Just like cats and dogs, humans innately feel the urge to release joint stiffness and discomfort by stretching. One just has to point to the popularity and devoted following of body lengthening fitness techniques like Yoga and Pilates to justify nature’s drive to stretch. The need to stretch and be elastic is so important that the lack of flexibility may be considered a health liability. Being inflexible leaves us more susceptible to pain, injury and disability. Gentle stretching to improve flexibility serves to nurture joint health by promoting the flow of blood and lymph. While the importance of body elasticity as a measure of fitness is well established, many people still neglect to include stretching in their workouts. Fortunately for stretching slackers, a gentle body lengthening technique exists, called Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) for achieving optimum flexibility and joint health.
After all, people are mechanical in nature. Structurally we are made up of bones which act as levers, joints which form fulcrums for movement and soft supporting tissues (i.e., muscles, tendons, ligaments, fasciae) which serve as pulleys. All joints contain specialized nerve receptors called proprioceptors which allow us to automatically sense joint position/movement, a process known as proprioception. Flexibility is a vital measure of health as it effects movement, balance, coordination, posture, athletic performance, circulation and ultimately susceptibility to musculoskeletal pain/injury.
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a safe and powerfully effective body lengthening technique for optimizing health. Specially-trained massage therapists, chiropractic physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers and sports medicine doctors apply AIS therapeutically to treat pain and improve joint function. AIS is commonly applied to rehabilitate joint pain/surgery, enhance athletic performance or just to optimize wellness. AIS is a unique stretching skill because it incorporates the principles of both musculoskeletal anatomy (isolating specific muscles) and neuroscience (the stretch reflex) to maximize myofascial release, improve flexibility and enhance circulation. Unlike the more commonly utilized “static stretching” which can be painful and counterproductive, AIS is specific, gentle (non-bouncing) and incremental in nature; making for a softer, safer and ultimately more rewarding stretch. AIS can restore flexibility and soft tissue aeration in such a gentle manner that it is used to effectively treat/rehabilitate recent sprains/strains, arthritis, heel/elbow tendinitis, frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis, whiplash, Lumbar & Cervical Disc problems, post-operative joint pain, etc. Professional and non-professional athletes are devoted enthusiasts due to its ability to improve athletic performance and treat/prevent joint injuries. Patients of all types and all ages can benefit from AIS’s ability to improve and optimize health. Discover the therapeutic benefits of Active Isolated Stretching and make it a regular part of your fitness/wellness routine.
Dr. Glen Bobker, Chiropractic Physician
The Downtown Chiropractic & Orthotic Center