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What the heck is FST?!?!

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

So what the heck is this FST that I keep on talking about??? What’s the hype?

Fascial Stretch Therapy or FST is growing in popularity as a recovery and pain management modality. FST was developed by Anne Frederick in the US. She was treating and stretching football players at the University level and she developed this technique to help her as a fairly short/petite woman stretch these big football players.

FST is different from anything else!

What is Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)?

FST is an assisted stretching technique developed with the body’s lines of fascia in mind. You, as the client getting this yummy stretch will lay on a treatment table - an extra wide massage table. Comfortable straps are around the bottom on the table to stabilize the part of the body not being worked on. This allows you to relax more and not have to worry about keeping your leg down while I bring your other leg into specific stretches.

Your body is completely supported throughout the session which allows you to really let everything go. The more that you are able to let me do and the less you do, the more benefits you can reap! Falling asleep is totally ok ;P

FST utilizes a type of stretching called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) as well as traction, and breathing techniques to help relieve tightness in the joint capsule and muscle tissue and restore flexibility and range of motion.

What is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)?

PNF; also called ‘contract-relax stretching’, is a stretching technique. During a FST session,I will guide you into a gentle stretch and then ask you to push or pull against me; just meeting my resistance. Usually about 5-25% of max force for a few seconds and then relax. We then take advantage of the post contraction relaxation of the tissues to increase range of motion. This helps to create a gentle and enjoyable stretching experience.

What are the benefits of FST?

The light traction used throughout a FST session allows for a deeper stretch by creating more space in the joint; making FST a unique program.

Some potential benefits of FST include:

  • Decreased pain

  • Decreased stress

  • Increased sleep

  • Increased flexibility and mobility

  • Reduced muscle soreness

  • Increased balance and symmetry of the body

In 2017, a pilot study looked at the effects of FST.

They hypothesized that subjects receiving FST would have reduced nonspecific low back pain and enhanced activities of daily living (ADL).

Subjects received 30min sessions of 8 stretches

Results showed significant improvements in the pain and ADL scores.

This pilot study showed that improvements could be seen from both a singular session as well as multiple sessions of FST

Who is FST for?

EVERYONE! Although it was first popularized with athletes, FST is also beneficial for anyone wanting more flexibility, or ease of movement. Factory workers, drivers, office workers, PSWs, athletes, and just generally stiff individuals.

Pregnant ladies even love FST! With a growing baby belly, that weight on the front of the body can create stiffness or pain in the back or shoulders! A modified version of FST can make for one happy Mommy to be!!

If you are not very flexible or you are very flexible, you can reap the benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy. The unique stretches coupled with tractioning, finds relief that stretching on your own just might not reach.

At the end of a session, you might feel taller, lighter, more grounded, gooey, open….

It’s like nothing else!

Ready to feel free? Anne likes to say ‘Set it free with FST’!

Let’s get you stretched!

Book your complimentary Discovery Call to get started!

Carrie Doll Kinesiology: Providing in-home and online exercise prescriptions to Kitchener, Waterloo, Elmira, St.Jacobs, Conestoga and area.

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