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015: What is Fascial Stretch Therapy? Feat: Alyssa McElheny

Optimal Training Podcast
Optimal Training Podcast
015: What is Fascial Stretch Therapy? Feat: Alyssa McElheny

Fascial stretch therapy (FST) is a form of table-based assisted stretching that focuses on the fascia and joint capsule to achieve optimal strength, flexibility, pain relief, and performance. It is a pain-free method of stretching, typically performed on a massage table, that can provide almost instant results.

Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord.

Benefits of FST include:

  • Pain Reduction
  • Improved Circulation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Anti-aging
  • Preventative Injury
  • Sports Performance
  • Weight Loss
Running woman


All right welcome to the OTP episode number 15 Today we have Alyssa and Alyssa is involved in fascial stretch therapy, she’s also training for the Olympic trials she’s running crazy amounts of miles a week, she’s a very busy person we’re gonna dive into what she’s got for us today. 

Lista, welcome. Thanks so happy to be here. Yeah. Good to meet you guys. Yeah, this is fun. I mean, we haven’t done a podcast in it’s probably been like close to a month so we and we use to rip them off try like at least like every week. But we were waiting. 

I know like we tried to connect earlier and for what?Had a reason I think we got busy like I almost forgot about it and then I think you as well yeah right now Yeah yeah for sure but super glad to have you on this is interesting because this is something I mean, I have no experience with I know Eric probably has no experience with so anytime we get so many in here that has like a new perspective for anything like I’m always super eager to learn about that so I guess we can start we talked a little bit off the mic but like just a little bit of your background, whether it’s athletically, you know, like professionally, however you want to kind of introduce yourself to listeners want to go ahead and do that. 

Great. I’ve been a runner for.The past probably 14 years that’s my background. I ran track and field cross country in both high school and college better on the Grand Rapids area for almost my entire life after I ran like competitively in college. I really kind of didn’t want to stop. 

I didn’t want to let that go. So I’ve been training on my own since then haven’t really run with the team or with like a brand or anything but I’ve been kind of racing in the local community. I’ve done a couple larger races. I’m outside of the state currently.

Trying to qualify like we said for the big trials marathon which is the next chance of qualify will be in four years to just kind of looking forward and training long term. Whoa. Yeah, John Zafffield, like that’s like that’s a long way away mentally it’s a long stretch. I actually attempted to qualify for this cycle and I was just a few minutes off. 

Just really didn’t give myself enough time to like get through a good full training cycle for a marathon. So in four years, I’ll be smarter and stronger and ready to go again. So just about the long-term game just being patient. So still trying to do that. I’ve coached at a few.

Different area high schools track and field and cross country currently coaching at forces eastern high school track and field and cross country. So trying to get through runs with masks right now. Oh really about that. Yeah, this order gets just got lifted yesterday, but oh it did for a few days for.

Okay for someone.For cross-country is like it’s yeah, it does not make sense. Yeah, it’s about as spread out as you gotta be yeah. That’s kind of my background.Gotten into a little bit of personal training. I’ve coached boxing for the past couple years. Is that a title box? 

Yeah, so it’s a little.I do a lot of things. I like to be busy.Person so yeah I’m recently gotten into a bachelor’s stretch therapy we’ll talk again more about that, but I found that to be a super important modality for my own training and for a lot of the athletes I work with so cool, yeah, it’s a great intro you mentioned college but I don’t think you mentioned what you’re racing in college, yeah sorry attended Calvin College, I competed mostly in the Steeplechase, okay, just if you don’t know it’s seven laps around the track one water barrier to jump over each lap and then seven other hurdles to get over so I was all american that event.

For twice totally smokes there because in three yeah like almost because eight last week two miles right so yeah, okay yeah, okay, yeah.You always give people congregating by the waterpetling so yeah super fun now did you do I mean don’t have that high school do that no only in like New York in California, okay so did you do do you always like longer to middle distance track running high school to me it’s you know running on the track isn’t always very exciting yeah bring it on those hurdles are serious yeah that’s a hurdle yeah see they’re not like yeah, they’re not the kind of bounce back when you go over them, they’re like solid if you hit one you’re down so fun.

But it’s super fun that’s cool definitely the most exciting track event in my opinion.So we talked a little bit off Mike about your Olympic trials training you’re doing like 80-ish miles a week yeah kind of coming up and down my peak weeks and better around 80 coming down to maybe you know 60 and some recovery weeks. 

I just took two weeks down at like 30 I was out of the country so just kind of took two weeks off. I hadn’t taken time off since my last marathon which is like in February so it was time for just a couple weeks of break yeah so trying to start building back up again and don’t really know what race is on the calendar because nothing is really running right now, so just trying to stay motivated and focused without.

Having that light goal race in a couple months so we’re working through it yeah yeah I’ve been part of like the what jumps out to me is like I know idea how to but even go about programming for like distance training or even if you’re interested because that’s like a that’s a whole energy system like you don’t never have to tap into here fortunately, oh, I don’t know. 

