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  • START HERE—an introduction to the Stretch Therapy system
    • Read these threads please before posting, please!
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    • All questions about the ST Starter Course here, please.
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  1. Only available in Australia; we are working on making the plans available for you DIY types overseas. Have a look at this: http://youtu.be/4X39t23NDD8 And a few amusing moments "behind the scenes", including driving a car up on one. No comments on the crappy exposure correction on the video, either! http://youtu.be/oiOBx7TqIn0 The original Adductor Pro was invented by Dr Geoff Fraser; the current, non-tipping, model Adductor Pro IIIs are hand-made by Dr Greg Laughlin, in a purpose-built constriction facility (his garage!). They are really strong, are well made, and are finished in a very practical non-slip paint. Any colour you want, as long as it's blue! To get one, click on the link below; this will take you to the ADP III's own page on my main site. http://www.kitlaughl...uctorproIII.php Enjoy.
  2. A new, short, YT clip, shot today: The new technology is enabling, for me. Comments welcome.
  3. So Cher and I were stuffing around in the studio and came up with this: It is actually remarkably comfortable and stable IF your partners know how to assist properly (and that can be a big 'IF', sometimes). Not for everyone, but something fun to whip-out at an Advanced class. Felt really good, in my body, with a 'toes on accelerator' plantar flexion contraction and a thoracic straightening re-pattern. Yee'ah.
  4. Here's a variant of the Floor Piriformis Stretch - now in Video form (there are pictures and notes in my 'Autumn Training' log a few forums adjacent to this one..).
  5. Here's a clip Cherie filmed a while back. It's of her great take on the 'rolled towel' neck relaxation exercise. Cher goes into a lot of detail about the whole process: from rolling the towel properly (she is the master of all things folding!); positioning and micro-movements.
  6. Hello all, Kit here. Posted full description on my blog HERE, and full text from blog below for convenience. YT clip (promo): Full blog text: Stretch Therapy for Gymnastics Strength Training (“GST”, but the one we like) This two-day intensive workshop is purpose-designed for all men and women pursuing strength training following men’s gymnastics' strength training protocols. We will present solo and partner versions of most exercises. We will cover all necessary partial poses, progressions, and associated techniques (like fascial releases) to be able to do: pike pancake full squat full back bend (the bridge) shoulder extension, and flexion full hip mobility Achieving a full pike and a full pancake requires stretching the calf muscles (including the often-neglected posterior fascial line), all three hamstrings, all adductors, and a small muscle in the hip called piriformis which is a surprisingly common (but often unsuspected) limiter of these fundamental movements. Practising the pike and pancake by themselves is relatively inefficient, in terms of results gained for time spent—there are better ways. The techniques we will use to achieve the pike and the pancake are all partial poses and/or fascial techniques. The core method used is the Contract–Relax technique, as developed by our team over the last 25 years. We will also use innovative agonist–antagonist moving stretching techniques which will actively assist flatter pikes and pancakes, by activating the hip flexors and TFL in their maximally shortened positions—this provides needed strength in the fully contracted position as well as provides the brain with a novel stretch sensation. Fascial releases on gracilis and the inner hamstrings will be done on all attendees, where needed. The full squat requires considerable ankle flexibility and hip mobility and we will show you a range of exercises that will allow you to do this movement with good foot alignment, preserved arches in the feet, and no support. On most workshops when we begin, only about half the room has a decent full squat, but by the end almost everybody does. We will cover assistance techniques for hip internal rotation (this will complement the external rotation exercises that work piriformis, above, too). We will practise all partial poses leading up to a full back bend. To this end we will show you effective partner stick stretches that will open the chest and shoulders, in preparation for full dislocate movements, and then add the hip flexor/quadriceps, passive back bends over supports, and rib-cage mobilisation exercises so that the body is prepared for the full back bend. Solo alternatives will be taught as well. In addition, fascial releases for the diaphragm and rectus abdominis will be done for all attendees. In the process of going through these partial poses, you will learn exactly which structures are limiting your present movement patterns, so future practise becomes very time efficient. Often, only a small muscle or narrow line of fascia is the restriction—finding and changing these are the keys to unlocking your body. Experience has shown us that adults following gymnastic strength training regimens frequently injure themselves. We will practise a range of extremely effective rehabilitation–treatment exercises to address these kinds of problems. As well, there are a number of stretching exercise that actively assist in recovery and we will do these, too. I will add that if you want to attend the first one, planned for Italy (a lovely town named Piacenza, in northern Italy, 15-16 November, then you'd better book it ASAP; we expect this will be a rapid sellout. If there's enough interest, we can add two more this year. All details will be on kitlaughlin.com/.
