Assisted Stretching: Enhancing Flexibility and Mobility for Optimal Performance

We’ve been noticing some new chain locations that offer stretch sessions. This got us thinking, “I wonder if clients know they can request assisted stretches be added to their treatments.” 😊

This article is dedicated to informing our clients and prospective clients about the benefits of stretching and how it can be combined with your massage treatments to enhance results in regards to flexibility, mobility, and overall physical performance. Let’s dive in to how this works.

Understanding Assisted Stretching

Assisted stretching involves a partner, therapist, or specialized equipment to aid in stretching various muscle groups. It typically follows the principles of static or dynamic stretching, but with the added support of an external force to achieve deeper and more controlled stretches. This type of stretching is often utilized in sports and rehabilitation settings, where the focus is on targeting specific muscle groups to address imbalances and limitations.

Benefits of Assisted Stretching

Improved Flexibility: Assisted stretching can significantly enhance muscle flexibility, allowing individuals to move through a wider range of motion. This increased flexibility can lead to improved athletic performance and reduced risk of muscle strains and tears.

Enhanced Recovery: Engaging in assisted stretching after a workout or intense physical activity can help alleviate muscle soreness and reduce recovery time. By gently elongating muscles, it aids in flushing out metabolic waste and promoting better blood flow.

Injury Prevention: Tight muscles are more susceptible to injuries. Assisted stretching can help identify and correct muscle imbalances, reducing the risk of injuries caused by overused or underused muscle groups.

Improved Posture: Assisted stretching can target muscles that contribute to poor posture, such as those in the chest, shoulders, and hips. By lengthening and loosening these muscles, individuals may experience improved posture and reduced discomfort associated with bad posture.

Stress Relief: Assisted stretching can induce a state of relaxation, as it promotes the release of endorphins and reduces tension in the muscles. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with stress and anxiety.

Types of Assisted Stretching

Passive Stretching: In passive stretching, the individual being stretched remains relaxed while the partner or therapist assists in moving the limb to its endpoint. This method is commonly used for post-workout recovery and relaxation.

Active-Assisted Stretching: Active-assisted stretching involves the individual being stretched contributing to the movement, working against the external force provided by the partner or equipment. This method can help develop strength within the stretched muscle group.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): PNF stretching is a more advanced technique that combines alternating contraction and relaxation phases to achieve a greater stretch. It is highly effective for increasing flexibility.

Safety Considerations

While assisted stretching can be highly beneficial, it is crucial to prioritize safety to avoid potential injuries. Seek guidance from a qualified professional who understands the principles of stretching and the body’s anatomical structure. Avoid pushing the body beyond its limits, and communicate any discomfort or pain during the stretching process.


Assisted stretching is a valuable tool for individuals looking to improve their flexibility, mobility, and overall physical performance. By incorporating this practice into their fitness routine, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and those in rehabilitation can reap the benefits of increased flexibility, injury prevention, and improved recovery. Always approach assisted stretching with care, seeking guidance from trained professionals, to maximize its potential benefits while minimizing the risk of injury. So, take the first step towards better flexibility and mobility by exploring the world of assisted stretching and unlock your body’s true potential!

The Benefits of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy

Neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) is a highly effective massage technique that focuses on releasing tension and pain in the muscles and soft tissues of the body. At Loosen Up Bodywork, a sports therapy and rehabilitative massage clinic in Walnut Creek and Danville, CA, our certified massage therapists are trained in NMT, and we are passionate about helping our clients feel their best. Here are four great benefits of neuromuscular therapy that you can expect:

Reduced Muscle Tension and Pain

NMT works by applying targeted pressure to the muscles and soft tissues along with specific muscle engagement, releasing tension and restoring the body to its natural balance. This can help reduce chronic muscle pain, soreness, and stiffness, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably.

Improved Posture

Many people suffer from poor posture due to chronic muscle tension, and NMT can help correct this. By targeting the muscles, NMT helps to restore the body’s natural alignment, which can lead to improved posture and fewer aches and pains.

Increased Range of Motion

NMT can help to improve flexibility and mobility by releasing tension in the muscles, allowing for a greater range of motion. This can be beneficial for athletes, as well as those suffering from age-related stiffness and loss of flexibility.

Improved Blood Circulation

NMT can also help to improve blood circulation. By targeting the muscles, NMT helps to release tension and restore the body to its natural balance, allowing for increased blood flow. This can help to reduce inflammation in the body and provide overall improved health and well-being. Improved blood circulation can also help to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels.

At Loosen Up Bodywork, we understand the importance of NMT and the many benefits it can offer. Our certified massage therapists are trained in this technique and are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how NMT can help you.

Book a New Client Appointment

What are the Benefits of Myofascial Release Massage?

At Loosen Up Bodywork, we provide sports and rehabilitative massage to help our clients achieve pain-free movement. One of the massage services that we offer is Myofascial release massage. Even though it is one of the most common forms of massage—and accessible in your own home—many people do not recognize the benefits of myofascial release massage. Here are some of the many benefits of myofascial release massage! For some of the best sports massage services in San Ramon, reach out to us today!

What is Myofascial Release Massage?

Myofascial release massage is a form of massage that targets the connective tissue within your muscles to release tightness and relieve pain. Myofascial tissue spreads throughout your body, presenting a great opportunity to not only target a specific part of your body, but also relieve pain and tightness in just about every area of your body. Pain that has to do with myofascial tissue occurs where this tissue intersects. At Lesson Up Bodywork, we are able to target this tissue and relieve tightness all over your body.