I I’ve done like longer runs in the past on a few years ago. I was I mean, like the most mileage I’ve ever got to was like, maybe 35 a week which is substantial it was a lot. I mean, it was average small but I was paying that like swimming as well, so ifIt was like I was swimming probably 10 miles a week and then like 20 35 a week it’s just great yeah it was people’s body there was a dinosaur oh yeah adding the swimming yeah we have a lot of kids that you know, we hit 55 miles and also in their body start to not respond well, so yeah that extra swimming or extra biking is yeah super important that you can kind of chop up but I mean for you I mean and you don’t have to go you will you go as detailed as you want, but like,Training for that what does that look like? 

I know because you mix in like resistance training as well, like, how do you like structure? I guess a week a month like it’s a great.

Week when I’m working out well and hard I’m trying to hit around 80 miles a week. I’ll definitely do some two days okay so that will look like kind of a harder workout in the morning and then just kind of some really really really easy recovery miles at night so typical week would maybe be so yeah, we’ll do a long run once a week, which I like to take it kind of a more tempo paste. 

I’ll try and like hit, you know low sixes for the whole the whole you know, 14 mile run.It’s kind of good I’m tempo long run a couple recovery days which end up being like I don’t know nine nine to ten miles and then an easy run at night still so even those recovery days are still pretty young distance heavy again, if you’re trying to hit 80, you know, I have any day that’s short right and then again depending on whether I’m training for something more track oriented or more like marathon oriented the workouts look totally different obviously I’m training for something more track oriented maybe we’ll do you know, some 200 400’s maybe up to like 1k.

P each okay on the track from training for something marathon related, it’s a lot of like at pace work longer repetitions, maybe you know, two miles at marathon pace, you know.Half a mile off at marathon pace half mile off just trying to stimulate what that’ll be like yeah exactly with a little bit of break obviously to hit Olympic trials qualifying you have to be able to run 26.2 miles at 6:15 pace so that’s the ultimate goal what’s the time what’s the time on it, it’s a 245 marathon yeah that’s just like the bee standard the a standard I think is somewhere in the 230s or.

And is A’s automatic and B is like yeah, so basically yeah, they’ll pay your way yeah they’ll cover all your stay your hotel be you have to pay your own but actually last year the Atlanta Trap Club that’s where the trials were held they paid the way for everyone so kind of cool is that being the A and B were just kind of so now how far are you said you’re a few minutes off how far what was the last time you tried to qualify yeah, so I tried twice. 

I tried enrichment Virginia in November and then I tried in.Houston Texas in January oh both times I ran like almost the exact same time, I guess I know and like a 252 so a good seven minutes to go but again, my training is like I started training I decided I want to try and about August so I just I gave myself like three months hmm, so I just I need it need to give myself like a couple years yeah exactly what I’ll be able to do now yeah. 

I just I know I can do it. I like those experiences we’re pretty solid. I just didn’t quite have the what I needed at the end of those miles, which is the most difficult part, obviously.Sure that was heartbreaking initially. I felt like it gave you confidence. Yeah, no, I guess I’m not I don’t think I’ve ever gonna be a lifelong marathoner. 

Like it’s not my favorite distance to.People Yeah So I just I really want to try and get to trials just kind of have that on my like it’s on my bucket list. Yeah, I think that maybe never run a marathon ever again. Just keep stick with the shorter. 

5k, you know half marathon is even like really great pretty sustainable easier recovery. Yeah, and actually I haven’t when I was doing my training for the marathons, I wasn’t doing facial stretch therapy at all so I’m kind of interested to integrate that into my training cycle. That’s pretty new, isn’t it? 

You said within the past what I have here is.N’t Yeah it’s pretty new Okay Have you seen a difference in time specifically or just maybe how you feel. That’s such a great question. I say this spring is kind of what I started the whole like integration with stretch therapy. 

I also at the same time I had a former athlete I used to coach James Jamie. Reed she runs at the University of Alabama. She was back in town because their whole outdoor track season was canceled their school was canceled all that. So, I actually was able to train with her this spring and kind of beginning of summer and it was probably the hardest.

Period of training I’ve ever done It definitely I could PR in several events and so I don’t I had I I know I was working harder and training harder but also integrating fascial stretch therapy, so I’m sure it was kind of a marriage of the two. Sure, you know, I’d like to think it was a little bit of foe. 

Yeah. So yeah, I definitely think I’ve seen some like performance benefits and it’s been fun. Have you not when you also been like apart from the marathon? It sounds like you’ve been I mean you compete in like that it would be a masters event. Are you masters track now or how does that?

Work Or yeah it’s really that’s the thing there’s not a lot of post collegiate athletes that compete and track and field right unless they do it, you know to professional level after college. So most actually most collegiate track and field meets will accept just kind of unattached. That’s right, okay. 

So that’s kind of what ends up happening. I’ve really haven’t done a lot of track racing post college. I’m really looking forward to getting into it again. Yeah, so basically it would be like, you know Grand Valley’s hosting a you know, me and you can try that for this deal Chase or yeah U of M is so steamy Most.

Most events are most track meets will accept unattached runners So that’s kind of the thing that works. Yeah, yeah anything that’s not conference invitationals. So yeah, it works. Yeah, for sure. What about solar are you doing like you said more tempoed outpaces stuff like that, it’s got does that more like heart rate driven are you like a big heart rate person? 

