The key principle of ST is that the body-mind complex is more than the sum of its parts. To put it simply, if the body and mind work together, 1+1 = 3. How does it work?
Genetically, we inherited a certain shape (e.g height, body type, scoliosis). Besides our genes, the present form and function of the body is a result of our habits and lifestyle. Unfortunately, our modern habits and lifestyles tend to result in sub-optimal forms and functions. Hence, neck, shoulder, back and knee pains, for example, tend to be common issues.
Our minds tend to resist change. If the present form and function of the body is a result of the past, then we can safely project that future development will be on similar patterns unless certain external forces/stresses are introduced to catalyse positive changes.
In ST, the following techniques have proven to be effective to help individuals to overcome and reverse undesired forms and functions of the body:
- Manipulation of the three fundamental neural reflexes (reciprocal inhibition reflex, post contraction inhibition reflex and apprehension reflex)
- Contract-Relax approach
- Long held gentle positions
- Long-levers, supported and unsupported
- Controlled cramping
The result is improved flexibility achieved by remapping (or stimulating) the somatosensory cortex’s map of what the mind believes the body can do. Recall that the mind is resistant to change. ST techniques provide sensory feedback of bones, fascia, muscles and nerves of the body to remake the somatosensory cortex for change to happen.
All this may sound very complicated, but it really is very simple. Like all physical exercises, doing is easier than explaining. For example, try explaining in words how to hit a backhand in a racquet sport. The best way to learn is to pick up a racquet and try. So, do come and try our Stretch Therapy New Students’ Prerequisite Course or arrange for a private class!