Allow an hour for your initial session, which will include a free 30-minute stretch and consultation to discuss your particular needs.
As a client, you may schedule either a 30-minute or 60-minute stretch session. A half-hour session allows time to focus on either upper or lower body flexibility, while an hour session allows time for both. In either case, what happens during the session is not fixed but is customized to focus on your specific needs and requests.
Simply wear comfortable clothing, as you would wear to workout or to the gym.
And please wear socks!
Stretch Zone® is for anyone wanting an active lifestyle, one that allows strengthening performance in every area—from perfecting that swing on the golf course to reaching down to tie a shoe lace. While stretching is essential for top athletic performance, it is also important if you are repetitive walking, climbing stairs, or sitting long hours at the desk. Stretch Zone® “re-educates the muscles,” which enables people to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Not as long as the integrity of the muscle, fascia and other connective tissue are not compromised, there should be no soreness. However, sometimes there are adhesions that cause muscles to be glued together, inhibiting your full range of motion. Precisely isolating and stretching these muscles can cause these adhesions to break-up, which will result in minor soreness similar to that felt after lifting weights.
This is different from over stretching, where you have stretched the muscle beyond what is normal and have caused damage to the fibers. Stretch Zone® improves your range of motion without compromising the
integrity of your joints or muscles.
The method applies a two-second hold in some cases and a six to eight second hold or longer in others. Research indicates that two-second holds can work well with weak phasic muscles, but tight tonic postural muscles (i.e. erector spinae) need at least six to eight seconds to fully respond. We believe that tempo is contingent upon other factors as well. Is the stretch before or after an athletic activity? Is it in the morning or evening? Or is the stretch for stress reduction, performance or rehab?
While there is some overlap, they each have their own objectives and different set of benefits.
Yoga is used to prepare the body and mind for meditation and healing from everyday stress. Yoga means “to join or yoke together,” and it brings the body and mind together into one harmonious experience. What most people associate with Yoga practice is Hatha Yoga, which incorporates physical movements and postures with breathing techniques. The long-held “stretches” within Yoga are to get into and maintain postures. The real purpose of practicing yoga postures is to develop the strength of body and calmness of mind in order to sit in meditation for 30 to 60 minutes without moving.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build muscle tone, balance musculature, support correct posture, and teach one to move with ease and grace. The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core and it does this using a range of apparatus to guide and train the body. Each piece of apparatus has its own repertoire of exercises, and most of the exercises performed with Pilates equipment are resistance-training exercises—they make use of springs to provide additional resistance. Pilates principles are: concentration, control, centering, flow or efficiency of movement, precision and breathing.
The goal of the Stretch Zone® Method, on the other hand, is to achieve functional flexibility and a full range of motion. While flexibility and motion are improved with both Yoga and Pilates, they are more of a side-effect. The Stretch Zone® Method is more direct and more effective in helping someone achieve optimal flexibility and an ideal resting muscle tone.
Benefits arise from working with the muscle tonus (muscle nervous tension). The benefits include
- Correction of compensational shifts and muscle imbalances
- Increased range of motion
- Enhanced physical and athletic skills
- Improved sleeping patterns
- Increased muscle relaxation
- Relief of stiffness and soreness
- Improvement in overall wellness due to feeling lighter and younger
- Reduction in stress
Massage primarily stimulates superficial muscles while stretching can activate the deep postural muscles. For example, to massage the psoas muscle, massage therapists must dig their fingertips deep between the superficial muscles of the groin area, which is not very comfortable for the client. With stretching, the psoas muscle can be isolated and stretched throughout its entire length without pain or discomfort. Further, the results of proper stretching are felt instantly.
Another difference is that stretching can be done fully dressed, can be done in public, and is less tactile than stretching. For this reason, many who may be uncomfortable being massaged find stretching to be more appealing.
Most Stretch Zone® practitioners have worked as sports physiologists, personal trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists, or chiropractors. All practitioners have been trained through the Stretch Zone’s horough certification training program. Using the proprietary Stretch Zone® Stabilization System on a massage table, they are taught through hands-on trainging to position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in a purposeful order while working with a person’s nervous energy. Once certified, practitioners are also required to earn continuing education credits every two years. Practitioners perform the Stretch Zone® Method in spas, fitness centers, physical therapy offices, chiropractic and massage offices, privately at home, and in the workplace.
