Movement Stretching for
EveryBody Stretching and
Movement is life!
The body depends on
movement to remain healthy. Without movement, the body would shrivel up and die.
Movement is what keeps your blood flowing (the heart), and your food digested,
and evacuated (stomach and intestines) and your eyes moisturized (tears and
blinking). Think about any one of these movement functions stopping, and imagine
Muscles must also move in order to remain healthy and fully functional.
When muscles are not used, they loose their ability to contract and perform as they
were intended to. They may become weak or they may become tight, and when
eventually used, be painful.
When muscles are held in an unnatural position
(sleeping with your head in an awkward position, viewing a computer screen
located to the side, long trips in a plane or car when you turn your head to
talk to someone or look out the window) for long periods of time, the muscles
become sore and tight due to over stretching on one side and a maintained contraction
on the other.
When muscles repeat movement over and over (running,
lifting weights, assembly line work, computer mouse clicking) the muscles become
programmed to continue these contractions that have been repeated and
they continue to contract after the activity has ended. The result is tight
(contracted), sore muscles that do not get a break, rest or recovery time.
When muscles are overused (too much movement, new
movement) they become tight
and sore and we have a tendency to not use them or to not use the joint involved, for fear of
feeling the return of pain. I call this painaphobia. Controlled, Active Stretching is exactly what is
needed to erase the tightness and pain and restore the muscle to normal.
muscles are designed to move independent of each other. Fascia, a strong thin
continuous membrane, separates one muscle from the other. It continuously surrounds every
muscle and organ of your body. Without movement, muscles get stuck to each
other. Gil Hedley, an expert on fascia and movement presents a wonderful
explanation of why stretching is needed by the body in his famous Fuzz Speech on YouTube. I invite you to view it at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FtSP-tkSug . What he says should convince
you how necessary daily stretching is to your health and wellness.
Isolated Stretching (AIS) is the creation of Aaron Mattes who continues to
refine and developing it at his Clinic in Sarasota Florida. Mattes, a
Kinesiotherapist and Massage Therapist, first worked with AIS in the 1970s
in College in Illinois.
Mattes lectures internationally and has rehabilitated
thousands of subjects including the rich and the famous, which he is always
quick to tell you. He has used AIS with
entertainment celebrities, famous politicians and hundreds of Olympic and
professional athletes as well.
Active Isolated Stretching is "natural" stretching,
using the movement of the body, the breath and a Mind-Body Connection to accomplish its unique results.
AIS is the foundation on which Barry Bailey's Active
Stretching for EveryBODY and Soft Tissue Active
Recovery Technique (STAR Tech) are based.
Stretching is actually Pump Stretching, a stretch that involves active, continuous
pumping movement. A joint is taken through its full range of motion using a pumping
motion that mimics the natural way in which your body moves all
the time. Think walking, running, rowing.
Active Stretching takes a joint through its full range of motion,
encouraging the muscles involved to restore themselves to their shortened
relaxed length. An Active Stretch is held for only one and a half to two seconds,
which prevents the muscle from tightening in response to the muscle's perceived threat to
its safety, which is created with each stretch.
Active Stretching is the foundation on which STAR Tech
is built. By using the natural movement of the body, the body recognizes
trouble spots that need attention. By doing repeated specific movement, the body
focuses in on problems that exist and is stimulated to recover and heal itself.
Active Isolated Stretching and Pump Stretching are completely natural and
are based on
how the body works. It is not based on a man-made system that tries to force muscles to
achieve a goal that is not natural, practical, scientific or beneficial.
No Sweat Exercise
In the May 2007 issue of the Harvard Medical School's
Harvard Men's Health Watch publication, an article on moderate exercise
involving no pain and big gains cited "'no sweat' exercise can help reduce the
risk of stroke . . . diabetes . . . dementia . . . fractures . . . breast cancer
and colon cancer". The author adds "exercise is also one of the two available
ways to slow the physiological changes associated with ageing". Active
Stretching for EveryBODY is a perfect example of "no sweat" exercise as recommended by the
Harvard medical School.
Stretching and STAR
Muscle stretching is the major reason STAR Tech Treatments are so
effective. The joint movement accomplished by specific stretching jump starts the
body's healing and recovery mechanisms. A Mind-Body connection is
established and strengthened with repeated use. Regardless of who is guiding or
leading the stretching (the therapist, or the individual), the movement can have a
profound recovery and healing effect on the stretcher's body.
