Optimally, stretching helps prevent and alleviate acute or chronic injuries.
Stretching is action to extend, lengthen and elongate soft tissues. Because tight muscles joints and other soft tissues can be painful , decrease movement, and lead to injury, we recommend certain stretching techniques that can be performed easily before during or after a massage treatment; On occasion the primary technique for a therapeutic massage session.
Shortened and contracted soft tissues resist lengthening and limit mobility of the joints they cross. Flexible joints are less prone to injury because they have more freedom of movement, and they are better able to handle stresses placed on them. Lengthening is a neurological response that allows the muscles to stop contracting and relax.
Repetitive, limited Range Of Motion activities performed over a prolonged period can create muscles that are chronically shortened, or conversely muscles that are in a lengthened position but are tight because they have developed excessive tone. In practice we regularly observe for example, tight hip flexors(thigh area) known to be caused from sitting for long periods, or waist bending. Also common, trunk extensors,(deep back muscles) can become lengthened and develop excessive tonicity with long periods of bending over. Even weight training exercises if habitually performed with limited range of motion, such as without full extension, flexion, or rotation can lead to muscles that are chronically shortened or lengthened tight.
Regular guided stretching and range of motion testing lays the foundation for effective bodywork!
Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)