Stretching has long been considered one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. It helps keep your muscles relaxed and gives you a wider range of motion, both of which helps reduce your risk of injury. This is why stretching is so important prior to doing any form of exercise.
But not all types of stretches are the same. For instance, Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) involves using opposing muscle groups to stretch another, whereas passive stretching relies on an external force to provide the pull for the stretch. Both types of stretches are good for the body, but AIS provides certain benefits that passive stretching cannot, and this makes Active Isolated Stretching the most sought after stretching and sports massage modality in the country today.
Best of all, everyone can benefit from AIS, from cross fitters and other athletes looking to improve their performance to older adults looking for relief from stiff aching muscles and joints. Active Isolated Stretching is so effective that studies have proven that regular sessions of AIS, along with just 15 minutes a day of quality movement, can reverse the signs of aging and allow you to enjoy living with less pain.
If you’re interested in learning more about Active Isolated Stretching, then here are five ways that AIS can benefit the body.
#1: AIS Improves Blood Flow to the Muscles and Overall Circulation
For so many of us, a large part of our work days involve sitting at computers for long stretches of time. This lack of movement slows both blood and lymph circulation and this causes stagnation in the legs and feet. The heart is then forced to increase blood pressure to help push oxygenated blood throughout the body. If nothing is done to correct this, then the cardiovascular system will eventually become stressed and you may be required to take medication to help reduce your blood pressure.
Activated Isolated Stretching helps prevent this eventuality because it naturally boosts blood and lymphatic flow throughout the body, which helps take the added pressure off the heart. By participating in regular AIS sessions, you will begin to notice less puffiness in your feet and ankles.
#2: AIS Reduces Stress in the Body
Stress plays a role in so many life threatening health conditions that it is commonly called “the silent killer” by medical professionals. While it is impossible to eliminate all forms of stress from one’s life, constant exposure to high levels of stress is what makes it so dangerous. Examples of dangerous stress can include living in a high-stress family environment, being overworked or under a lot of pressure at work, or being in a difficult or abusive relationship. High levels of stress have been shown to have a particularly adverse effect on the brain and nervous system, and it can cause inflammatory diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, and even interrupt the quality of your sleep.
Regular sessions of Active Isolated Stretching can help reduce stress levels in the body because it essentially puts the body into a rest and recovery mode. It utilizes focused breathing rhythms that stimulate the vagus nerve to help restore balance to your nervous system. And this has been shown to
be instrumental in helping the body achieve higher energy levels, a greater overall sense of calmness, a relaxed digestive system, and improved sleep quality.
#3: AIS Improves Strength, Flexibility, and Mobility
One of the most common reasons why so many people rely on AIS is that it can improve one’s mobility, and it can accomplish this rather quickly. This is especially important as we age, because with each passing year, if we don’t take active steps against it, our bodies lose flexibility. Our muscles gradually weaken and tighten up from lack of use and the range of motion in our joints decreases.
Active Isolated Stretching is the ideal technique to reverse these issues because it is specially designed to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles and joints that are stiff and aching. The stretches contract one muscle while relaxing the other muscle, which creates the ideal situation for it to be stretched to achieve optimal flexibility, strength, and mobility.
#4: AIS Re-Educates the Body’s Neuromuscular System
Active Isolated Stretching involves therapeutic techniques which engage your muscles and brain with each movement and stretch. This means that every time you reach a new range of motion, a new neural pathway is created. As more neural pathways are made, the neuromuscular system is re-educated to restore normal function to the nerves and muscles, which helps to restore movement, balance, and coordination. It also improves your kinesthetic sense and restores proprioception.
#5: AIS Improves Body Posture
Good posture is important because when you have bad posture, it increases your risks of developing a wide range of other health problems, like degenerative disc disease, foot and neck pain, lower back pain, and more. The problem is, with so many people sitting hunched over their desktops, tablets, and smartphones, just about everyone has poor posture these days.
AIS restores balance to the body and increases muscle suppleness and strength, all of which greatly help to restore your posture. It reduces your risk of suffering muscle spasms, cramps, or more serious muscle tears and tendon strains. By participating in regular AIS sessions with a skilled therapist, and doing your exercise homework at home, you will quickly regain the freedom to move with greater confidence.
Schedule Your Active Isolated Stretching Session Today
The results of Active Isolated Stretching can be quick, but they vary per individual because each patient is unique. Many people report feeling substantial pain relief, increased energy, improved posture, and a general sense of well-being as soon as after their first session, but it may take longer for others.
If you are looking for a safe and effective way to restore your body’s balance, improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and reduce your aches and pains, then AIS may be the solution you need.
To learn more about the Active Isolated Stretching treatments available at Birmingham Massage Couple or to schedule your next appointment, just give us a call today at 205-529-1516 or 205-381-1645, or book your AIS session online.