  7. Hello there, everybody, Before I begin, I thank Carol (Dr Wenzel, on a return, cameo appearance!) who came to Vancouver from Kamloops to take pictures of this new, three-day, workshop. In the three galleries, there are nearly 400 photographs, which show the various stretches and strengthening exercises we did. As well, we would not have been able to run this workshop had we not met Chris Harrison, the owner of the Vancouver CrossFit Lions; this is a brilliant facility that has literally everything you will ever need, training wise (including three heavy-duty York hyperextension machines that I used for ten intensive minutes last night); these are one of the few machines I recommend for training. And as you go through the photos, you can see the excellent "cage" and bar systems (and the best wooden rings I have ever used; they are Rogue Fitness rings, from memory) and lots of them, too. Sincere thanks to Chris, and please check out his place if you are a local. The galleries are arranged by day, and the thumbnails let you quickly review the activities of each. All parts of all exercises are shown, so you can follow the sequence and reminds yourself of the all-essential cues. Intro. to Stretch Therapyis a new workshop offering: in the three days, the attendees were exposed to most of the full range of our workshop offerings. As well, we begin mid-morning on the Friday, so people can travel on that day; a longer day on the Saturday, and a mid-afternoon finish on the Sunday, to facilitate travel—this way, the entire workshop can be fit in to busy schedules. Day one was most of the BIG stretches, starting with (what else?) the hip flexors. This was practised in partner, solo, standing and floor versions. Here are the images from day one: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day1/ Day two was all Monkey Gym—beginning with a feet-awakening sequence, and progressing to the Bodyline series. If you have not had exposure to Coach Sommer's excellent work, this is the place to start. You can download a PDF of the wrist mobility, Bodyline, and handstand sequence that Miss O and I made earlier this year (we shot some of the images at Robert Schleip's workshop, held at the Gold Coast, Queensland). Because this was an introduction workshop, we only held each position, once learned, for 30", and only one cycle. We are leaving the handstand work until September, 2012; more on this below. And you can download the foundation skills of the Monkey Gym, too, by clicking the highlighted link. All the images of Day two show the progressions we used—including single leg squats that everyone could do. I have already received emails telling me of the sore glutes... http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day2/ And the last day began with a class, and ended with some much-needed neck stretches, and includes a long passive back-bend over supports in between; all the images will be viewable here: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day3/ What an incredible three days! Linda, Chris and I have decided that we will be offering a full three-day Monkey Gym only workshop end September this year. We will email the dates to all the attendees, and when this is confirmed, all the details including registration forms will be available from the Home page on my main site (left-hand column, under Events). We hope to see you there! Cheers to all, Kit ***All links updated and galleries reloaded*** Friday 31 Jan
  8. Final product title, and how workshops will be offered in 2011 I have copied and edited a post from my BLOG today; I shall be very interested in comments here, too. After much discussion, I have decided that this will be the new title and sub-title: Stretch Therapy™ How to attain ease in the body and graceful movement I will be grateful for final comments on the name. To remind readers, this title is for the new book/video product (it will be both downloadable, with embedded video) and Print On Demand ('POD"), the book and images only version. Future workshops will flow from this decision, too. There are three ST workshops, and everyone begins with the first one, immediately below: Intro. to Stretch The very first experience any new person will have of the ST method, this three-day workshop will be completely practical/experiential, and will include a relaxation session each day. Anyone, whether an individual wanting to have a 'body sabbatical', or someone wanting to become a Stretch Teacher or a Stretch Practitioner (Therapist in some jurisdictions) will need to begin with this workshop. Someone who has done Intro. to Stretch may choose to go on to the Stretch Teacher or Stretch Practitioner streams. Stretch Teacher An additional