Clients use Active Stretching/Pump Stretching both
during and after a STAR Tech treatment. Stretching after a treatment is very
important because it maintains the recovery and healing gains that have been accomplished by
the treatment. Stretching also reminds to body to continue healing after the
treatment has ended. It acts as reinforcement of the gains made by the
work done by the therapist.
Active Isolated Stretching is
the major tool used by students in the Active Stretching for EveryBODY Classes.
class not only helps to heal troubled muscle areas, it can also provide numerous
other health benefits as well. When stretching
actively (as opposed to a standard static stretch), the entire body as well as the brain becomes involved. A
Connection is established. With additional Active Stretching sessions, that Mind-Body
Connection strengthens even more. Every system of
the body and every cell of the body is ultimately effected. (see the Benefits of
Active Stretching below)
With Active Stretching for EveryBODY, muscle-specific stretching
has the ability to achieve numerous worthwhile results. The stretching
we do in class is gentle, specific and focused. Force and extreme pressure are
never used. All stretches are controlled and self-monitored. The class is
non-competitive, with the encouragement to do only what your body wants to do at
the particular moment.
Results of Active Isolated
Stretching are often immediate and measurable.
Perhaps most important is the fact that Active Stretching is
courtesy Joe Turner, Joe Turner Photography, Stoneham, MA
Private Stretching Sessions with Barry can
be helpful as Muscle Maintenance or for Rehabilitation from muscle soreness or
from an injury.
Barry Bailey assists Jack Casey
Barry Bailey assists with a Straight Leg
Private Active Isolated Stretching
Photo courtesy Community Newspaper Company
Photo courtesy Joe Turner, Joe Turner Photography,
Karen Sparacio, Photographer
Private Stretching Sessions will benefit individuals of all
ages and of all levels of
These stretching sessions will help Athletes increase their Range of Motion
(ROM), their flexibility and their muscle strength. Active Stretching will help
the Athlete to train and perform longer and better, and help to keep them
pain-free and injury-free. Stretching after a workout at the Gym is the best
compliment to exercise that you can do. Numerous Olympic Athletes use Active
Isolated Stretching as an integral part of their training and as their
preparation for competition.
Yoga Practitioners will do a much better Yoga class
after complimenting it with a stretching session.
Your Private Stretching Session is about you. You choose what kind of
instruction or assistance you want.
assists with a
assists with a
Da Vinci Stretch
Photo courtesy Joe
Turner, Joe Turner Photography,
Photo courtesy Joe Turner, Joe Turner Photography,
The Body Wants to Be
The body wants to be well and will do all it can
to maintain its good health. By stretching regularly, you can help your body
achieve its goal of continued wellness. When doing Active Stretching on a regular basis, a strong
Mind-Body Connection is developed. This Mind-Body Connection will help the
individual to recognize more quickly when the body needs assistance in its
effort to be well.
Isolated Stretching, or Pump Stretching is very much like Yoga, but is generally more active. Stretching for EveryBODY
Classes offer many of the
benefits Yoga offers in terms of keeping your body healthy. Both Yoga and Active
Stretching aid the user in recognizing what the body needs, by developing a
stronger Mind-Body connection.
If you already enjoy doing Yoga, Stretching for EveryBODY
Classes will prepare you
to do a more complete and efficient Yoga class. “You should stretch to do Yoga.
You should not do Yoga to stretch.” is taught by Yoga Bhushan Yogi Vinay Rai of
India. Stretching for EveryBODY is the perfect
exercise partner for Yoga enthusiasts.
If the quiet, stillness and meditation aspects of Yoga do not appeal to
you, Active Stretching for EveryBODY is the answer. This is Active Stretching.
No poses, no static holds, but rather Active Pump Stretching. Movement,
for EveryBODY Class
The routine we do in the Full Body Active Stretching for EveryBODY
Class includes over 70 stretches that
the major muscles and major muscle groups of
the body, in one hour.
Full-Body Active Stretching for EveryBODY classes focus
literally on stretching that is appropriate for Every Body, regardless of size,
shape, physical condition or age. Stretching for EveryBODY is appropriate for all ages and all levels of fitness. Active Stretching Classes
will be beneficial for
those who are active as well as for those who are not so active, or even sedentary.
Through the years, Full-Body Active Stretching for EveryBODY
classes have had students that ranged in age from eight years old to eighty five
years old. Fitness levels of the students have ranged from those who could
barely move to elite athletes and everything in between.