Are you more like a space time person? Yes. I mean, I I definitely run with a watch that has a heart rate monitor. I should definitely pay attention to it more than I do. Yeah, most of the time it’s me going throughout.And being like oh that was a rough one yeah. 

I know I really I just kind of bass we have a couple different like Jack Daniels paste charts we use those kind of calculate what certain replication should be yeah sorry yeah so we again use those you see I definitely more paste driven and heart rate driven sure. I would definitely love to get more into that side of things but right now it’s more of an after the after the fact I look at it and it’s oh my gosh, yeah, probably yeah, can I use it to monitor?

Oh well, I’m recovering yeah.That’s that that’s always more interesting to me just kind of average resting heart rate mm-hmm can tell if I’m gonna like a harder period of training or if I’m tapered well or yeah, what’s your typical measure right here this is I’m high forties yes what I sleep that’s what 80 miles a week will do yeah if I’m in the right in the right time if I’m recovered well yeah, so yeah, now what kind of you wear like a certain wearable for that like you had is it just like an Apple watch is a yeah just use a garment okay runner 35 or something, okay something like that right now, it’s getting fixed so I just feel naked.

Yeah, so you don’t know what’s going on with my body really scary yeah, all right it’s probably up and I don’t know that’s hilarious let’s jump into yeah special stretch there already, of course yeah so I mean, I’ll just kind of start you guys and maybe ask me any questions yeah things I don’t cover so.

Yeah starting with what is fashion. I feel like a lot of people don’t know what your fashion yeah yeah it’s like this and that kind of a basic way of describing it it’s this, you know network of tissues that connects all of your joints all of your joint calves so all of your muscles everything your entire body goes from your toes to your forehead.

It’s supposed to be this like really like gliding soft malleable, you know substance in your body but oftentimes with injury with age with you know, really repetitive movements that you do when you train for any sport it becomes kind of like sticky or hard and so that fascial release what we do with fascial stretch therapy allows it to be really again gliding and smooth.

And that’s what allows like your tissues and your muscle and your joint capsules to like work smoothly and work together if you have and if you have any like hiccups in that if you have something, you know tight like, you know constrained in your calf, it’s gonna affect everything else so the rest of your body, you know, your whole body needs to be in you know, saying to everything work well together.

Yeah that’s I mean that’s kind of what that’s kind of what we work on it’s yes they’re just kind of glue that holds the body together and then that when it’s upset can cause inflammation it can cause irritation so fascia releases what breaks up all those adhesions in your body hmm so that’s kind of like what is based in what we do vascular stretch therapy, it’s table-based so we’ll have you know, lay on your back on kind of like a massage table there’s a few there’s like one strap that goes over we kind of stretch one side of the body at a time, okay, so there’s one strap that we put kind of over your calf one.

We put.Over like your thigh muscle. And then we kind of worked from there. It’s.Again there’s lots of things that it can be for, you know, people who said at a desk all day and need to be, you know, moving better can be for people with bad posture can be for people who are trying to rehab from injuries from surgeries. 

Again, my my line of work. I really like to use it for athletes. It’s developed by a woman who lives in Arizona and Frederick. She kind of pioneered the whole thing. She’s a Olympic. She worked a lot of Olympic athletes on their flexibility a lot of professional athletes on their flexibility.

So yeah, it’s it’s around the country it’s around the world but yeah, there’s not really a spot in Michigan that does it in like a large like group setting. So yeah, I work at Helix performance, they’re not helix performance center, sorry. Helix stretch center, we’re in Cascade Michigan. It was started by Becky White Steinsma. 

She’s been in the industry for 22 years as a personal trainer and then as a facial stretch therapist, we currently have eight.Fascial stretch therapists that work there We offer cupping massage and then fascial stress therapy. And yeah, it’s been kind of a fun thing to be a part of in the last half year. 

Yeah, that sounds awesome. I mean not she’s actually only questions already. I thought if I just kind of like no dominant, I think I’d like to try to deep down just a little more on like fashion if we can go there. I would say I was listening to some other day on a podcast there to kind of talking more about. 

No, I don’t know if you know about this but like fashion and it’s like response to like emotion.And they touch on that it’s like yeah they related to like how like horses are like kind of emotionally heightened you know they freak out if like a storm coming stuff like that. 

It’s like they’re so switched on because they’re fascists so efficient. I’ve heard that I’m like that’s interesting because I mean if you have any like relation to that or you have any more information, you’re more about that. I don’t know say there’s there’s certain points in the fashion where I’m like during a stretch session. 

Again, it gets almost something you have to experience. It surely understands. Yeah, like a lot of times like they say like your emotion is kind of held in your fashion.And the way it connects to your brain the way it connects to your muscles Again everything is just a web and it transmits emotion it transmits energy again, I don’t know the science behind there’s people that could probably talk circles around me in terms of the science but that’s definitely something that’s part of the fascia that it it’s yes, it’s connected to everything. 

So yeah, I agree with you there. There’s yeah, I think that’s why they say acupuncture works so well so because like you’re literally you’re like almost like releasing like top poking holes in the tightness and like, I don’t know releasing energy or like emotion through dry needling.Or what whatever the case is, um.

