The Difference Between Good and Great Athletic Performance Could Be in Your Fascia
If staying physically fit is a natural part of your lifestyle, you likely possess the determination, hard work and commitment it takes to stay on top of your exercise goals. Whether you consider yourself a workout buff, gym junkie or sports competitor, you go that extra mile to incorporate athleticism into your life. At Function 4 Life, we see how our athletic clients meticulously monitor their diet, plan their sleep schedule and time their workouts. While most of our clients seek our assistance in reaction to an injury or accident, our most athletic clientele also use our services to proactively enhance their exercise regimen. Why? Because they know the significant role fascia plays in their performance.
Have you considered the role that fascia may play in your performance?
Last November, the International Fascia Research Congress took place in Berlin. There’s actually a conference for this, you ask? Why, yes, there is! For the fifth year, scientists and healthcare practitioners from around the globe convened to discuss the latest findings on fascia and its impact on our overall health. More and more, fascia is becoming a common term, and for good reason.
As a refresher, fascia is a fibrous, connective layer under the skin that forms a network throughout our body. It surrounds muscles (much like the clingy plastic wrap we use to cover food) and helps us with every move we make. Largely made up of collagen, healthy fascia is malleable and can glide easily. As Cupping Resource states, “athletes can perform effective motions like running, kicking a ball, swinging a bat or a golf iron as long as the myofascial structure is healthy and functioning well to cushion the impact of each motion.” Thick in certain areas, unhealthy fascia can result in what we may feel as stiffness and knots. Many factors can lead to this, such as injury or repetitive movements – which are required when training for almost any sport. That tightness we feel often leads to a domino effect of pain throughout our body. More importantly, we often blame that tightness on the muscles, when it’s most likely rooted in the fascia.
So how can an athlete break free from unhealthy fascia?
Enter our world. With fascial stretching therapy (FST), athletes can improve their performance and overall health. A trained therapist addresses any issues of tightness, inflammation and pain to restore the fascia to a healthy state. The multiple benefits of FST include increased hydration, blood flow and more effective muscle movement. We love this quote from Living Well Balanced, which gives a measurable perspective on the power of stretching: “Regular stretching increases force and power by 2% to 5% and improves running speed by 0.06 seconds over 50-yards… this can make the difference between winning a gold medal and not placing in an event.” FST was actually created by Ann Frederick, the first flexibility specialist to train Olympians. We have Ann to thank for creating this field back in 1996 when the first set of professional athletes utilized fascial stretching to improve performance and recovery from injuries. Ann went on to create the Stretch To Win Institute, which offers training in FST. Read more about her fascinating story here.
Locally, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Allison Nakisher, an Iron Man athlete and the owner of Pilates Detroit. Allison knows the benefits of FST firsthand thanks to Niki, our movement specialist. “Niki ranks highly among a select group of therapists who have trained with the Stretch To Win Institute and have now achieved their highest certification,” Allison said. Allison feels that Niki is “intelligent, effective and gentle in her approach to client care” and that Niki will “undoubtedly leave her clients feeling healthier and happier.”
Ready for a dose of happiness?
Practitioners of any sport could benefit greatly from our specially designed package known as Recovery: Athletes and Injury. For $130, you will receive one 45-minute session plus two 30-minutes sessions. Here’s the description:
Experience a customized treatment to target very specific areas for an athlete’s healing process, focusing on the pain and discomfort as a result of muscle strain & stress or general injury. High-impact sports and heavy body rotation games like tennis, golf and baseball can result in unique and very targeted pain. Fascial Stretch Therapy treatment helps hydrate and strengthen muscles to prevent and/or resolve those issues, allowing you to discover the relief a healthier fascia can deliver with every session.
Session 1: Full body (stress/pain) assessment + machine/manual massage + Fascial Stretch Therapy to treat the targeted areas of discomfort
Session 2: Tailored deep machine/manual massage + custom FST treatment (as defined in session 1)
Session 3: Tailored deep machine/manual massage + custom FST treatment (as defined in session 1)
We’re ready to help make your good athletic performance great, so give us call at (313) 737-0140 or book your appointment here.