The Value of Stretching in Massage Therapy

The Value of Stretching in Massage Therapy

Overused muscles can put physical stress on the body causing chronic tightness and soreness of those muscles as well as of joints. The cycle of joint and muscle dysfunction and pain can feed on itself causing further muscle and joint tightness, restricted motion and discomfort. With repetitive movements such as reaching, lifting, running, exercising, playing sports, etc., the cycle of tightness and pain can ramp up and cause debilitating restrictions in the free flow of movement in the body.

Perhaps one of the most effective activities you can do to help your daily mobility to overcome aches and pains due to muscle and joint stress is to stretch. You can do some of this on your own AND your massage therapist can provide stretch therapy that covers a wide range of techniques including for rolling, myofascial release, exaggerated range of motion movements and traditional passive stretches.

Below is an informative and direct excerpt from that explains some stretching techniques your massage therapist uses:  

  1. Static Stretching

This stretching technique is executed by extending the targeted muscle group to its maximal point and holding for 30 seconds. Static stretching is best done after your workouts.

  1. Dynamic Stretching

This type of stretching requires the use of continuous movement patterns that mimic the exercise or sport to be performed. It is good way to warm up for your sport and has shown to improve performance.

  1. Active Stretching

This type of stretching involves the muscle actively. Hold the stretched position with the opposing muscle group. This stretch technique is held for only two seconds at a time and repeatedly for several repetitions.

  1. Ballistic Stretching

This type of stretching is typically used for athletic drills and utilizes repeated bouncing movement to stretch the targeted muscle group.

  1. Myofascial Release

This type of stretch uses a foam roller or similar device to release tension and improves flexibility in the deep tissue and underlying muscle. Back-and-forth movements are performed over an area of 2 to 6 inches for 30 to 60 seconds. Your individual’s pain tolerance will determine the amount of pressure applied to the target area.

  1. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

This stretch uses receptors to improve the nerves & muscles response in the body. The flexibility gained can be maintained by doing PNF stretches of minimum one repetition for at least 2 times a week. There are different ways to do PNF: Contract relax, Contract-Hold relax and so on. Usually, PNF is performed with the help of a partner but you can do it on your own with a towel for resistance

  1. Functional Stretching

This type of stretching is something relatively new to fitness but has proven to be very successful to improve flexibility in their athletes. Athletes mainly use free weights to train coordination, speed and balance are all highly specific to the movement.


Here’s a quick recap the article suggests that should be remembered: 

  • Static stretching after your work out.
  • Dynamic stretching as warm up.
  • Remember don’t hold your breath when stretching.
  • Stretching should never be painful.


For muscle flexibility, tendon and fascia flexibility as well as short-term and long-term flexibility, a little stretching can go a long way! Receiving massage therapy can be extremely relaxing and therapeutically beneficial adding the stretch component delivers even greater gifts to your health and wellbeing!

Enjoy and stretchhh!!!



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