I know there’s a book about that called anatomy trains and that’s all about how like your facial slings work and like cross-section patterns and stuff like that I’ve been read the book myself but I’ve had a few friends recommend it but I mean and like that’s so interesting to me because like in a whole list of aspect like you don’t think of like you’re connective tissue like people just don’t motion it’s like your body but yeah people just don’t think of it in general you think you have your muscles and your bones and that’s it but this is something that encapsulates all those things yeah or people even think you know, obviously you you get sore muscles you get tense muscles, but sometimes more even than like a muscular problem, it’s like you’re.

Fashioning tight around those muscles yeah causes that stress through that reaction, so it’s hard to tell right yeah, it’s something that people don’t really.At least I’m just being for myself before I kind of learn this modality. I had no idea that fascia was even a thing so yeah it’s mm-hmm yeah just interesting or even I mean, I’ve read different pieces about how you know, you’ll be if you’re going into you know medicine or something in the like.

You know doing a dissection yeah a lot of times like the fascial just kind of be like scooped out and threw away a bucket and that studied and there’s just so much in there that’s like really interesting not just the muscle just the bones so yeah and like with the c-section delivery yeah a pregnant woman like they’re cutting into that layer and like you said it’s tied to emotion yeah a lot of times they’ll stitch you up and then a woman can be very emotional after and it’s like wonder why yeah yeah super interesting yeah that’s cool, so then maybe let’s let’s go into kind of how you started to use that for yourself and other.

S and kind of I know it’s you’re still new to it but like any results or like even just like kind of like speculations you think that’s gonna think how this is gonna transfer to performance totally so I kind of got interested in fashion stretch therapy, so I coached an athlete for four years he’s graduated now but he started to go see Becky at helix and would get fashion stress therapy. 

I think once or twice a week, this kid was a good athlete like great athlete hard worker.But was I mean it always was kind of like in our varsity group of the kids I coached and cross country but never never like really excelled at his potential and I think once he started seeing Becky to have fascial stretch therapy down a couple times a week, we really see solid a huge change in his performance by the end of the season he went from being kind of, you know, middle of the pack of our team to like being almost our front runner he finished all state so they’ve never done before never thought was possible so I just kind of peaked my interest a little bit, you know, it’s if something like that happens to a kid, you know.

You wonder why hopefully it’s just good coaching too, there’s a little more than that. I think so. I’m down to fashion stretch therapy that way I’ve yet to really be on a consistent.Special stretch like regimen okay right now I’m doing a lot of stretching but I think it’s oftentimes hard to like staff and actually make oh can I have a stretch you know, yeah that’s difficult yeah yeah, so I think once I kind of get into like a really serious training cycle again and start racing again once races starting happening. 

I think I’d like to kind of do a little bit more of that myself yeah. I mean, it’s in terms of like athletic performance it’s great for rehab it’s like if you have an injury or old surgery old scars scar tissue.That facial release is gonna help to break up that scar tissue and hopefully over time lead to you know, better movement of that body part or wherever the injury happened it’s also great for recovery it’s like, you know, I do a hard hard fart like run or something and you know go get stretch the next day. 

I found that that helps my muscles or cover a lot better again just a really simple really simple way to put it, you know you.Bring in the good blood flush out the bad blood get things moving um I feel like that’s been really helpful as well, I just feel like I faster covery time whenever I get stretched and then even just with sports performance it’s gonna help athletes with their range of motion help them to hold their bodies better their posture better in terms of like my running. 

I feel like it’s helped me with I used to be a big overstrider, you know land on my heel and that just stops all your energy. I feel like now I’m able to run a little bit taller land on my midfoot instead of on my heel. I just feel like wheneverI’ve been in a like a pattern of like good stretching good fascial stretching things work better things move better things glide better it’s again that just speaking as a distance runner but again, I know again the woman that you know, pioneered this whole fascial stretch movement again works with like numerous NFL athletes has worked in numerous Olympians, there’s a lot of people that swear by it so I get I found it to be super interesting yeah, yeah, like it sounds like for recovery. 

I think it would be like one to one fashion stretch therapy for an up.A distance runner yeah but for a sprinter like you’re performance directly tied into how much no I mean there’s this arrangement it’s um consistent FST like, you know going once or twice a week is found to improve your force in power by two to five percent which improves your running speed by point zero six seconds over 50 yards, which sounds like nothing that’s huge, but that can be like for an Olympic runner for a high level athlete that can be the difference between like a gold medal and like not qualifying for finals, yeah that point oh six is everything so again, it sounds so minuscule but like it’s a big.

Difference yeah huge difference yeah yeah yeah, they say like you’re neurological output is like just through massage. I mean, I know it’s not the same but like somebody though yeah like you’re like able to like increase your optic like almost like forty percent of like your neurological output, so that’s like yeah, that’s massive, um,And like I know for spreading like that is such a huge piece is like passive stretching whether they know they’re doing bachelor stretching or not they might beat the high hitting some parts of it on accident or maybe it’s just like like that massage piece like I think like that’s something right like we don’t perform at a high level but like so we never go do stuff like that but others time I was gonna massage that I get once a week and like I don’t think I’ve ever felt they’re performed better yeah if that’s like if that’s your that’s your work like life’s work if you’re you know an Olympic sprinter yeah literally anything you can do to have that, oh yeah you do it, yeah.

