Stretching has historically been seen as something we did to warm up before exercise but recently more and more people are turning to assisted stretching techniques to ease pain and improve overall health. Today, more so than ever, our daily activities have become limited and repetitive which is changing our posture and predisposing us to joint stiffness and injuries when we exercise.  Studies has proven that regular sessions of Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) combined with 15 minutes a day of quality movement can reverse the signs of ageing and enable us to enjoy a great many activities in a pain free body.

Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) was initially designed to improve human performance and has been used by top coaches and Olympic athletes for over 40 years. The benefits of regular sessions enabled athletes to keep supple, rehabilitate from injury faster and have longer playing careers which is why the technique started to become popular with therapists outside the world of sport. AIS is now taught as part of the physical therapy syllabus for Physios in the US and is becoming a popular modality for doctors and therapists involved in pain management and post-surgery rehabilitation.

Here are the main benefits of AIS and why The Stretch Clinic ensures that all therapists at our clinic incorporate this modality in their treatment programs.

1. Improving Posture

While it is important to have good stationary posture, we at The Stretch Clinic emphasize the importance of being able to move efficiently from one position to another. We call this “Having a good dynamic or fluid posture”. When the body is in balance and you have both suppleness and strength then you can touch your toes or lift a heavy box over your head without worrying if your lower back or shoulders are going to spasm. Regular sessions with a therapist as well as doing your exercise homework will give you the freedom to move with confidence.

2.Improving Blood Flow and Circulation

Sitting for long periods slows both blood and lymph circulation causing stagnation in the legs and feet, forcing the heart to increase blood pressure in a bid to shunt oxygenated blood around the body. Over time this stresses the cardiovascular system and your Dr will suggest medication to thin the blood and reduce blood pressure. We have found that regular stretching sessions have many of the benefits of exercise including boosting of blood and lymphatic flow to take pressure off the heart and reducing puffiness in the feet and ankles.

3. Improving Strength & Mobility

One of the greatest benefits of using AIS regularly is how quickly it improves your mobility. As we age, our bodies lose flexibility, our muscles tighten up and our joints lose their range of motion. Suddenly the sports we used to enjoy as social activities with friends become high risk and the thought of pain and potential injuries overshadow the enjoyment of playing even simple games like tennis, golf and badminton. We have even had clients tell us they had to give up gardening before finding AIS as long hours of kneeling was causing too many aches and pains.

4. Reducing Stress Levels

Stress is known as ‘The Silent Killer’ in medical circles and while short periods of stress are a necessary part of life, living in a high-stress environment due to pressures at work or difficult relationships can be very detrimental to your health. High levels of stress can have an adverse effect on the brain and nervous system, shut down digestion causing Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other inflammatory diseases and even interrupt the quality of our sleep. Regular sessions of AIS help take the body into a rest and recover mode by focusing on incorporating breathing rhythms that stimulate the vagus nerve. Patients have reported higher energy levels, more calmness and a great improvement in digestion and sleep quality by following our homework programs before bed.

5. Improving Biomechanics

The main benefit of Active over Passive stretching is that Active techniques help build a balance in strength and flexibility between opposing muscles and actions. For example, when you are quad dominant your hamstrings tighten up, when your hip flexors are tight, you may inhibit glute function etc. Regular practice of AIS can iron out the muscle compensations and imbalances we pick up from poor posture and repetitive movements improving your mechanics and easing pain and joint stiffness!

For more information on why Active Isolated Stretching should be one of your most important daily habits, follow us on social media or drop us an email at