Friday, December 4, 2009

Facilitated Active Stretch Technique: FAST Self Massage

Yesterday  I posted an article on self-massage techniques fron a New York Times report. The three massage techniques reminded me of Active Release (ART) techniques. Today I received the January issue of Runner's World and there was an interesting article (not online) called Release 2.0. It shows five similar self massage tecnniques for the shoulders, achilles tendon, hamstrings, iliotibial band, and calf. They are similar to the other do-it yourself techniques in that you use your fingers to apply pressure around a damaged or restricted area and then move the muscle through a complete range of motion. This can loosen up your soreness and tightness. I was particularly pleased to see that these are techniques that you can now find in a book.

Dr. Robert DeStefano, a chiropractor and author of the recently publlished book Muscle Medicine: The Revolutionary Approach to Maintaining, Strengthening, and Repairing Your Muscles and Joints, calls this the FAST method or Facilitataed Active Stretching Technique. According to his website:
We’ve modified ideas from a number of muscle therapies to create a new manual technique that you can do yourself. We call our self-treatment technique F.A.S.T.™, for Facilitated Active Stretch Technique tm. In simplest terms, you are using an external pressure - your fingers, a ball, a stick—to “pin” the muscle near a tight, restricted area.
It appears FAST stretching is a mix of Active Release Technique (A.R.T.), physical therapy, and massage.  I was wondering when someone would come out with a book like this and it looks like it is finally here. Part of Ming Chew's book The Permanent Pain Cure: The Breakthrough Way to Heal Your Muscle and Joint Pain for Good (PB) has similar active stretches like this tennis ball hamstring stretch.The book is called Muscle Medicine: The Revolutionary Approach to Maintaining, Strengthening, and Repairing Your Muscles and Joints and I have already ordered my copy. I would like to get "healed" so I can write a review like this one on

I have been a long distant runner for over 30 years. I have run over 30 marathons,suffering many overuse injuries over the years. I have been to orthopedists, chiropractors, massage therapists and accupuncturists over the years for an assortment of injuries. After reading "Muscle Medicine" I have a new clarity on the cause of many of my past problems. Most importantly, I now have a strategy for self treatment which should resolve my problems. As a senior runner, this material is critical! And, the best part are the sections on prevention. I am now in control! I feel sorry for the medical practionioners in New Jersey- no more business!! I thank the author for sharing this information. For athletes everywhere, this is long overdue!!!

Dr Marvin Lagstein
(very amateur but determined athlete)

Here Dr. DeStefano talks about his book:

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