How does Active Isolated Stretching differ from other forms of stretching?
During a session at Stretch Asia, you are actively participating. By contracting the opposite muscle to the target muscle that is to be stretched, the target muscle is relaxed, making it easier to stretch. Active Isolated stretches are only held past the end range, or barrier, for no longer than 2 seconds so as to prevent the stretch reflex from activating. The stretch reflex is there to prevent tissues from being over-stretched. The more you stimulate and activate the contracting muscle the more uninhibited and relaxed the tissues of the stretched muscle will be. Most static stretches that are held for longer then 5 seconds actually reduce blood supply to the target muscles causing them to fatigue from lack of oxygen.
What is the difference between a therapist stretching me and when my personal trainer does it or when I stretch myself?
All therapists here at Stretch Asia are trained manual therapists and have an extensive knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology. They, therefore, understand that when they meet a tight or resisting joint, they can quickly assess the affects it will have on your bio-mechanics. Our therapists are stretching facilitators. Since this is an active form of stretching, they guide you through complex protocols that are designed to penetrate the layers of connective tissue, always stretching from superficial tissues to the deepest layers. Being stretched by a qualified therapist enables you to go further than your natural barrier and obtain, with practice, full range of motion, therefore full mobility.
Whatever progress you make, we would always encourage you to stretch at home using the methods and tools that we provide for you. This is a very safe therapeutic stretching method that you can practice on your own, on the plane, at home or at the office. You may not be able to stretch as effectively as when a therapist stretch you, but you will be able to maintain some flexibility if you do it regularly. However, to maintain your newly regained mobility, it takes some discipline. We understand that your busy life make it sometimes difficult for you to do your stretching exercises on your own. So we are here to help you do them and do them correctly. So you reap the benefits!
How does Active Isolated Stretching compare to Yoga or Pilates?
Active Isolated Stretching complements beautifully a Yoga and Pilates practice, in many ways. Many of our clients practice several fitness disciplines as they all improve their mobility and general well-being. Traditionally, Yoga focuses on connecting Mind, Body and Spirit and Pilates is used to focus on strengthening and stabilising the abdominal and pelvic core. We, at Stretch Asia, identify resistance right down to the deepest fascia planes at the joints, where flexibility is determined. We lower this resistance so you can freely practice Yoga and Pilates with little risk of injury. Active Isolated Stretching will help you go further in your practice of Yoga and will allow you to do certain postures, with a lower risk of injury. If your muscles are tight, you will feel and see your physical limitations in your practice of Yoga. As you grow older, particularly after 40, your body loses flexibility and is more prone to injury. Combine Yoga and regular AIS and enjoy a free, flexible and fully mobile body.
How often should I stretch?
From the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed, we are in a contracted state. In other words, we are shortening and tightening our frames. Then you have the weight of gravity to contend with. This pushes down on you constantly at 1kg per square cm! Our 70+ year old clients come and see us once or twice a week to improve their flexibility and maintain their mobility. Our golfing clients come every week as they found that A.I.S. improves their game. It really depends on your age, your level of stress and your lifestyle. Once you know how to stretch, we encourage you to stretch every day if you can. If you were a professional athlete you would be stretching daily.
How much does it cost?
Your first session is 90 minutes long, as it includes a thorough postural assessment and a mobility test followed by an hour treatment. After that, you will only need hourly sessions, if you come regularly or do some stretching on your own. To make it more cost effective, we have several options of membership packages that bring the cost all the way down to HKD 770 per hour. We reward your loyalty, so the more and the longer you use our services, you cheaper it it for you. All our therapists are highly trained, very experienced and most have both a therapeutic and fitness background. But we believe we can deliver a great service in a great environment without breaking your wallet. Just come and try, and we will explain our membership packages after your first session.