three-day workshop will focus on teaching the attendees how to teach a decent stretch class: this includes all the staples such as essential functional anatomy, how to teach multiple variations of the same exercise at the same time, how to structure a class, and how to correct a student's form. The additional three-day workshop may be done any time after the Intro. Completion of the six days entitles an attendee to attend a Stretch Teacher Certification examination, too. Stretch Practitioner (Therapist) A Stretch Practitioner will begin with the Intro. to Stretch, then takes a second, different, three-day workshop that focusses on how to treat common problems like neck and back pain, in the one-on-one rehab. or clinic situation. This includes the latest research into these problems, tests on how to distinguish structural from functional leg-length differences, the critical exercises to relieve low back and neck pain, and more. Completion of the SP six days allows an attendee to call themselves a Level One Stretch Practitioner. Level Two Stretch Practitioner (Therapist) This additional two-day workshop focusses on neural repatterning, muscle activation, and a full revision of all the key stretching and strengthening exercises. In addition, Level Two includes how to test and treat shoulder and arm problems, including RSI. On completion, an attendee may call themselves a Level Two Stretch Practitioner. We are in the process of designing and implement an SP certification scheme, too, but this has not been finalised. Please subscribe to our occasional newsletter to be kept informed of developments, HERE. The ST system requires teachers and practitioners to engage in regular refresh and upskilling. This can be done every three years by attending any of the three-day workshops above. Heavy discounts apply to anyone repeating any workshop or attending the other stream's workshops: we want you to be as good a teacher or practitioner as you can be. See the main site for detail. We feel that making the first experience of the work all-practical can only help everyone. As well, on the SP side, many past attendees have said that we have tried to pack too much into the six-day format, and hence the additional days. What do you think?
  9. Some background. My body of work is presently known as "Stretch Therapy™"; it has a number of streams, including Stretch Teacher, Stretch Therapist, and the Monkey Gym. A full list of the present workshops on offer (plus a YT video, where I speak abut the different workshops) can be found HERE on my main site. As a side note, you may have seen that this site has inherited the name we were bestowed 26 years ago, and that has been a difficulty in positioning and branding our work, too. In recent years, a large number of people have attended the Stretch Teacher workshop, in particular, just to do intensive work on themselves, for a variety of reasons, including rehab all the way to simply giving their bodies a deep rest and to experience what true deep relaxation feels like in the body/mind. Accordingly, a number of hosts have commented that the present name of these workshops (Stretch Teacher) is a barrier to these people wanting to do these workshops because (completely reasonably) the term 'teacher' implies the purpose. Another piece of the puzzle is the title of my new book (a multi-media product, but still a book to me) is Stretching Mindfully. As well, I have registered two new URLs with this in mind (stretching-mindfully.com, and moving-mindfully.com), the latter to make explicit the third dimension I wrote about earlier this week. My inclination is to keep "Stretch Therapist": its message seems clear and unambiguous. As well, the Monkey Gym workshops similarly seem relatively easy to understand. What are your reactions to calling the third stream, the one presently called "Stretch Teacher", by the name of the new product, Stretching Mindfully, and open it up explicitly to the widest possible audience, and add a lying relaxation module to each day? If we had these three streams, anyone wanting to teach this system would enrol in the Stretching Mindfully workshop along with the people who want a body/mind "sabbatical" (and this would give the potential teachers very useful 'ordinary' bodies to practise with, too). The reason for raising this is that we are now in the "post ANU" phase of the system's unfolding: we can change anything we want and this is the best time to do it. I am going to repost this over at the Stretch Therapy Forums, and make a YouTube clip on this too. My goal is simply to get this work out there as widely as possible, and to teach this system to teachers who can carry this work forward. What are your thoughts?
