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Assisted Stretching

Suffering from Aches and Pain? Relief May Be A Simple Stretch.

Lower back pain? Knee pain? Other aches? You may be surprised to learn that these unpleasant symptoms may be the result of a sedentary job or otherwise too much sitting. But the opposite is true, too. Exercises that strengthen your muscles and enhance your endurance makes you tight.

Aches and pain can also result from a pregnancy, anxiety, stress or an argument that causes you to hold your body tight, or from a previous injury such as a fall or car accident. Thrive Massage and Bodywork of Ann Arbor can bring fast relief with a technique called facilitated stretching or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).

Stretching, in general, increases excursions in muscles, tendon and ligaments. Assisted stretching at Thrive Massage and Bodywork accomplishes this more effectively and sooner. PNF changes the physiology of your body by increasing its water content. Other amazing things happen, as well. PNF induces stem cells that live in the tendon material to produce more collagen, the stretchy material in our muscles, joints and ligaments.

Your muscles have an alpha-gamma reflex loop that connects with the spine, sending a signal to your tight muscle to contract as you begin a stretch. With our help you can reduce the co-activation of that reflex loop. With assisted stretching, you lengthen your muscle fibers by adding sarcomeres which are the contractile unit. In other words, you become more flexible. After a single session with Thrive’s newest therapist, LMT Jenna Castor, your aching body will feel significant relief.

We know that your first question is, Will I feel pain?

“You will actually feel some minor discomfort when stretching at first, whether you are doing it yourself or with the benefit of our therapy. We will work your range of motion to a point of mild discomfort, which is where our therapy begins. We ask you to push against our gentle pressure and then release. You will find a significant increase in your range of motion without any more pain.”

We work with you slowly and carefully, being easier than you might be on yourself even as we bring relief to your aching body,” Jenna continues. “When you engage in assisted stretching over time, it actually feels good.”

“You are probably already feeling pain,” notes Thrive Massage and Bodywork owner Heidi Johnson. Heidi, who has been trained in PNF as well, is thrilled to have added Jenna to her roster of Thrive’s expert therapists. “Jenna is a certified PNF stretcher and she graduated from 750-hour massage therapy program at the Orion Institute in Perrysburg, Ohio. She has received extra hours of instruction and clinical application in the science and techniques of assisted stretching,” Heidi continues “While you may have come to Thrive Massage and Therapy for simple pain relief, assisted stretching also can enhance any fitness or yoga program you have begun. “With Jenna’s help, you can begin to master yoga’s more challenging poses or be more effective in the gym, the swimming pool or on the track,” Heidi says.

“When you ask for the best massage therapists in Ann Arbor, you would expect nothing less,” she continues. “We help your pain relief and life performance. Our mission is to help you thrive.”

For more information on the scientific research of assisted stretching, visit: “Current Concepts in Muscle Stretching for Exercise and Rehabilitation”