Most treatments will involve some form of stretching during and/or after the massage. This stretches out the muscles which have been worked and found to have trigger points, or that are tight and restricted.
Some clients have a session of mainly stretching to help keep them flexible and mobile. This benefits people of all ages.
There are several stretching techniques that I use:
Passive Stretching– performed whilst you lie still, and I gently stretch the muscles worked. I will put the muscle into its fullest range of motion and sustain the stretch for at least 30 seconds, taking into consideration your flexibility and pain threshold.
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) or Muscle Energy Technique (MET)– the muscle involved is stretched for four to six seconds. It is then allowed to relax and then extended further. This process carries on until a maximum stretch has been reached. Resistance to the stretch during the hold helps to increase the stretch outcome.
Active Isolated Stretching –a technique developed by Aaron Mattes, using active movement and the theory of reciprocal inhibition to achieve greater flexibility. This stretch involves moving the muscle into the maximum stretch and then taking it slightly further for one and a half to two seconds, and then returning it to the starting position. This can also be performed using a rope or band to stretch the muscle. The whole sequence is repeated eight to ten times. This technique improves range of motion, and increases and maintains flexibility.