What is it?

Fascia is connective tissue that runs throughout your body.  Have a look at the picture below.  If it is healthy, it should look like a wet spider web.  This web of connective tissue is found throughout the body but, we're going to focus on the tissue that surrounds the muscles and lays under the skin.  Research has found that this connective tissue wraps around the muscles kind of like a tube sock. 

A Spider Web of Connective Tissue

Here's another way to look at it. The fascia is like a spider web that encompasses the muscles throughout the body.  It's almost like a suit.  If you took the muscles out of the fascia, it would still be a webbed fish net stocking type of suit.

Thomas Myers has done extensive work on this subject and has produced a book called "Anatomy Trains" which describes a series of ' trains ' that run in different directions throughout the body.  For example, the superficial back line (or train) begins on the sole of the foot, travels up the calf, the hamstrings, over the gluteus maximus (buttocks), up the back, up the neck and attaches just over the eyebrow. 

Since this is all connected, it makes sense that a pain in your mid back might be coming from a tight calf muscle.

As more research is conducted, scientists are discovering that the health and flexibility of our connective tissue plays a very big role in:

  • range of motion at the joints
  • muscle pain
  • muscle strength
  • flexibility issues 
  • joint pain
  • headaches

It has also been determined that nerves and blood vessels run through it too.  This connective tissue that looks like a spiderweb is made up of approximately 70% water,  just like the rest of our body.  So if we are dehydrated, our fascia will be dry and brittle.  If it's dry and brittle, then chances are we will experience:

  • more muscle pain
  • less flexibility
  • and less range of motion in our joints

Fascial Stretch Therapy Can Help

Ann and Chris Frederick of the Stretch to Win Institute are the pioneers in Fascial Stretch Therapy (TM). They began working with NFL athletes to improve their athletic performance. They designed a complete flexibility training system to help players loosen up and perform their best. 

The Stretch to Win Institute certifies individuals to become Fascial Stretch Therapists (FST).  In November 2014, I took my Level 1 and in September 2015 I completed my Level 2 in Fascial Stretch Therapy.  I completed my final level, Level 3, in the fall of 2016 and then went on to do a specialty in Sports Specific FST in March 2018. 

Benefits of Connective Tissue Stretch Therapy

Here are some of the benefits you may experience:

  • improved flexibility
  • reduced muscle pain
  • increased circulation
  • releases endorphins which provide natural pain relief
  • improved athletic performance due to increased range of motion

A typical FST session is performed on a massage table with the client fully clothed.  As you can see from the picture above, stretching in different directions would be very beneficial to your connective tissue, since it runs in various pathways throughout  the body.

Although every client is different, most people feel ' looser ' in their body after experiencing a session.  They are usually quite relaxed and if they had muscle pain prior, in most cases, it has decreased. 

Here's a great analogy as to how it works.  Think of putting on a pair of jeans that have just come out of the dryer.  They feel tight, right?  After you wear them for a day or two, they feel looser.  Did you add more material?  No!  The fibres just stretched out and now the jeans feel better!  This is how your body will feel - looser and more flexible.  Awesome!

How to Book an FST Treatment

So if you're ready to experience more mobility with improved flexibility, then contact me to book your appointment or visit the Stretch to Win Institute website to find a Fascial Stretch Therapist in your area! 

You can also book online at Book Online with Kathy

Current Rates (2020) for Fascial Stretch are:

  • 30 minutes ~ $50.00  (tax included)
  • 45 minutes ~ $70.00 (tax included)
  • 60 minutes ~ $90.00 (tax included)
  • Initial consultation with stretch session 75 minutes ~ $105.00 (tax included)

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Testimonials for FST

"My back is so much better now!  I have days with no pain now".  E.E.

"I've gained 1.5" in height since I've started fascial stretch sessions with Kathy.  I can stand up much straighter now!"  P.S.