I’ve discussed my problems with flexibility on this blog previously. I’ve spent years diligently working on my flexibility using various combinations of static, dynamic and PNF stretching techniques. Unfortunately, the results were always disappointing. Although stretching helped, there was always a point beyond which I could not improve. While attending CrossFit, I had difficulty performing many of the exercises requiring flexibility in the hips and shoulders, and this experience prompted me to look for alternative methods for achieving better flexibility.
So far I’ve tried Active Release Technique and Myofascial Release. I started with Active Release Technique. I found a chiropractor trained in this methodology, and worked with him for several months. However, just like with stretching, Active Release Technique helped a little, but not much. I’m not saying that Active Release Technique is generally ineffective, but clearly it wasn’t doing much to improve my flexibility.
I’ve recently started working with someone trained in Myofascial Release. So far the results have been impressive. After just the first session, I immediately saw a big difference in my hip mobility. It is easier for me to perform deep squats, but more importantly, I’m running faster with less effort. I’ve also seen a dramatic improvement in my shoulder mobility. I’m now able to do passovers with my hands several inches closer together than I could before. Finally, since starting with Myofascial Release, I just generally feel better. All of the annoying little kinks and twinges I used to have are either gone, or dramatically reduced. I’ll probably never be able to do leg spits, or touch my head to my knees, but I think full range-of-motion overhead squats are now a distinct possibility.
If you live in the Greater Boston area, and are interested in Myofascial Release, I highly recommend my therapist Ruth Soper of Bodyology Therapeutics.
Ruth Laura Soper, CLMT
14b Alleyne Street, Quincy, MA 02169