by Derek Noland
Stretching is an all-too-often overlooked component in a balanced exercise regimen. While it may strike some people as a luxury, or even unnecessary, assisted stretching could greatly improve your life.
In fact, if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffers from chronic back painand/or neck pain — not to mention other types of joint and muscle pain — stretching just might be the key to feeling healthy and pain-free again.
What is Assisted Stretching?
Assisted stretching (which is also sometimes called facilitated stretching) implies just what the name suggests — that a trained stretcher manually helps you to perform various stretches designed to lengthen and release your muscles. By allowing another person to help guide the stretching, clients are able to achieve a deeper, more intense stretch and maximize their flexibility in the process.
These professionals are skilled at techniques designed to stretch our bodies from head-to-toe and know how far to push their clients on the intensity scale, which can sometimes be pretty far, and safely take us beyond what we’re able to achieve by ourselves. Assisted stretching can be quiet challenging, often surprising first-time clients, but with dedication and perseverance, the rewards can be life-changing.
How Can Stretching Help You?
Literally everyone stands to benefit from a regular stretching program, and incorporating assisted stretching generally furthers that benefit. From people with chronic, long-lasting pain to professional athletes looking to gain every possible edge, there are programs that work for all types of people looking for a variety of benefits. As many people are now tied to a desk or couch much of the day and typically live a sedentary lifestyle, our muscles tend to become more rigid and less elastic over time, which can lead to pain and a reduced range of motion.
Moreover, very serious problems such as degenerative disc disease and intense neck and back pain are all increasingly common conditions that may be improved by assisted stretching. Best of all, assisted stretching (as well as independent stretching) is a perfectly naturally form of exercise, and preferable to taking a risky over-the-counter painkiller. Regardless of whether you are looking to decrease pain, expand your range of motion or perform better athletically, assisted stretching can help you achieve a healthier body.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Stretching into Your Daily Life
Assisted stretching is a great way to alleviate the symptoms of the aforementioned ailments, but it may not be for everyone. Fortunately, if you’re uncomfortable with the concept, or you simply don’t think you can find the time or funds, there’s still plenty you can accomplish by stretching on your own.
While it may take time, study and practice to be able to match the impact of assisted stretching, the good news is that there are alternative options and it’s easy to get started. Start by considering your goals and some proper stretching tips and work toward incorporating some basic, daily stretches into your routine. As you grow more comfortable with the exercises, expand to include some stretching routines for your entire body.
Whether you prefer the idea of assisted or independent stretching, you can start today, and begin experiencing the benefits right away.