Myers Bodywork

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16 Clarke Street • Lexington, MA

About Active Isolated Stretching

Active Isolated stretching , the Mattes method, is a type of facilitated stretching. This means that someone is stretching you rather than just doing it by yourself. However, the word active in this technique is important. AIS differs from other facilitated stretching in several ways. One is that the client is very active in moving their body into a position to be stretched. This activates the muscles opposing the ones we are trying to stretch and that allows for a greater stretch. Aaron Mattes, the creator of AIS, also believes strongly that holding a stretch for too long causes the muscles and tendons to fight the stretch and that is counterproductive. Many people say that are starting to “feel the stretch” or “feel the burn” after 30-60 seconds. The AIS view is that what you are feeling in this situation is the body screaming at you to stop stretching it.

Active Isolated Stretching is very specific with stretches to address all major muscle groups. Lower body stretches are done lying on a massage table, while stretches for the back and upper body are done sitting in a specially designed chair. AIS is also easy to do on your own and Tamar will teach you stretches that are appropriate for your particular issues. The more you can do on your own to enhance the effects of your sessions, the better and stretching is one of the most effective things that people can do by themselves to improve their musculo-skeletal health.

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