Yoga Practice

Releasing

vs

Stretching

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As a general rule, a thorough RELEASE should always precede any moderate/intense STRETCH or muscle activityOtherwise, we run the risk of aggravating existing conditions such as tightness, misalignment, muscle knots and lack of flexibility.

We would like to share with you the basics of releasing and stretching techniques. If you have any questions, please contact us.

HOW 

  • Soft Tissue techniques are directly applied to muscle and fascia (e.g. in areas of "tightness" or "muscle knots") with the purpose of improving flexibility and tissue functionality. Examples of these techniques include: compression,"kneading", "pinching", Trigger point pressure, etc.

  • Releasing techniques are performed by Manual Therapists. However, we are more than happy to offer the basic guidance and instruction that will enable you to perform the self-releasing techniques that best suit your condition.

WHEN 

  • As part of a Manual Therapy session or Rehabilitation exercises.

  • As part of a warm-up routine, prior to doing your dynamic stretches.

  • ALWAYS prior to any moderate to highly intense stretching routine (e.g. cool-down). 

PURPOSE 

  • Enhancing soft tissue functionality (e.g. increasing range of motion and elasticity).

PRECAUTIONS

  • Releasing techniques are extremely beneficial, however, they should be applied appropriately. Be efficient: do not waste time on healthy tissue, focus on muscle knots and tender spots...

  • Make sure you have learned and practiced your self-releasing techniques during our sessions and asked any questions you may have prior to practicing on your own. 

  • Releasing techniques applied to a healthy tissue do not cause discomfort. However, when releasing is applied on muscle "knots", it is common to feel a burning sensation or pain. This sensation improves as the tissue heals. The speed of the healing process is unique to each individual; but as a general rule, the more often we do our releases AND practice our Home Routines, the faster we will improve our condition. The key word is consistency.

We are currently working on "Releasing III - How?"

If you wish to be notified when this or other videos will be available please let us know, we will be glad to share our monthly newsletter with you.

Releasing

NOTE: The above is the most simplified explanation on stretching that I can come up with. This chart sets up the basics of stretching, while still allowing for further incorporation of other stretching modalities. Read on if you need in-depth explanation. Stretches can be also be performed:

  • In an active way. You cause a stretch by contracting the opposite muscles (antagonists). If you get some extra help (e.g. from a therapist), this stretch becomes active-assisted.

  • In a passive way. In this case, you are not stretching, you are being stretched by an external force, such as gravity, a Thera band or a qualified person. Here, you shouldn't be "helping" in any way; thus, your antagonist muscles should stay relaxed. 

  • In conjunction with an isometric contraction. This is about matching a resistance = no change in muscle length.

  • In conjunction with an eccentric contraction. This is a stretch under load. The force/load can be provided by gravity, a person or an object (e.g. a weight or a Thera band). To avoid injury, follow the instructions/guidance of a professional.

  • In a ballistic way, using momentum of a limb in an attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion. Commonly used as part of warm-up routines, we recommend you avoid any ballistic stretches, since they are hard to control and it is very easy to damage tissues, causing strains, sprains and other joint or soft tissue lesions. Note: certain ballistic and dynamic stretches may look very similar. However, dynamic stretches are controlled and never go beyond the limits of our range.

IMPORTANT: Different stretching techniques may have extremely different effects on the body. Thus, a specific stretch may be the perfect addition to your cool-down routine but its usage prior to a heavy work-out would be detrimental. Also, be aware that some stretching techniques utilized in rehab must be preceded and followed by a series of other therapeutic techniques. Avoid them, unless you have had thorough instruction and guidance from your therapist.

If you would like to know which are the stretches that best suit you, please contact us.

DYNAMIC 

      stretches

HOW 

  • Controlled, repetitive, gentle stretch in motion.

  • May gradually increase in reach/speed, but always staying WITHIN the limits of our range.

  • Stretch is NOT held, NOT intense and should NOT go beyond the limits of our range.

WHEN 

  • Prior to any moderate/intense physical activity.

  • ALWAYS before any workout or sport routine.

  • As part of any warm-up routine, after the application of muscle release techniques.

PURPOSE 

  • To warm-up joints and muscles promote readiness and increase circulation and flow. 

  • To avoid injury and increase mobility/flexibility.

PRECAUTIONS 

  • Do not go over the limits of your range of motion. Do not push too hard, the movements should be controlled, gentle and fluid (not jerky or impulsive).

STATIC 

      stretches

HOW

  • This stretch is slow and relaxed.

  • Ideally, it reaches the limit of our range of motion.

  • Stretch is to be HELD. Passive stretches can be held up to 90 seconds.

WHEN

  • After any intense physical activity.

  • ALWAYS after any workout or sport routine.

  • After a thorough muscle release, following a work out routine.

PURPOSE

  • To relax muscles and reduce post-workout soreness (DOMS).

  • To regain and improve range of motion.

PRECAUTIONS

  • Never use this stretch on cold muscles or without a prior thorough release.

  • Be cautious in the presence of osteoarticular instability (e.g. dislocations, hyper mobility, sprains) or soft-tissue injuries.

  • Do not allow anybody to "help you" push into the stretch. Listen to your body and do not just copy what others can accomplish.

STRETCHING

Get full benefit 

from your physical activities

We encourage you to follow the advice below when you undergo any moderate to highly intense activity. Or, you may run the risk of aggravating existing musculoskeletal conditions.

More often, what really matters 

is not so much WHAT you do, but

HOW you do it.

1) WARM-UP

Always include

  • Releasing Techniques

  • Dynamic Stretches

2) ACTIVITY

ANY sport, repetitive motion or moderate to highly intense activity, from gardening to working at your computer.

3) COOL-DOWN

Always include

  • Releasing Techniques

  • Static Stretches

Options for busy lives

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