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What is Active Isolated Stretching (or AIS for short)?
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), developed by world-class kinesiologist and massage therapist Aaron L. Mattes, is a form of therapy that teaches the body to heal itself, and encourages it to function more naturally and efficiently.
AIS acts as a treatment for fascial (connective tissue) release; muscle lengthening, and helps restore the mind and muscle connection.
The major differences between conventional stretching or static stretching and Active Isolated Stretching is that with the AIS method are only held for 2 seconds and the person being stretched is actively participating.
Furthermore, with AIS results are quickly noticed and frequently reported as dramatic after even one session.
How it works:
With standard stretching the ‘experts’ advocate holding stretches for up to one minute. However all muscles have a natural “stretch-reflex” which activates when there is a rapid movement or when a stretch is held for longer than 2 seconds. The stretch-reflex causes the muscle to resist the change in length, by contracting and thereby constricting blood flow and stopping waste removal from the muscle. In essence you are trying to lengthen a muscle that is trying to shorten, this is the tension you feel during stretching.
AIS is based on the principle of Reciprocal Inhibition, which states when a muscle is contracted, the opposite muscle will relax. The “active” part of AIS refers to the contraction of the antagonist to the muscle being stretched. For example if you were stretching your hamstrings (muscle on the back of the thigh) you would flex your quadriceps (muscle on the front of the thigh).
And, instead of holding a stretch for an extended period of time, with AIS posits that we only hold the stretch for 2 seconds and do multiple repetitions (and at times multiple sets).
Benefits of AIS:
- Treat overuse injuries (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and golfer’s elbow)
- Restore joint range of motion
- Improve posture
- Reduce back pain
- Reduce neck pain
- Improve athletic performance
- Reduce recovery times
- Increase blood flow
- Increase lymphatic flow
- Eliminate pain and stiffness of many types of arthritis
- Improve ease of movement
- Increase flexibility
To receive the full benefits of AIS and attain the maximum range of motion it is essential to work with an AIS practitioner.
AIS has worked for hundreds of thousands of clients to date- let’s make it work for you!
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