A hundred is like worth like x amount of dollars so like somebody like that like they’ll pay to get it like yes heaven yeah and it’s definitely it’s different to them I can’t remember if I touched on this before we started recording or not but um, yeah very different than like a static stretch yeah that was my next question it’s like so like people are hearing stretching they’re probably taking like all right like across your legs touch your toes 30 seconds, yes, like again is that um, cross country and check and field coach we’ve you know, always kind of, you know harped on our kids that you especially before before running right that static stretching almost like,Decreases your power right your forces it’s not a great thing to do against stretch after your run but you know not before you’re on we do a lot of like dynamic active warm-ups like most other sports do so I guess I’ll there’s kind of like a demonstration we do just help people understand what fascial stretches a little better, so again, it’s the podcast you won’t be able to see it but I’ll try and demonstrate I’ll try and talk through what I’m doing yeah, so I just have a finger holding it straight up so self-stretch like a static stretch, you’re just gonna bend that finger back and that’s about like the whole range of motion you’re gonna get so my finger’s been.

Back like very minimally yeah it doesn’t do much yeah yeah yeah mine doesn’t even better if you want to do it at home you can do so yeah, it’s all your finger back and your bending it back without using any aid that’s about that’s a self stretch that’s like a static stretch next up would be like a stretch so like an average, you know, athletic trainer could help you achieve and they’re just gonna kind of push back on your fingers you definitely get a better range of motion there right like huge difference. 

I’m just taking another finger pushing back on that other finger and you definitely get some benefit there.The difference what we do at helix what we do with bashful stretch therapy is we’re gonna traction at the joint so that’s smells like this we’re gonna grab our finger and you’re gonna pull it up traction at the joint and then you’re gonna burn it back and you see what it huge difference if you’re gonna create some space and that joint capsule that’s really I think one of like the three tools we use is self-attraction would be one okay and we’re gonna just like create some space and that joint capsule before we get into that stretch allows for much deeper much more beneficial stretch and then two we use PNF like resist relaxed technique.

Yeah like proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is what PNF actually stands for but that’s gonna be you know, I’m sorry traction someone where let’s say we’re in a glute stretch.Contraction them you know get that get that and then you’ll have socket joint pulled out stretched out and then I’m just gonna kind of tap on their leg they’re gonna like put some force back in my hand and then we’re gonna get that stretch and do it like a different range of motion different yeah, so it’s those two things and then we also like when we’re talking about before we started recording breathing is a huge part of it, okay just to be able to relax until like breathe to kind of deregulate that central nervous system if they’re not relaxed if they’re not breathing you can you can feel it in their tissue yeah so then that’s a huge part of it just to kind of get them to like pause match your breath with mine.

Yeah and then all those things are gonna work better so those are you do account with your breath or just no not so much think yeah I feel like we just I try and like just match their breathing a lot of times if I’m not breathing while I can tell they’re not breathing well as well interesting not like bodies end up being pretty close during like a fascial stretch session, it’s like I if I’m not breathing if I’m stressed if I can often feel it in my client as well, yeah so those kind of free things are what allow us to do something more than just your average static stretch yeah, so that’s so interesting because I was a sprinter in college at cornerstone actually and all right. 

I don’t know where I picked this up.But at one point with like plantar fasciitis which is for people listening it’s the bottom of your foot you get that a lot when you’re wearing spikes and your sprinting yeah yeah so late told you like pull your big toe out and then stretch it back and then actually massage the bottom of it yeah time and I would do that religiously and it helps so much huge yeah it’s a little stuff yeah I’ve there right now yeah we’re kind of for yeah this uh, that’s that’s interesting because yeah, I think that’s like that’s all optimal people think of.

Right like you hear fashion like I’ll play like your foot right or like playing a fire status, but like there’s so much more that was into that oh yeah.That’s crazy I think I’m being obviously I’ve seen even like I said I’ve heard of one person who did this and he would post like before and afters of just like a session and like squat depth and like something like that like you like put something in a position like and then you’d go for whatever the session is half hour hour throwing back out of the floor and it just washed like this before launching it was people will stand up and be like, oh my gosh, we said earlier it’s a couple inches taller yeah you can really notice a lot of times we like to like stretch one side of the body and then have them get up right and like walk around and people are just like, oh my god, like yeah, like my whole left side is like way down.

Here hey it’s interesting you can tell there’s patterns like people who are you know right-handed you know they’re right shoulders and hiked it’s just there’s definitely patterns that you’re able to notice as you keep going through things be out the whole squat depth thing is very interesting okay, like people are people move much better after an hour section and again the more the more frequently they go through it the more these changes in these patterns are lasting what’s like recommended twice yeah. 

I mean we go we see a lot of people once a week. I feel like that’s a pretty common thing if you’re looking to like it perform a high levels twice a week is great, okay, um,Again we we kind of offer like packages like you can buy a five pack or ten pack and then use them kind of however you want to use them sure or use them on again like the of cupping or massage so there’s I mean a few different ways you can use your you know, your ten pack or whatever but yeah just kind of depends on the person whether you’re looking to run a fast cross-country time or just you know feel better after you sit in the office at a chair all day long yeah, so I guess especially with you know, people being working at home and all that all that different stuff. 