Back to Top
of Regular Active Stretching
Back to Top
Stretching and Classes
The Kinds of
Stretching (active and otherwise)
Done In Active Stretching Classes and
in the Treatment Room
Stretching (AIS) – AIS is the
foundation for the Active Stretching that is used in the STAR Tech Healing treatment room as well
as in the Active Stretching for EveryBODY Classes. AIS is state-of-the-art
stretching. It is based on the natural way the body moves, heals and corrects
itself. AIS is gentle and highly effective. It is appropriate for all ages and
all levels of fitness.
AIS is the creation of Aaron Mattes. He has been
developing and clarifying his stretching techniques for over thirty years. He
currently works out of his clinic in Sarasota Florida. His focus and continuing
stretch developments have
been in the medical/rehabilitation field, and with using stretching to help
train and rehabilitate serious and elite athletes.
Passive Gravity Breath Stretching
– Passive Gravity Breath Stretching is a variation of certain yoga techniques. It is stretching
done without active movement, using only the force of gravity and the relaxation
message of the breath to release muscle tension.
Unlike AIS, it is done without
using additional assistance.
Passive Gravity Breath Stretches are included in
the Active Stretching
Stretching – STAR (Soft Tissue
Active Recovery Technique) Stretching is a healing/recovery technique. It promotes
accelerated recovery and healing within a specific
muscle or trouble area. STAR Stretching is used extensively in the massage treatment
room during STAR Tech treatments.
STAR Stretching is an important element in the
Self-Help Pain Relief Workshops.
A limited amount of STAR Stretching may be included in
the Active Stretching classes.
for EveryBODY Classes - Stretching for
EveryBODY is natural stretching offered as ongoing weekly classes. Pump Stretching works the way the body works, gently coaxing the body to be more comfortable
with itself. By using gentle structured movement, the body recognizes any losses in flexibility
and range of motion. The body is jump-started to heal and recover troubled areas
when stimulated by Active Stretching.
Stretching for EveryBODY is interesting and fun to do.
Stretching for EveryBODY is non-competitive. The emphasis in
classes will be for each person to reach the comfortable limits of movement and have
fun doing it. No pressure will ever be placed on the student to push farther
than their body wants to go.
Stretching for EveryBODY is fast. Each stretch is held for only one and a
half to two seconds. A series of stretches are done quickly, with each stretch
targeting a specific muscle group, muscle or muscle part. Individual stretch
sets take seconds to do, not minutes, as is the case with Static Stretching. Results from
Active Stretching are often immediate
Stretching for EveryBODY is adjustable to each individual. Each student
will do what is comfortable without regard to what the teacher or anyone else in
the class is able to do.
A Peaceful and Painless Experience - Aaron Mattes, developer of
Active Isolated Stretching says “Stretching should be a painless process to help
improve the quality of life.” He adds, “Stretching should be a painless,
Stretching Not Done In Class
or in the Treatment Room
What Active Stretching
is NOT -
Some Other Kinds of
Active Stretching is NOT Static
Static Stretching is
possibly the most well know form of stretching being used today. It has been
taught and used for many years, and is still used and recommended by many
fitness professionals and health practitioners.
Static Stretching is done
by going into a stretch, and holding the stretch for five, ten, fifteen or more
seconds. Some Static Stretching may be held for minutes. Static Stretching is often accomplished by
added force or leverage to create pressure which is believed to "stretch"
muscles. The intent is to
try to force the muscle to stretch by using force and time, both of which, in
this practitioner's opinion, are unnatural. The body does not function this way and therefore
will not stretch this way. How many functions of the body are accomplished by
force and holding?
We now know that the body responds to this aggressive
form of stretching by actually contracting the muscles that are being
"stretched". It is believed by some authorities that Static Stretching actually has
negative effect on the muscles that are being targeted and “stretched” – it
irritates them and makes them even more tight and painful. Immediate results are
certainly not to be expected or witnessed.
In STAR Tech Healing classes and in the treatment room,
Static Stretching is never used.
Active Stretching is NOT Ballistic
is stretching in which arms, legs or other body parts are flung through a range
of motion, using the speed and force of the movement to achieve a “stretch”.
Ballistic Stretching is an excellent way to tear or otherwise injure muscles,
due to the forceful, uncontrolled nature of the movement involved. Ballistic
Stretching tears muscle fibers, increases inflammation and causes a build-up of
scar tissue in the muscles, which in turn decreases their strength and their ability
to contract and stretch efficiently.
We never do any Ballistic Stretching in Active Stretching for EveryBODY
classes. All stretches are controlled and safe.
Aaron Mattes Seminar Series:
Bailey Therapeutic Massage:
This page last updated 1-24-16