Imagine lying on a soft table with your eyes closed focusing on breathing in and out while someone else does your stretching for you. This is one of the many benefits I discovered with Fascial Stretching Therapy (FST).
Fascia is the most prevalent tissue in your body. It is the continuous band of fibers that runs from your foot (the plantar fascia) to the base of your skull. FST Practitioners say that the condition of your fascia directly affects the health and function of your joints and muscles, and plays an important role in your posture and movement. Tracy Smith, a certified FST therapist in La Quinta, says that “Over time, tight fascia will exert abnormal pressure on joints, nerves and muscles, creating immobility and pain. You can re-train fascia memory by stretching the fibers and loosening their grip in target areas.” According to Smith even old injuries may see improvement after only one FST treatment.
“It surprised me,” said Hideaway golf pro Cody Shining who suffered a broken collar bone at 17 and was unable to extend his left arm all the way up beside his ear. “After my first FST session, I gained full range of motion. It amazed me – and improved my golf swing.” Shining feels less restricted and is now able to extend his club to a more vertical position.
Fasciae are similar to ligaments and tendons in that they are made of collagen. Ligaments connect bone to bone, tendons join muscle to bone, and fasciae surround muscles and/or other structures binding some together, and permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.
According to Smith, traditional stretching, while good for the muscles, does not release and stretch these encapsulating fibers. She adds that FST, which uses straps, outward circular motions, and stretching while muscles are relaxed can release impingements and break up scar tissue.
I tried FST and am sold. It was very relaxing having someone else do the work and the results exceeded traditional stretching and yoga. I felt taller and was able to rotate my normally stiff lower back to what felt like 180 degrees. I can imagine what it can do for the golf swing! Golf pro and Smith client, Scott McCarron notes improvement after his sessions. “My golf swing has more power with less effort.”
If you are looking for an easy, effective way to improve your flexibility and joint mobility – or maybe just your golf swing – I recommend giving FST a try.
FST therapists are certified by the Stretch To Win Institute (AZ) and must have existing therapeutic credentials to enter the program. FST is offered at AcQpoint Wellness Center in Palm Desert. www.AcQpoint.com or (760) 345.2200.