Science of Fascial Stretch Therapy

 

In 1995 at Arizona State University, Ann Frederick did a videographic research analysis with a PhD mentor in exercise science. She wanted to study the effects of manual, assisted stretching with subjects on a massage table. One of their legs was gently restrained to prevent movement, so that she could use the straight leg raise test to measure outcomes due to stretching the hamstrings.

Range of motion in the straight leg raise measurement increased from a low of 37% to a high of 52% (mean average 45%) with subjects in her PNF modified stretch group compared to controls who had no intervention. FST got its start with an attempt to scientifically see if it made any sense or had any credibility. It obviously got off to a good start.

Fascia and Neuroscience

At the First Fascia Research Congress that we attended at Harvard Medical School in 2007, it was heard that for hundreds of years up until today, fascia

was discarded as an annoying wrapping and binding substance that got in the way of anatomy dissectors. To be clear – ‘fascia’ was the generic term used by the organizers of that congress to represent all connective tissue (from tissue to cell) that is not bone or blood.

For medical and other students and gross anatomists, fascia was thrown into buckets and bags, so “important structures that mattered” like organs, muscles, bones and such may be identified and studied. The ‘white stuff’ of fascia prevented what they wanted to visualize and palpate, so therefore, had to leave. Today, the world of fascia research has turned our perceptions of body form and function, structure and physiology upside down. Fascia has become the new darling of science such that novel discoveries are surfacing at a rapid pace, paralleling the same kind of exploding growth now seen in neuroscience and brain research.

For example, it has been shown that only 20% of our proprioceptors are in the form of myelinated nerve endings found in muscle and joints. The other 80% is found in free nerve endings, some known as ‘interstitial muscle receptors’, found in the fascia of muscles and in multiple layers of all connective tissue. 90% of those free nerve endings follow a different pathway than muscle and joint proprioceptors and end up in the insula cortex, not the sensorimotor cortex where the 20% connect. This has huge implications for manual therapy and movement re-education.

FST: Art of manual therapy and movement merged with science

Science shows that the NeuroMyoFascial system must be incorporated for optimal results in pain management, rehabilitation and functional training. Stretch to Win® - Fascial Stretch Therapy has been doing this since 1995 and has since evolved into a complete system that is successfully being used in medical, fitness and sports facilities all over the world.


What is Fascia (fas•ci•a)?
Fascia is the connective tissue system of the body that penetrates through and wraps around muscles, nerves, organs and just about everything else in your body.

What is Different About FST™?
FST is pain-free! It improves mobility of your nerves & flexibility of your muscles & fascia. Other methods focus on isolated muscle stretching which is often uncomfortable or even painful & results are only temporary.

Is it Like Massage, Yoga or Pilates?
FST is completely different yet perfectly compatible with other methods of therapy & training. Fascia surrounds each muscle, connects them to each other & penetrates deep inside them. It also connects muscles to tendons, ligaments & bone to form a body wide, smart functional network. Fascia connects to all of your organs & systems too.
Focusing on stretching the muscle only is "old school", boring, limited in benefit, often hurts and does not last!

Who Benefits?
People of all ages! Any patient cleared by their physician for stretching & active movement, fitness enthusiasts, athletes of all levels including professionals.

Is it Based on Science?
The first research into the effects of FST commenced in 1997 with founder Ann Frederick's thesis, found at www. stretchtowin.com. Current research on pain is being conducted with a team at the University of Arizona Medical School in Phoenix. FST is also based on the extensive science resources found at www.fasciaresearchsociety.org.

Are There Any Books About FST?
Yes! The Fredericks are authors of the books Fascial Stretch Therapy & Stretch to Win found on Amazon.com

 

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