Reduces Pain

By getting a myofascial release massage, you can loosen up tight muscles and release soreness from physical or other kinds of activities. After you workout or participate in any athletic activity, your muscles have likely undergone stress, and that soreness is the result of them becoming more used to physical activity. By getting a myofascial release massage, that soreness can be worked out of a muscle and accelerate your recovery process.

Reduces Stress

Tight muscles are a huge cause of stress. Just think of the last time you had someone rub your back or neck. Did you feel less stressed afterward? Odds are the answer to that question is ‘yes.’ Myofascial massage can help to release tightness in your muscles that may be causing emotional tension in addition to physical tension. Reach out to us today if you are in need of a relaxing massage.

Improves Your Range of Motion

Flexibility is vital in any athletic endeavor. Being flexible can help you to perform better and protect you from injury. But, when muscles and the surrounding tissue become tight, flexibility will drop off slightly. Getting a myofascial release massage can loosen up those muscles and help your flexibility to recover. With regular myofascial massages, your range of motion can actually improve past its current state. If you are looking to become more flexible, getting regular myofascial release massages can help your flexibility to grow!

At Loosen Up Bodywork, we are committed to helping you recover and grow your athletic abilities. From myofascial release and trigger point massage to lymphatic drainage and more, we offer a wide variety of services to improve your physical and emotional wellbeing. Schedule an appointment and book your myofascial massage today!

4 Ways Sports Performance Massages Can Improve Your Performance

As an athlete, it’s important to take care of your body, and specifically your muscles. Sports massages use several different techniques to give you personalized care. At Loosen Up Bodywork, we base your care off of your training, competition, and recovery schedules, giving you the best care possible. For those living in the San Ramon, California area, we provide results-oriented bodywork that will improve your sports performance. Keep reading to learn four ways sports performance massages can improve your performance. 

Reduce Inflammation and Pain

Inflammation is a troublesome source of many problems, but dealing with pain is burdensome. At Loosen Up Bodywork, our massage therapists work on the source of inflammation, relieving your pain. By relaxing the muscle tissue, we can free your muscles from spasms and contractions that can also lead to nerve compression. Sports performance massages reduce your muscle inflammation, which further reduces your pain.

Promote Healing

Healing is an essential part of being an athlete, and finding faster healing for your strained muscles or sprained ligaments is vital. With sports performance massages, you can speed up your muscle recovery and healing. At Loosen Up Bodywork, we work in collaboration with your health team and doctors. Our massage therapists use their unique and experienced skill set to work with your muscles, to influence healthy healing. 

Decrease Risk of Injury

Injury is a part of sports, and with the right care and trained technicians, you can take care of your injuries properly, which can lower your risk of future injury. At Loosen Up Bodywork, we use a combination of techniques, feedback, and body response to develop your unique treatment plan. By creating a personalized plan, we can be sure your body is responding in a productive and healthy way. Sports massages are a great way to maintain your muscles while decreasing your risk of injury.

Improved Range of Motion

Range of motion is a crucial part of your sports performance. Through the use of sports performance massages, you can improve your range of motion. At Loosen Up Bodywork, our massages work to relax your muscles, allowing the muscle fibers to loosen and become more flexible. By increasing your tissue elasticity, you can reduce injuries while improving your range of motion. 

By maintaining the health of your muscles through sports massage therapy, you can improve your performance. Loosen Up Bodywork provides those in San Ramon, California, with top-quality sports massages, curated to your body’s needs. Book your appointment today!

Single Sided Sports Recovery

With the French open in full swing, I thought it would be fun to give some tips on recovering from sports with some specific examples if you play tennis.

Many sports require excessive single sided use without a good option for training to develop our non-dominant side.  Tennis is a perfect example. If your sport if choice requires lots of single sided use, then warm up and stretching will be even more important for you.

Warming up pre-practice and light stretching afterwards, however minor it may seem, makes a significant difference in how we recover. A good warm up will provide fresh fluids to your muscles to lubricate them and provide the compounds necessary for proper performance.  Elasticity is also increased post warm-up, which will reduce your risk injury.  Here’s a simple example of a warm up routine:

The stretching piece rings your muscles out of all the used up fluids that are now oxygen poor and rich in metabolic wastes.  That fluid is replenished when your stretch is released once again with nutrient dense fluids to aid your muscles in recovering.  There is a second added benefit of reminding your central nervous system of your full range of motion.  Pecs and adductors are highly used in tennis; here are a couple of good examples of how to stretch those:

     adductor stretch


We always love giving our clients tools to help them recover from the sports they enjoy, so if you would like to have a specific routine for your particular sport, schedule your appointment today.  Keep moving and we hope to see you soon.

Habits We Form

I’ve spent the first month of this new year thinking about habits.

Sharing some wonderful conversations with a friend of mine who practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has taught me that the habits we form, both mentally and physically, are very similar and can be interconnected.  If we can understand the effects of the patterns we form, it will help us approach our bodies in a more supportive and productive way. 

Read more

Importance of Communication

If I were granted a single wish, it would be to get clients and therapists alike to understand the importance of communication in therapeutic bodywork.

Read more

Struggling With Sleep?

At Loosen Up we often receive questions regarding ideal sleep recommendations; best positions, pillows, mattresses, etc. These are tougher questions to answer than you would think. There are many contributing factors to preferred sleeping position, pillows, and mattresses; previous injuries, room orientation, or sleeping companions. How we sleep is a personal topic and effective tips and tricks vary for each person.

Read more

How to Use a Foam Roller for Myofascial Release

Using a foam roller is simple, but working some areas may take a bit of practice and some…