Assisted stretching: The new trend in town with multiple benefits | Entertainment/Life

Move, meditate.

Push aside, Pilates.

There is another health/wellness/fitness trend going on in southern Louisiana. It's called Assisted Stretching, and there are now several branches in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lafayette dedicated to the method, or at least including such classes in their offerings.

Its name is a bit self-explanatory: As opposed to stretching yourself, say, before a run, assisted stretching requires a trained practitioner to stretch your body for you beyond what you can do alone.

Personalized stretch plans zero in on specific problem areas or can cover muscles from head to toe with 26 different stretches. Clients range from nimble teenage athletes to less active retirees, and they choose assisted stretch routes for a variety of reasons.

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Benderologist Raegan Griffin and member Brandi Gonzales perform leg stretches at the StetchLab in Baton Rouge.

A client's story

Patrick Miller, 69, of Baton Rouge, was one of StretchLab's first clients when the studio opened in June in the town center at 7350 Jefferson Highway.

Miller was experiencing severe hip soreness and pain that kept him awake at night, as well as chronic lower back problems.

“Now, I can walk most of the time without pain. I can even walk up steps. I can tie my shoelaces, a lot of things,” Miller, an attorney who specializes in real estate closures, said in his interview last week. said before a stretch.

Miller says the experience goes beyond 25 or 50 minutes of assisted stretching.

“They gave me the tools to do better. It's not just stretching here. They showed me something I could do that helped ease my pain,” he said.

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Benderologist Erica Bonton (left) assists member Lauren Beckler with bender Raegan Griffin in a leg stretch with member Brandi Gonzales at the StetchLab in Baton Rouge.

Miller said he would encourage skeptics of new trends to try them out.

“I mean, after the first meeting or two, you'll know, I did it,” he said. “I can tell very quickly that I'm getting some relief and that's what it's about.”

Miller added that he's working to get into the maintenance phase, when he'll be training less frequently, with the goal of maintaining his new mobility and flexibility.

About the process

Often using a technique called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, trained staff or flexion physicians assist clients in a three-step process that WebMD interprets as: first, stretch the muscle group; second, while it is still When in the stretched position, contract this muscle group against resistance; third, stretch the muscle group again.

result? Measures how much a person can stretch comfortably, increasing flexibility and range of motion.

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“It shouldn't hurt,” says Calder Reed, a StretchLab Jiu-Jitsu expert.

Reed and StretchLab manager and jiu-jitsu expert Meagan Delatte does make first-time clients aware that they may experience pain the day after a stretch, but as they progress, this after-effect decreases.

In addition to the usual stretching once or twice a week, jiu-jitsu experts also provide instruction on exercises that can be performed at home to facilitate the client's progress toward their goals.

“Let's say someone wants to run a marathon, and we'll help you get there,” Dratt said.

The process not only improves athlete performance, but also reduces the likelihood of injury, Reid said.

“When you think about flexibility, you think of things like gymnasts. So why is that important in football or baseball? If you have tight muscles all over your body, the person who actually performs the movement has to work twice a lot. It's hard to push tight muscles,” Reed explained.

“Take a marathon sprinter as an example, if your hamstrings are very tight, every time the quads contract to move the leg forward, it has to pull the hamstrings, right? So not only by stretching and flexing , you know, you're increasing the flexibility of the hamstrings, you're reducing the risk of injury.”

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Megan Rattle

Others seek out assisted stretching simply to address everyday challenges, Dratt said.

“We had a man who could barely lift his legs. He is now able to fully cross his legs and walk up the stairs without using the handrails,” she said. “We also had a member who couldn't sit up without help. Well, now, he can actually sit up completely without our help.”

Assisted stretching can also help:

  • Posture, especially for those who work at a desk all day
  • typical pain
  • strength and flexibility
  • Post-Physical Therapy Program that lets you go beyond your previous baseline.

The best results are associated with multiple visits per month, so membership plans are more cost-effective than single visits, Delatte said.

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