One-on-one assisted stretching is a form of static stretching where a qualified flexologist helps stretch and lengthen major muscle groups in your body through a force and resistance technique, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF).
Assisted stretching is for everyone, at any age, and has many beneficial effects including increasing muscle relaxation and range of motion, improving mobility and flexibility, and reducing stiffness and stress.
Owner and flexologist, Margie, at Stretch Studio Toorak
I visited Margie's Stretch Studio at 429 Toorak Road, conveniently accessible by the number 58 tram or an easy 15-minute walk from Toorak station. Stretch Studio Toorak, open daily, has 4 stretching beds in an open space, and a single person use infrared sauna positioned behind blackout curtains.
As soon as you enter Stretch Studio Toorak, your senses relax with the combination of dim lighting, easy listening background music, and lemongrass scented essential oils permeating through the air. Margie and her team are welcoming and happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.
Stretch Studio Toorak offers 20 to 60-minute (10 minute increments) assisted stretching sessions, starting from $39 per session, or 5 or 10 session packages with a savings of up to $10 per session. All flexologists undergo an intensive training course, and many come from dancing or fitness instructor careers, so have prior knowledge of human anatomy, injury, recovery, and improving performance.
While many people claim to experience immediate beneficial effects after their first assisted stretching session, sustained long term benefits are gained through regular weekly stretching. For me, after a 40-minute assisted stretch with flexologist Rohima, my legs felt less fatigued and lighter; I felt ready to start walking another 10,000 steps!
With one-on-one assistance being key, the stretch is intensely deeper than one can do alone or with assisted props. I recommend a full 1 hour session as the longer the stretch is held, the more relaxed the muscle becomes; the time passes quickly. During some of the stretches, and at the end, the flexologist presses on pressure points under the sole as distraction; a pleasant added bonus!
I followed my stretch session with a 30-minute infrared sauna. This uses Solocarbon far infrared technology to warm up the body at the core rather than on the skin's surface, and features LED light and colour therapy to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony.
The solo sauna bed is behind a blackout curtain, where you undress and then lay inside the comfortably warm sauna capsule, with your head outside and eyes covered with an eye-mask. Bring your mobile device to listen to personal music or podcast or enjoy the music in the studio.
The solo sauna is a completely relaxing experience, so much so that you may find yourself falling asleep, as I did! The sauna after the stretch is recommended to loosen and relax the muscles, and indeed it did just that. Fresh towels are provided to wipe away body sweat before re-dressing.
Whether you are an athlete, recovering from injury, have limited mobility or flexibility, or have tired muscles in general, book in for a session of assisted stretching and feel the difference – your body will thank you!