What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

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Move & Feel Better with Fascial Stretch Therapy! 

(We Promise We’re Not Stretching the Truth!) 


In the expanding world of alternative therapies, fascial stretch therapy (FST) has been gaining attention for its unique approach to improving flexibility, reducing pain, and enhancing athletic performance. But what exactly is fascial stretch therapy, and how does it work? In this blog post, we will describe what fascial stretch therapy is, explain its many benefits, and further discuss different contexts wherein this method of therapy may benefit competitive athletes, weekend warriors, and inactive individuals alike!

What is Fascia? 

Before we dive into what exactly fascial stretch therapy is, we will first briefly discuss what fascia is in the first place. When we think about those medical office anatomy posters detailing every muscle in the human body, we can get an overall idea of how our muscles look and how they may work together to help us move. Fascia on the other hand is harder to conceptualize. Think of fascia like a saran-wrap encapsulating not only each muscle as a whole, but also every single muscle fiber and every bundle of muscle fibers. Fascia is a strong web-like network of layered connective tissue made up of collagen and elastic fibers which helps connect the body’s soft tissues. 


  • Connects tendons and ligament to bones. 
  • Encases every muscle, bundle of muscle fibers, and each singular muscle fiber. 
  • Suspends organs within the body.
  • Is highly innervated with specialized sensory nerves and receptors that send information to the brain.

Fascia acts as a saran-wrap of sorts, encapsulating each individual muscle fiber, bundle of fibers, and muscle. It helps to connect different soft tissues together and helps to keep the human body organized!

Restricted Fascia Can Lead to:

  • Decreased joint space
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased scar tissue formation
  • Decreased blood flow

… All of which may impede the quality of movement! 

What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

So now with a better understanding of what fascia is, we can dive into what fascial stretch therapy is all about! Fascial stretch therapy (FST™) is a form of therapist-assisted stretching that directly targets the fascial tissue. Unlike traditional stretching, which primarily focuses on individual muscles, FST takes a more holistic approach by addressing the entire fascial system. 

During a fascial stretch therapy session, a trained FST™ practitioner will use a series of controlled movements to gently elongate and release tension in the fascia. Typically, an  FST™ session will be completed with the client laying comfortably on a treatment table or mat, while the practitioner applies gentle traction and rotation to various parts of the body. FST™ involves using constant circulatory and oscillating movements of traction and stabilization to help decompress joints, expand space in the soft tissue, and reduce muscle tone, and more! 

The overall goal of fascial stretch therapy is to help reduce injury risk by treating muscle tightness, joint imbalances, and tissue restrictions which may lead to compromised movement patterns, aches and pains. The desired product of fascial stretch therapy is improved range of motion, allowing us to have fewer injuries and to move and feel better. 

Why is Fascial Stretch Therapy Important? 

#1: Improved Flexibility & Range of Motion

By targeting the fascial tissue, FST may help improve flexibility and joint mobility more effectively than traditional stretching alone. This may be particularly beneficial for athletes looking to enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury, as sports may often require its athletes to display significant work capacity throughout a large range of motion. Take baseball players for example: when at bat, a baseball athlete must rotate the hips and thoracic spine while adducting the arm to bring the bat back into its loading phase, then rapidly rotate the opposite direction while swinging the bat to make contact with the ball. If a baseball athlete is restricted in their ability to rotate due to restrictions in myofascial tissue, then their swing power may be significantly stunted. 

#2: Pain Relief

Tight or restricted fascia can contribute to the development of chronic pain and discomfort. FST helps release tension in the fascial system, which can alleviate pain and improve overall comfort. Releasing restrictions in the fascial tissue may help increase blood flow, leading to improved joint circulation and health. Through improved joint circulation and health, joint health as a risk factor for joint injuries may be reduced. 

#3: Improved Athletic Performance Potential

Increased flexibility and range of motion achieved through FST can translate to improved athletic performance. Athletes may experience better agility, coordination, and power, leading to enhanced sports performance. As previously mentioned with our baseball athlete example, encountering minimal restriction throughout the loading and swing phase of an at-bat will allow the athlete to work throughout a more fruitful range of motion which presents enhanced potential to maximize their swing power. 

#4: Enhanced Postural Alignment

Poor posture is often the result of imbalances in the fascial system. FST can help correct these imbalances, leading to better postural alignment and reduced risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Additionally. postural imbalances may hinder movement patterns and may contribute to the development of chronic pain. 

#5: Stress Reduction

Like many forms of stretching and tissue release, fascial stretch therapy can induce a relaxing effect on the nervous system, promoting feelings of calmness and reducing overall stress levels both at the CNS and muscle tissue level. Stretching, whether through traditional means or through fascial stretch therapy also releases natural endorphins, which are “feel-good” hormones that may help improve mood and decrease perception of stress. 

Collectively, these benefits overlap and may contribute to an overall reduced risk of injury, improved overall joint health and function, and reduced biopsychological stress.


Fascial Stretch Therapy: Applied in Practice

Fascial Stretch Therapy can be used in a wide variety of contexts, and can benefit a large range of individuals! 

#1: Athletic Training

Professional athletes and weekend warriors alike can benefit from incorporating FST into their training regimens as it can help improve flexibility, prevent injuries, and optimize performance.

#2: Rehabilitation

FST may be used as part of a rehabilitation program for individuals recovering from injuries or surgery. It can help restore mobility, reduce pain, and accelerate the healing process.

#3: Chronic Pain Management

For individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, FST can provide relief by addressing underlying fascial restrictions and promoting better movement patterns.

#4: General Wellness

Even for those without specific injuries or performance goals, fascial stretch therapy can be a valuable tool for maintaining overall health and wellness. Regular sessions can help prevent injuries, improve posture, and enhance overall quality of life.

Fascial stretch therapy can be effective among different contexts and among different groups of individuals – from helping optimize athletic training to assisting with chronic pain management. Enhance function and performance by ‘hurdling’ over restrictions!  


Fascial stretch therapy offers a holistic approach to improving flexibility, reducing pain, and optimizing physical performance. Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance your training regimen or someone seeking relief from chronic pain, FST may offer a solution worth exploring. As with any mode of therapy, it’s essential to consult with a qualified practitioner to determine if fascial stretch therapy is right for you. 


Need Help Starting? Call Us Today? 

As a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic offering fascial stretch therapy, we are happy to help with all of your needs – however far they may stretch! 


Visit us or call us at 519-942-8884 today to book with your neighborhood wellness clinic and let our team of specialized health professionals help you get back to being you!

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