I recently met with Fascial Stretch Therapist Carolyn Schmidt to get my stretch on!
I worked with her, as well as her colleague Amy Laithwaite, so read on to learn more about it. You’ll also find some commonly asked questions about FST answered below.
I’ve been dealing with some stiffness issues lately so we chatted about them and figured out some exercises I could do to loosen me up.
Carolyn does 1 hour and 90 minute FST sessions – go for the 90 minute one if you can, it’s so worth it because she’s able to go slow and can get a lot further in terms of increasing mobility. She works on the entire body which is great, and always checks in with you to see what feels good, and how far to push your body safely. I felt so much more mobile and flexible after the session.
Some of the exercises felt so different and almost weird but in a good way! It definitely moved my body in ways I’ve never done before. I felt amazing afterwards.
There’s a good chance you haven’t heard about Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) before, so here are some questions answered for you!
1. What the heck is FST?
Here’s how Carolyn described it:
“FST is a form of assisted stretching. FST is a one-on-one treatment on a massage table. The client will relax on the table while the therapist moves the client’s full body through ranges of motion they might not be able to access on their own. It is pain free and is very relaxing! FST can noticeably improve flexibility in as little as one session. Multiple sessions can help to reduce chronic pain and tension in common areas such as the hips and shoulders. FST is great for improving posture, recovering from tough workouts and preventing injury, among many other benefits.”
You can read more about FST here.
2. Does it hurt?
No, they make sure you to stretch you safely, and are constantly checking in with you to see how everything feels.
3. Is massage involved?
No, or not typically, there may be a bit, but the focus is not on that, it’s on lengthening and moving your body.
4. Is it relaxing?
Yes, definitely. And you feel so much more limber and calm afterwards.
5. Do I just lie there?
Not always, you’ll be asked to move your body in certain ways, and you may do some exercises standing up as well, depending on what you’re working on.
6. What should I wear?
Any stretchy exercise wear or clothes that allow you to move with ease
7. Is it just for athletes?
No, it’s definitely for everyone. I can’t stress this enough, everyone should work on their stretching!
I also did some work with her colleague, Amy Laithwaite, who is a Fascial stretch Therapist at Vancouver Stretch Therapy. She showed me some breathing techniques to work on while stretching my body to help with posture, strength, and flexibility. Amy is also certified in Postural Repositioning, which involves fixing imbalances in the body. PR and FST are very holistic ways of looking at the body.
What are Carolyn and Amy like? They’re both super friendly, and are dancers so they know a TON about flexibility, strength, and mobility. What’s more, they’re both really interested in it, they want to learn as much as they can, and they truly want to help people become more mobile. I highly recommend seeing either of them.
Amy works out of Evolution Wellness Centre in Vancouver, where Carolyn also sees some of her clients (see image below).
Amy & Carolyn doing FST at Evolution Wellness Centre (1285 W Broadway)