The StretchFlex Technique can be overlaid onto any stretch that you already know, it just requires one more step.
When you do a normal stretch notice where the pain is. The pain is the tight muscle being stretched. While you are at the end of the stretch focus on precisely where the pain is located and then begin to flex that muscle in the opposite direction. Note: One always needs resistance to flex the muscle into something like an elastic band, door frame, bench, or Friend holding your arm or leg. Flexing into the air sort-of works but it is best to flex into an item. It is an easy technique to do…to the observer it may look like you are just doing the traditional stretch. If you can do multiple slight little flexes and stretches you will notice significant improvements and have greater range of motion and less pain with any appendage.
If you are doing the traditional hamstring stretch where you straighten your leg over bench…stretch the back of your hamstring and then keep your leg straight and flex the painful muscle downward into the bench.
The same technique can be applied when stretching the Pectoral Chest muscle. Against a door frame stretch your arm backwards and when you feel that is far as you can stretch then flex the muscle forward focusing on flexing the painful chest muscle.
If your neck is overstretched, and most peoples are, while lying on a bed tuck your chin and flex your head backwards into the bed. This will shorten and strengthen the back of your neck muscles which will help one have fewer headaches.
The StretchFlex technique will greatly improve your range of motion and you will have less pain doing it which will likely lead you to doing more stretches.
It is important to flex and stretch every appendage in both directions. Pain is usually from an over stretched muscle. However just focusing on over stretched muscles is only half the problem. By working both sides of the motion you will increase the integrity of that joint. This is often what Carpal Tunnel, Computer mouse arm, Headaches, and Arthritis is all about…the joint is being pulled too often in one direction and pain is the indicator that the appendage needs to be balanced.
Sometimes muscles can be so tight that they are unstretchable. A massage 2-4 times a month will help loosen that muscle and then the StretchFlex Technique will be easier to do.
Using the StretchFlex Technique will prevent Arthritis and any other potential injuries which will hopefully keep you off of the operating table.
By being aware of how to maintain your body and know when you are about to hurt yourself, will lead to better health and overall greater spiritual awareness.
Pain is the body showing you how to heal yourself – Pain Awareness
Often stretching is associated with pain which is probably the reasons why many don’t do it. But if you flex the pain you are putting awareness back into your body and awareness in and of itself reduces pain.
That’s such great info Jacob! Its so important to stretch our clients during massage to loosen the muscles up. Also very important as massage therapists to stretch ourselves out daily. No one knows the pain we go through as we massage body after body, day by day, year in and out. It sure takes a toll on our bodies as bodyworkers. Thankyou for the great share!
Great stretching techniques Jacob! We as bodyworkers need to stretch our clients during sessions. We also need to stretch ourselves daily. The pain that comes in our bodies after years of being a massage therapist right? Nobody but us bodyworkers can relate!