I have experienced self-care nirvana.
Imagine, if you will, an experience that gives you the full-body afterglow of a good workout, the touch-induced endorphins of a great massage and the relaxation of a spa treatment.
I found all of this – and even more – at StretchZone Powell, my new happy place.
I first learned about StretchZone when they reached out to me on Instagram to offer me a free assisted stretching session.
Pro tip: StretchZone offers EVERYONE a free stretching session. Just contact them and let them know you’d like one. Tell them I sent you!
I’ve been offered free workouts before, but this one really stood out. It’s actually not a workout – you just lie there on a table and they do all the work. And yet your body and muscles still benefit as if you’ve worked out. StretchZone, you had me at no-workout workout!
When the general manager, Austen, walked me through what they do at StretchZone and what the benefits are, it almost sounded too good to be true. Greater flexibility, increased range of motion, fewer aches and pains, improved sleep and even “feeling lighter and younger”? SIGN ME UP!
I wore comfy, soft, loose-fitting clothing and clean socks as requested. It’s super sad to me that they have to ask people to wear clean socks, but they literally reminded me about three times so they must have had some pretty bad experiences.
After Austen had explained how the assisted stretching process works and what to expect, it was time for my session. Assisted stretching is super hands-on, almost as much as a massage or getting tattooed. First, you are strapped down to a table so you don’t move anywhere you’re not supposed to.
Then, you choose upper or lower body. In a 30 minute session, they typically focus on one or the other. After your first session, you can always opt for two sessions back-to-back for the full-body stretching experience of your dreams.
I chose to focus on the lower body for my first session. I experience quite a bit of c-r-e-a-k-i-n-e-s-s these days in my lower back, knees, ankles and feet. It’s a little painful on some days, but mostly it’s just a stiff feeling. I’m sure it’s age-appropriate, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Austen was sure to ask if I have any discomfort anywhere, and I told him about the stiff/creaky knees, ankles and feet. He was very gentle and proceeded with the stretching. I liked it immediately. He kept telling me to just lie there and relax – what’s not to like! Austen literally did all the work.
He explained that for most of the stretches, we would do it three times. For each one, if we rated a stretch from 0 (no stretch) to 10 (maximum stretch and pain), he wanted me to let him know what my 3, 5 and 7 points were. For 3, it’s a light stretch. For 5, it’s a mild to medium stretch and for 7, it’s a nice deep stretch with no discomfort.
Austen proceeded to stretch me and explain exactly which muscles he was working on. Many are “deep” muscles that I didn’t know anything about – like did you know you have three sets of hamstrings? I only knew about one!
As he proceeded, I felt my muscles warm up and relax. After my right side was done, I joked that I felt longer on that side – and he said I might actually be slightly longer/taller! Then he did my left side, which was just as awesome.
After I was finished with the stretching, Austen sat me up (he literally did – they are not kidding when they say they do all the work!). Then he gave me a small bottle of water and asked me to take several slow sips. He said many people are light-headed after assisted stretching. I rarely get light-headed – not even when I give blood – but he was right, I did feel slightly dizzy that morning.
After sitting for a minute or two and sipping some water, Austen asked me to walk the length of the room to see how I felt. Before I even took a step, I knew I felt AMAZING. Every little creak, stiff point and sore spot was GONE. I feel good after a chiropractic adjustment, but StretchZone took it to the next level. I literally felt 20 years younger – like a million bucks. And I’m not the only one who felt these benefits!
I sat down with Austen to listen to the spiel about the different programs they offer, but I felt so incredible that I just about begged him to take my money. I have never felt this good after a massage, spa visit or workout. It truly was like the benefits of all three combined!
I signed up for a three-month program at StretchZone with one stretching session per week. If I want to increase it to two sessions per week, I have the option to do that. The one downside to StretchZone is that you can’t just buy one or two stretch sessions – you have to lock in for a three-month program. They say this is to help you get the full benefit of the stretching over time, but it would still be nice if there were other options.
On my second visit to StretchZone, I requested that the staffer work on my upper body. I am at a desk and computer a lot, plus I carry a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders, so I knew I’d benefit from assisted stretching there, too. It was, in fact, marvelous. Have I mentioned that I am sleeping immensely better since I started stretching at StretchZone?!
I’ve done many different kinds of workouts, self-care regimens, spa treatments and energy work. I can honestly say that assisted stretching at StretchZone incorporates the best of all of those things.
Whether you work out a lot, haven’t worked out in a long time like me, or simply are experiencing a normal, gradual lessening of flexibility and range of motion as you age, you will benefit from the assisted stretching at StretchZone. Austen shared that their clients range in age from 8 to 98 and just about every ability level. Truly, I believe everyone can benefit from this incredible experience.
If you visit StretchZone Powell, be sure to ask for a free stretch session with Austen – you won’t regret it. Let them know I sent you!