Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST)

At the 1996 Olympics, Ann Frederick, Creator of FST, helped the USA Wrestling team win more gold medals than ever before. Now, I understand that there are a lot of sports men, women and young people who come to A Lyrical Body for therapy, strengthening and stretching. However, most of us don’t aspire to Olympic gold medals; we just want to feel well, fit and healthy!

Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) can assist with the stiffness and tightness caused by stress; repetitive movements at work and in sports (i.e. running, tennis, golf etc.) also a lack of muscle tone or strength. Does this sound like you or a family member?

Zhanna Strilets at ALB has helped many people overcome these problems with FST, but what exactly is it? FST is a full body manual stretching technique and mobilization that is pain free. I asked Zhanna if this is like a massage. The answer is no, not at all. The most important difference is that the great effects of FST last much longer than the results from a massage. It is also a very different feel from a massage as FST works on the fascia, the connective tissue that holds everything stable in our bodies. It feels like a gentle pulling which stretches the fascia. The fascia gets tight to keep the body stable, if muscle tone and strength isn’t there. So FST works hand in hand with Pilates to help us get the most from our body, and we can get so much more from our Pilates session if our fascia is loose.

Zhanna explained that while teaching Pilates she noticed that some clients were not as mobile as they should be and it impacted their workout and training. So Zhanna delved more deeply into FST. By stretching the fascia, it eases tension and slackens the fascia in the body that holds all the organs, as well as releasing muscle tension. Some people are tighter on one side of the body than the other, which creates an imbalance. This can be corrected by FST, and I asked Zhanna how often one would need an FST session? Once a week for 3 weeks was the answer; and then maintenance as needed. However, Zhanna is happy to recommend exercises at home for the maintenance.

So how would I feel after an FST session? Zhanna explained it to me this way: “Imagine if you have worn pants with a too-tight belt all day. When you get home you undo the belt and you get that great whoosh feeling – that’s what it feels like, but all over your body.”

Finally, who would benefit from FST? Everyone! The biggest impact is on people with pain and sleep deprived people. Really? Absolutely, said Zhanna; FST deregulates the nervous system and aids sleep. Also if pain decreases, and stays low, that leads to more and better quality of, sleep; which in turn aids recovery of the body. So, we would feel better and then we can really get into the Pilates classes we love with more energy and better focus!