I think it’s been nice to like help people feel better yeah now have you.Guys been open this whole time no we were closed for probably a couple months yeah, I believe we opened kind of when the governor allowed like massage yeah yeah but I think going forward we’re gonna try and be labeled as a bit more of an essential service because we do really focus on people’s health and well-being more than just you know basic I feel okay like we yeah we try and like really help people out so okay, hopefully that’s the goal, hopefully it doesn’t happen again, but yeah, no joke that’s interesting. 

I think.For something like that, do you?I’m trying to think how was this do you do you like almost like it’s almost like therapeutic in a sense like obviously physically but like emotionally or mentally do you guys have that kind of component is that more like yeah is that like throughout your whole organization or is that more just like specifically a list of like all you’re gonna kind of deep dive into the more yeah mental side of it, oh I definitely think that’s a huge part of what we do or what most of our stretch therapist tried to do and again everyone we again we have eight people and staff and everyone kind of focuses on something different like again. 

I like to I like to work a lot more with like younger athletes if I can okay, um, we have people who have backgrounds.In more personal training people have backgrounds in like rehab people have backgrounds and dance bodybuilding personal training which is kind of a wider range of people’s different interests and specialties so it’s really it’s nice to be able to kind of match different clients with whoever we feel would fit their needs best yeah. 

I do the mental side of it emotional side of it is massive, especially for those athletes yeah, so a hundred percent what is it what does it feel like to pick you back on that when you’re on the table and getting it done, okay, yeah ideally what we’d like people to experience there’s our biggest thing is.

There’s no pain I think a lot of times when you self-stretch or have like someone else stretch you there’s like have that pinching feeling or like really strained feeling but again with the techniques we use traction and breathing we really hope it’s any ideally there shouldn’t be any pain like obviously you’re gonna feel a stretch yeah, but um,A lot of times I don’t rather have people leave my table saying like oh I feel like she could have gone further but okay you know so it’s definitely our main thing is no pain Ideally we’d like to deregulate people central nervous systems enough that they I need to almost fall asleep during this yeah so kind of similar like a massage if you’re just really relaxed yeah that’s kind of the goal like a lot of times people are pretty guarded with their bodies, especially when you’re like taking them into kind of new different ranges, so it’s hard to get some people to kind of like, you know, just let your body go yeah, it’s hard to give up control that’s really the main thing we ask you people when they come.

For session.Is just like give up control your body you know I’m gonna move your leg don’t move your leg a lot of times we’ll do some like circumduction so I’ll kind of come under your knee and kind of move your knee around in a circle and we’ll kind of pause and see if people you know themselves sometimes like keep the circle going like, you know, just trying to get people to really relax and just like let us have control their bodies is kind of a kind of a battle sometimes mm-hmm people get better at it as they go but yeah shake I’m a little bit like yeah, yeah, we’re just so used to holding ourselves right actually.

If you like to have control of what you do and how your body knows that you want somebody else touching it for you so get people used to that spin an interesting thing for sure and yeah every session is different like we kind of have obviously we like to kind of like, you know left leg right leg left, you know upper body right upper body head neck there’s kind of a flow that we like to go through but if someone comes in with specific issues or specific points of pain or pressure, we’re obviously able to spend more time on those areas, but each session can be kind of different too not at.

Everyone kind of gets the same treatment which is great it’s very personalized. I know there’s a couple like larger stretch centers opening that’s so much in Michigan but more so in bigger cities west coast east coast that kind of go through like a very regimented like formulaic way of stretching and that’s definitely not what we go for we go for a very personalized experience sure so there’s definitely difference there.

Is that does that keep you guys are you pretty busy over there on a database basis yeah yeah, we have so we right now we have four stretch rooms, we’re not it we’re not a you know, massive massive center we have about four stretch rooms eight therapists and we’re booked most of the time we’re looking to expand in the next probably half a year, we’re gonna kind of build a little bit of a gym space hopefully looking to add on some other services kind of getting more into like the nutritional planning side of things maybe even some like genetically DNA testing some food sensitivity thatThings so again we’re trying to look to be a kind of a more like a one-stop shop yeah, then we currently are see how we’re definitely definitely looking to grow in the next the next year or so pretty excited about it things have been great like response has been great since code, we really opened pretty close to win coval started okay, oh wow, yeah, yes not a fun time stressful yeah hasn’t been fun but yeah, it’s been a good it’s we’ve seen some great response since then do you still coach boxing as well? 

I don’t anymore. I again, I’ve tried to learn to say no to certain things, no.Quality of life purposes. I still love it. I think it’s a great way to work out yeah just one one too many things in life yeah yeah imagine now what time do you are you like early riser and then also stay up late cuz yours miles is like how many hours you try to get out of sleep, that is one thing that’s massive.

I and I don’t think I ever have realized how important sleep was until the last year, okay? I know we always kind of tell our kids that I coach that you know, so there’s this.I I think this is funny but there’s you know this there’s this you know performance enhancing drug out there it’s not illegal yet yeah no one’s banned it yet. 

MHSA is still okay with it, you know, it’ll help you perform better in school help you have better focus when you take tests and exams it’ll help you, you know run better it’ll help your body digest food better, it’ll help, you know, it’ll improve your times and then they’ll be like, what is this what is this drug that is just sleep yeah like put your phone down, you know.

