Reversing abnormal musculoskeletal patterns.

At The microStretching® Clinic there are two different ways in which microStretching is accomplished. The facilitated stretch is a passive, guided, pain-free stretch provided by a professional trained in microStretching. The other way is by self-stretch, which is often given as take home exercises. The variables of stretch intensity, duration and frequency are the same for both types.

When performing these exercises you need to be aware of the intensity of the stretch. The patients at the Clinic have all been taught that a microStretch is similar to putting your hand in luke-warm water, in other words, on an intensity scale from 0 to 10 the intensity is around a 3 or a 4 out of 10. The notion is to relax the nervous system not to stimulate it. If you cause pain or discomfort you are not only stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), designed to remove us from the stimulus of pain, but you are also causing tissue damage. In fact, the accepted definition of pain put forth by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is;

PAIN—an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. IASP has stated that pain is a subjective learned response as a result of the experience due to injury. Biologists recognize that those stimuli which cause pain are liable to tissue damage.

The second most important factor in assigning these stretches is duration. At the Clinic the patients are taught to hold the stretch for 60 seconds. Finally, it is through repetition that we develop muscle habits in response to protection of an injury, and it is only by repeating the microStretches that we are able to reinforce the development of a new muscle pattern. Therefore, at the Clinic the patients are taught to stretch the muscle and/or muscle groups three times once per day.

The chart below summarizes the guidelines mentioned above:

Variables of microStretching Exercises
Intensity 30 to 40% of a maximum perceived stretch
Duration 60 seconds
Frequency 3 times per muscle group once per day