deep tissue techniques along with your session.

*Aaron Mattes AIS CE Material/Wharton’s’ Stretch Book-AIS

Kimberly Bowe
LMT