Get eight hours it’s super important so I’ve really I’ve really tried to practice what I preach with that try and get eight hours so I try wake up at like I don’t know I’m six am okay and then a lot of mornings again it’s I’ll head into helix and stretch. 

I will try and get in my own workout my own run and then go and coach run with either like our boys or girls they’re depending on whether I need a harder workout or any easier one just depends, it’s kind of a nice option to have and then yeah, I mean try and be in bed by 10 pm try and get that eight hours.

Yeah it doesn’t always happen but I feel like my body just responds so much better when I’m completely well-rested and caught up and then try and do a good job of drinking a ton of water too but yeah because that’s a big piece with fashion too, right it’s like it’s like 95% long yeah just like I watercase yeah muscle yes she yeah so we say when you when we when we stretch your fascia one of the things we tell our clients when they leave is like make sure you go home and drink a lot of water yeah essentially when we stretch you like that, we’re just kind of ringing out your fashion, you need to be able to replenish that water that’s something we definitely hard bond with our clients.

Like go home drink water today, definitely that’s interesting yeah, you have a gallon yeah really like a tremor water bottle if she’s huge.Like two to a day or something today yeah yeah two two and a half again, especially when it’s been hot out like it has this summer, um really trying to drink a lot of water do you run better in the heat? 

I don’t actually really yeah that’s more of like it give me give me like past couple days that we’ve had it’s really nice yeah low 60s it’s been a dream so again Michigan winter running is not fun either, of course, yeah definitely give me that like 50-55 shorts and a long sleeve weather it’s just perfect, okay, yeah now what is I guess we like.

For me like I love the hold the weight room side of things as well so like what does that look like for you yeah doesn’t have to be right now but I mean like when you’re like you said when you’re doing like heavier weeks and stuff like that like how like on top of 80 miles like what do you do like when you how do you get in the weight room yeah get there yeah, so I definitely am I will during off periods like after my last marathon in January. 

I tried to get in the weight room.Every day for a couple hours I just kind of went really light on the running and I tried to take you know two months of just like really weight room focus, okay training. I feel like a lot of distance runners overlook the strength piece of things they just think you know miles files miles and that’s just not to me. 

I found weight training to be like way more beneficial yeah just because your distance or it doesn’t mean you don’t need to be, you know, strong and fast and explosive right so yeah a lot of times in about higher mileage weeks there’s not a lot of not a lot of weight room stuff going on sure.

But I I’m a big believer in just to me I I feel a lot more confident when I can do like, you know, some heavy heavy squats every week do a lot of stuff with bands do lots of tiara X okay do a lot of yeah kind of like coerced ability work and nothing super I get I’m just confident when I can like do a heavy squat but nothing nothing super heavy yeah just have this on a lot higher reps and yeah sure I’m just movement-based things because I’m trying to match it to kind of like the pace of like you’re just right so you’re gonna do like a long run you’re probably gonna do more like,Higher like volume yeah yeah cool definitely a huge part I think a lot of a lot of like endurance athletes can overlook sometimes so yeah well for me I was I’m always I was always trying to piece that together my head like if you’re doing X amount of miles like your legs are probably good obviously like yeah an injury prevention piece would be like you do something in the way room that would hopefully prevent a nagging issues but like at that point I was saying like you would you just only basically train upper body in the way forward yeah yeah and I feel like a lot of times with yeah lower bodies again. 

I feel like a lot of people think of running is just completely lower butThere’s definitely upper body pieces to it you know you need to be able to like pull with your arms and that just you know have them flow yeah they have a bad out like when I get tired I’ll just be a bad like side to side runner so I definitely need to get better with just being able to like pull with my arms and have some more upper body strength there, but yeah core work. 

I feel like a lot of times if you just do a lot of intense if you just go off for a jog, it’s not gonna not gonna do that much for a core work but like I just for me it’s whenever I do like hard, you know stuff on the track hard intervals for art likes. 

I feel like that’s almost my core work, yeah. I know you’re right now.Like that’s a it’s a lot so yeah I again, I do definitely do lift lower body. I enjoy it more than lifting up everybody sure that’s kind of my like that’s my bread and butter more than upper body but yeah, it’s definitely been on that not a lot of not a lot of lifting this summer just because gyms have been nose that’s been a little hard. 

I tried to find ways to get around it but I’m just really focused and we’re running this summer maybe looking back to get in that weight room again, so it was fall yeah, okay cool good to know yeah.Because you’re training most of the time is gonna be.Blanking on what plane this is from sagittal sagittal plane, which is like front and back oh yeah yeah that’s so much again with best training for something a little shorter maybe but yeah just a lot of a lot of forward movement mm-hmm do you ever incorporate any like Sprint work any like anything under like a hundred meters definitely really yeah. 

I love to hear more about them yeah, so this is something we do with.Our athletes that I coach as well We used we generally more so in the summer Okay um during the off seasons, but we like to have one place called Lake Top Speed Tuesday. Okay. And again, it’s people think that just because your distance runner like, you know, you just need long miles and that’s it, but like we want to teach our kids in our bodies to move well. 