  10. Hi Every body, is a video I filmed of a variant of the bolster hip flexor I was playing around with today, that targetted the deep hip flexor (psoas), in me at least.. Some others felt not so much in the psoas (mainly rectus femoris), so I thought I would put it up for people to try - it works really well for me.As I explain in the video, it does not use the standard contract-relax approach, but more a modulation of the tension in different muscles and a sequential contraction style stretch. It uses movement above the site of stretch to get the actually stretch (as the psoas is kept contracted, so that you don't lose the sensation-contraction). Let me know what you think. D p.s thank you to Graeme for the initial inspiration for this stretch!
  11. Folks, please read this NY Times article. Some of the therapists here will recall that I make this very point in my ST workshops: until the July 1994 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, no one in research or practise had tested the null hypothesis: what proportion of the non back pain suffering population has pathology? Turns out that well over half (67% to be precise, in the study mentioned) that population had pathology "so severe", the researchers claimed, "that had any of these people been sent to us or an MRI to identify the cause of their back pain, what we describe as pathology here would have been assumed to have been the cause." Yet the 97 people comprising the sample tested had never had back pain. As I wrote in 1985, pathology is 'normal' in the statistical sense. Way back then I wrote that, as now, any pathology identified as a possible cause needs to be tied to the symptoms causally—and that means other physical tests to establish the causal pathway. Very often, other causes are the source of the pain and, also often, these other causes can be treated by our techniques. There have been some 11 peer-reviewed articles since then, looking at the lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and the cervical spine. In these analyses, pathology has been found in between 45—70% of all populations surveyed. When we add the piriformis syndrome suffering population to that perspective, a condition that can mimic disk-induced sciatica, is it any surprise that the prognosis for back operations as a means of relieving back pain (and sciatica) so poor? Add to that the fact that the vast majority of people who come down with low back pain are completely well within two months, and knowing that pathology does not change significantly in this time frame, does that not compel us to use conservative approaches? Comments, please. I will make this a sticky post. my thanks to Professor Goldfield for drawing this article to my attention. Updated: Justin pointed out a referencing error. The New Eng J. of Med. article was July 1994, not 1995. Thanks Justin C.
  12. This post belongs as much in the Stretch Therapy thread as here, but placed it here because it's easy to teach, and students like it. It is amazing how difficult these movements re, IF you pay attention to the direction to maintain whatever full flexion or extension is recommended while performing the second, concurrent actions. On recent workshops, I taught the basic movements Cory recommends, but added ulna and radius deviation additions. You will be surprised at how difficult these movements are. We have long asserted that the more novel a stretch is, the fast the brain is remapped (via the somatosensory cortex). The same is true of movements like these. What's happening in these movements below is that we are using the flexor tendons to stretch the extensor tendons—and just like when we use an agonist to stretch an antagonist, the remapping is both strong and long lasting (in comparison to using gravity or a partner). As well, using your own muscles/ligaments/neural system to work a part of the body seems to affect the fascia very strongly (I will write more on fascia as my work with Dr Robert Schleip and Jeffrey Maitland progresses). .Let us know what you think; I think they're great, and I have subscribed to Forward Motion PT's channel (Cory Blinkenstaff, Vancouver, Washington), too.
  13. Hello all, Kit here Finally, we have 'resurrected' the Discussion Boards (or, "DBs") after a looooong absence. It's been too long, everyone would agree. It is my hope that this will become a genuinely useful resource for information, as well as a place to discuss anything related to using Stretch Therapy ("ST") with patients and clients, AND a place to have fun. Please feel free to post on any subject of interest to you that is related to being a Stretch Therapist, and using Stretch Therapy. Feel free to link to YouTube ("YT") or Vimeo clips, upload image that will help to illustrate what you are talking about, and (this is for a special member) do not worry about spelling! My philosophy is simple: "do some good, have some fun, make some money" (and in that order, too!). Please contact (admin@kitlaughlin.com) me if you experience any problems. Kit
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