Although stretching has been very important in sports and fitness, it has gained a renewed interest of late. Most of it still has to do with increases in range of motion, decrease in injury, and its use as a recovery modality. However, the science behind it still remains questionable, for every study that purports its benefits there are others that question whether people need to stretch or not, “does the tiger stretch before it catches its prey”?
At the core, stretching is still believed to be a means of increasing “flexibility”, through the lengthening of muscle or the increase in pliability of the fascia. Most of this is focused on the external gains from stretching. This is a simplistic view for stretching needs to be viewed as a force and like any force, it can affect the body positively or negatively. This alludes to the concept of mechanotransduction, how the force of a mechanical stimulus can cause a change at the genetic level resulting in a biochemical change as well.. In essence stretching, particularly its magnitude and rate can result in an immune response. Our research has shown that aggressive stretching can cause an inflammatory response, as seen through the increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines. Further to our research, others have also shown the effects of stretching, in particular the resolution of inflammation within connective tissue (Langevin, etc). With an understanding of the concept of mechanotransduction as well as tensegrity, we gain a better appreciation of what is actually happening at the cellular level.
microStretching® is based on the concept of mechanotransduction, paying close attention to the magnitude and rate of force (stretching). Those that have experienced microstretching will often comment on how gentle it is. The answer is that it looks at the influence of a force (stretching) on the human systems (i.e neuro-endocrine-hormonal systems) and how they are all interconnected. Specifically, the connection between the arms of the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PsNS), and their relationship to inflammation, pain, and how the body responds. Specifically, the connection between the arms of the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PsNS), and their relationship to inflammation, pain, the vascular system as well as the other system. By decreasing tension, and not subjecting the body to pain, microStretching engages the PsNS, the system of healing. An example of the relationshhi[p of the PsNS and the cardiovascular system is the effect it has on relaxing the Tunica Media (middle layer of the artery). It promotes vasodilation (opening of the artery), increases blood flow, while decreasing peripheral resistance (pressure), thereby lowering the heart rate. These physiological responses are the reason why a lot of patients often comment on the increase in their quality of sleep after a microStretching session. What one needs to keep in mind is that all these systems of the body function as a whole, and not separately.
We know that other stretching techniques have merit and can work, it is the understanding of the why that sets us apart. Because of this we believe we are the most innovative in the area of stretching, in short, stretching redefined and repurposed. In conclusion, we will add more to your confusion, challenging what is out there in order to create a true paradigm shift!!!…
The microStretching® team spent the afternoon at Sutherland and Chan massage therapy school in Toronto. The staff and students were introduced to the history and