So if you I mean, if you just really focus on moving well we do a lot of like even like 30 meter accelerations. We do a lot of like little tiny banana hurdle work. I’m just to work on like, you know, picking up those knees and that.Dry Because yeah if you don’t if you don’t know how to move well like that you don’t practice it often how are you going to translate that into like your longer distance running. 

So the way to get better at you know, longer distance running is I mean, obviously lots of miles but also just teaching your body to move well and practicing that and that’s something we definitely do better over shorter distances. Yeah, something we like to incorporate at least once a week. 

And then also after long runs or most other easy runs, we like to get in like three or four like hard good fast, like hundred meters strides. Okay, so yeah, I think we definitely believe in move.Being fast at some point every day Good Yeah not just not just long Loby. 

Yeah distance, right? Well because there’s something we talk about all the time. This is concept called the speed reserve, right? So I liken it to like a NASCAR, for example, so like if your top speed is 300 miles an hour. Yeah, it’s a lot easier to go for 100 miles and 150, right? 

It’s still fast. Yes, but those are the way we kind of go about conversing that as like so like I mean, we have our sessions like it’s not like we have a ton of time to work with anywhere from like 10 to 30 kids, so it’s like,Okay like for the biggest bang for our buck is like if we can get them as fast as possible then like that you know that endurance almost kind of takes care of itself because they’re their speed of play and everything else, right? 

Like I mean most sports you rarely ever unless you are a sprinter you’ll never top out and speak. Yeah, there’s no there’s no room and like a basketball court there’s like soccer like you’re using a ball so you’re not actually running as fast as you can so it’s like for us like if we can just do some true like anywhere from like 20 to 40 50, like it meter accelerations for someone young like they can typically top out around that distance.

We’ve had more success like even with like our soccer player girls who like they are midfielders, so they’re running like breaking out miles. Yeah like they’re going but like they say like I don’t really get tired and like like the because like everyone’s so used to like all like go out hit a three mile run. 

It’s like that’s great but like doesn’t really help performance for like a skills yeah probably not you need that endurance but like yeah, that’s not your bread and butter. Of course yeah, yes and even yeah even with distance running I found that that’sHugely important yeah so just yeah just because we only run long doesn’t mean that we don’t have to move well and be fast and well I think they said like if you reverse engineer the fastest marathon runner who you just set the world record wherever like his a hundred meter translates into like a ten one.

Or something like that so it’s like he’s fast he’s not just good at endurance like you’re also very fast like you’re naturally haha yeah I don’t think this is good enough. I remember like when I was in college even like I see like the course of dragons like they’re those weirdos yeah yeah, it’s like it was like this like cult it was attractive like get out like a girl like little tables and like everywhere yeah definitely it’s usually the biggest team yeah, oh yeah time relates people because we’reInsane yeah you guys love to like mentally a little different yeah.

Yeah I always say like with like you know distance running or sprinting or whatever, you know, the people who are best at are the ones that not only make themselves hurt the most so yeah it’s a special fortunately yeah, unfortunately yeah yeah you’d always throw up over race and yeah every 400 meter race yeah 400 yeah 400 is your special yeah as a that’s about just an all-out sprint for a whole lap yeah like that’s yeah each race has their own special type of pain, but I feel like the 400 800 right in the middle yeah, those are very interesting on the body.

Yeah lots of puking lotsa in the 600 for indoor yeah yeah special events yeah.But the best athletes will finish their like Davidisha yep, we’ll finish 800 and he’s just standing there like what’s up guys, it looks fine yeah let’s totally and just I’ll see you look how fast they’re running it just looks like they’re kind of floating out for a jog. 

I mean not quite out for a job, like it doesn’t look like they’re straining doesn’t really pulling it’s just,It’s just looks so so yeah relax running faster yeah yeah so hard to teach people to especially because you want to bunch those kids to you yeah let things go I’m sure they’re fascist just yeah yeah just buttery genetically sound fashion yeah a little bit of advantage there yeah well any closing points that we know I think that’s that would mean that was awesome it’s good definitely some and I’m gonna deep dive into after this let’s say we’d love to you guys both in the first yeah, again, if anyone else is interested you can come see me we’reHelix Center Grand Rapids we’re on cascade just call or again send me a message on Instagram or Facebook whatever to set up an appointment we’d love to see you love to show you what fascial stretch therapies more about yeah, can you go ahead and give us your your where we can find you on Facebook or Instagram you can link down this channel yes, so yeah, we have our Instagram account is Helix Center GR on Facebook. 

I think it’s probably just helix helix Center for an app, it’s something like that and then that’s helix spelled. h e a l i x and then to contact me personally about anything running related any question.S anything about fascial stretch therapy my Instagram or Facebook name is just Alyssa a l y s s a and then last name is Macalhine it’s m c e l, h e NY didn’t say anything yeah yeah that’s it never never gets pronounced the same way twice, so I’ll respond to anything yeah whatever you want to call me Alyssa’s great, so yeah, I’d love to answer your questions love to see you first stretch love to talk more about running get.

In touch. Yeah. Awesome. Excellent. I think that’s a group of stop. Yeah, listen, thanks for coming out this is fun. Yeah, thanks guys. Thanks for having me. I’m no problem.

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