Partner Stretching

Partner stretching can target a specific area of muscle and/or joint position which when held comfortably by the therapist for sustained periods, can help the client stretch more effectively.

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) are very effective forms of stretching that with the Therapists assistance can enable the client to gain greater flexibility and range of motion, than by passive stretching alone. The following is a very simplistic explanation for a very complex mechanism:- With good communication and trust, the client contracts (at about 10% of maximum contraction) a particular muscle, or muscle group for 8 to 10 seconds, and the therapist ‘blocks/restrains’ the joint from moving. When the contraction is stopped there is a brief period when the bodies protective stretch reflex, is inhibited, and the muscle fibres will relax and lengthen slightly as the therapist carefully moves the joint to a new stretch position. This process is repeated 3 or 4 times, often gaining a greater ‘stretch’ each time.

These methods are particularly good for developmental stretching required by Martial Artists, Gymnasts and Dancers.

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