Naturally, the Stretch Zone® Method has similarities to other modalities, but it has many differences as well. Like Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Fascial Stretch Therapy™ and others, the Stretch Zone® Method, rests on the premise that the limiting factor to achieving full range of motion is not the length or elasticity of muscles but the nervous control of their tension via the stretch reflex.
The Stretch Zone® Method is neither and it is both. It depends on the circumstances. Before an athletic activity, it is usually active. After a marathon it is passive. Many factors are considered. Is the muscle in a tonic protective contraction to prevent an injury? Is it a muscle in a shorten position from repetitive over-use syndrome? Does the client have with a neuromuscular condition such as Parkinsons, M.S., or cerebral palsy? Is the person severely deconditioned or elderly? These factors and others determine whether the stretch is passive or active.
The Stretch Zone® Method has been successfully adopted by several professional NBA and NFL teams and has helped many pro athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and ATP to achieve their peak athletic performance.
The Stretch Zone® Method (SZM®) can assist both athlete and coach with all three phases of conditioning: The General Training Phase, the Preparatory/Competitive Phase and the Recovery Phase. The Stretch Zone® Method’s practitioner-assisted stretching has the ability to accelerate recovery from workouts or competition, increase work capacity and enhance physical performance. Athletes will develop greater body awareness, more fluid movement patterns, and will be able to generate more power through a symmetrical use of muscle groups that have not been affected by habitual compensatory muscle shift.
With a balanced system, athletes will reach their true maximum potential. Armed with a systematic approach to training, the SZM® is best able to help an athlete be fully prepared for competition, as well as to recover both mentally and physically afterwards. Athletes who are introduced to the SZM® learn to better sense their body condition, resulting in a greater understanding of the state of their muscles and helping to prevent and limit injuries. This awareness aids in developing a greater sense of control and confidence, ultimately affecting peak performance.
Other modalities such as Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), and Fascial Stretch Therapy are each in their own way effective means of working with the nervous system to improve flexibility. While they all have merit, each is limited by its strict adherence to its unique approach. So these modalities are generally taught to therapists and trainers who will used them in conjunction with other means to achieve optimal results.
The Stretch Zone® Method is different. It has its methods but is not fanatic about adhering to a specific modality or methodology. It is not a one-size-fits all methodology. The only thing that Stretch Zone® is dogmatic about is proper positioning, stabilization, isolation, and in stretching muscles in a purposeful order with regard to the stretch reflex. The Stretch Zone® Method is not just complimentary to, but enhances the effectiveness of many other modalities.
Stretch Zone® adheres to the practical application of Wolff’s and Sherington’s Laws, the stretch reflex, reciprocal inhibition, and to some lesser known but extremely powerful principles of neuromuscular behavior.
Think of a car seatbelt. If you pull too quickly, it locks. If you continue to force it, you are just stretching the material itself. Similarly, forcing a muscle will micro-strain if. But if you were to pull the car seatbelt nice and smoothly while keeping control, it will come out much farther. The same principle applies when stretching muscles.
Rather than pulling on limbs to the point of soreness, the Stretch Zone® Method works through the nervous system to achieve lasting flexibility gains. The method rests on the notion that manipulating a muscle’s nervous energy is a major key to unlocking the body’s functional flexibility. This nervous energy, known as the stretch reflex, is the ’s automatic defense against the dangers of over stretching. Any movement that goes too far or too fast or is held for too long, past the current active range of motion, your body will resist with the stretch reflex. Once the reflex kicks in, your body has effectively said “no more” and resists the stretch. Any further attempt at stretching becomes futile straining.
Current research shows that if we can avoid the stretch reflex, our muscles can lengthen by 160 percent. When your body is stabilized correctly, it doesn’t have fear. It can relax and allow the full stretch to occur. Stretch practitioners are taught to position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in order to work with that nervous tension. The great benefit of practitioner assisted stretching is the ability to control and alter the timing of and even overcome the stretch reflex.
Yes and no. The patent pending Stretch Zone® Stabilization System of adjustable belts, pads and straps was designed to conveniently convert any standard massage table (stationary or portable) into a practitioner-assisted stretching table that is easily set up in under a minute.