Do you spend most of your workday sitting and feel tightness or pain in your neck or back as a result? Do you train hard lifting weights, running, or playing recreational sports? Are your hips, lower back or neck sore from work or play? Do you find yourself slouching in your chair because it feels difficult (and even painful) to sit up straight? Or do you perhaps have recurring pain from previous injuries or an accident and feel like the discomfort will never completely subside? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, fascial stretch therapy may be your ticket to pain reduction or relief!
Fascial stretch therapy is a unique form of movement training that focuses intently on improving flexibility, reducing painful tension, and enhancing muscle strength and mobility. It performs these actions primarily by lengthening the soft tissues, or fascia, that surround all parts of the body. (1, 2) Certified Fascial Stretch Specialists (CFSS) achieve this by using their bodies to manually stretch out yours, so think of it as assisted strategic stretching!
I caught up with Peter Ngo, a CFSS with a B.S. degree in Kinesiotherapy, to learn more about this emerging style of therapy. Peter owns Stretch Therapy Pasadena (located at Reflex Performance in Pasadena) and has over 12 years of experience in this field, He’s helped me and many of my friends –from athletes of all ages to those injured from accidents. Peter is also professionally licensed in massage therapy, active release technique (ART), functional range conditioning (FRC), and neuromuscular therapy (NMT), among many other things. In other words, this guy definitely knows what he’s doing!
Peter, what is stretch therapy?
I started my company, Stretch Therapy Pasadena, to help my clients improve their ability to move their bodies and to do so in a more efficient and pain-free manner. Because let’s face it, with the advent of technology, our lives have become way more sedentary than they’ve ever been in the past. As a result, our bodies are not being challenged to the wide array of movements that normal humans should be exposed to. Many of us sit at a desk all day with poor posture and then begin to stiffen and tighten up, which can oftentimes lead to pain. My job as your manual therapist and trainer is to help improve the quality of the connective tissues in your body and to start exposing you to movement through exercise.
Who is your most common clientele? Why do they benefit?
My clientele base is very broad; young athletes, busy moms, doctors, lawyers, amateur and professional athletes, overweight clients, etc… I see them all. They benefit from my services because my focus is truly on the individual. I really take the time to tune in to ensure a constant flow is maintained throughout the session and that all of the particular needs of the client are met. Because of this sense of awareness, my clients experience a reduction in pain (if they are in pain), as well as an improved sense and ability to move their bodies.
How do athletes benefit from a session with you before and after events?
Before events, athletes can come to me to get their bodies optimized to move better during a competition. After an event, I can help guide them through a speedier recovery process.
Any great before and after client stories?
Yes! I recently met with a client who was told by his doctor that he would have to live with back pain for the rest of his life and that the pain was just a natural part of the aging process. This person has worked with a whole host of medical professionals including physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. He’s also received multiple cortisone injections and has had lower back surgery and absolutely nothing has helped! After working with him for just one month, the pain in his back has almost completely subsided and he is now working on strengthening his body. Each individual has unique solutions, and for stretch therapy worked for him. I look forward to seeing where his newly conditioned body takes him and watching him progress in the future.
Want to give it a try? If you live in the Los Angeles area Peter can be reached through
Stretch Therapy Pasadena California located at Reflex Performance: https://www.reflexperformance.com/
- Bachelors of Science in Kinesiotherapy with a Psychology minor from CSULB
- Licensed as a Full Body Active Release Techniques® (ART) Practitioner, Long Nerve Entrapment, and Ironman Provider
- Level 3 Fascial Stretch Therapist (FST) Fitness Specialist from the Stretch to Win Institute
- Certified Massage Therapist (CMT)
- Neurosomatic Educators Somatic Level Therapist (IP) from Paul St. John
- Registered Trigenics Practitioner (RTP) (IP)
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
- Titleist Performance Institute Golf Biomechanics and Fitness/Medical Professional
- Gray Cook’s FMS Functional Movement Screen and Advanced Level 2 SFMA Selective Functional Movement Assessment
- Functional Range (FR) Release/Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Practitioner
- Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP, Level 2)
- Sound Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (SASTM) from Carpal Tunnel, Inc.
- John Barnes Method Myofascial Release (MFR)
- Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
- Reflex Performance Body Therapy
- Reflex Performance About Us