Firstly: Who doesn't love a good stretch? Stretching is fundamental to muscle health, safeguarding from injury, assisting posture, encouraging blood flow and even helping to ease tension and headaches. Stretch Therapy has earned a firm place on our perfect home spa essentials. We’re going to look at the benefits of stretching after all what could feel better at the end of a long day, than a seriously soothing and joint opening stretch? Here's our top tips on Stretch Therapy...
Why is stretching good for you?
Not only can stretching help improve your flexibility, but it can also improve your posture, reduce stress and body aches – to name just a few things. Stretching has been practiced in numerous ways for thousands of years. Yoga, for example, can be traced back over 5,000 years – and is more popular than ever thanks to the multitude of benefits it can deliver.
Stretching at home
Because of its health benefits, you will find various types of stretching tutorials online to practice in the comfort of your own home.
Stretching in the spa
You may not yet realise but there are many types of stretching already combined within well known spa treatments . Here are a handful of spa treatments that we love already incorporating stretching:
A diagnostic approach
At the Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, you can book in for their signature massage – the Nobu Zen. The treatment starts with 15 minutes of self-stretching – yoga style – in order for the therapist to witness weaknesses or areas that need special attention. The ensuing massage treatment is tailored to pay special attention to areas of concern.
This traditional therapy is performed on the floor, consisting of deep rhythmic pressure, with the therapist pressing up and down the body along the Sen lines using their palms, thumbs, forearms and knees. The stretching of the entire body and opening up joints, provides stretching and relaxation like no other.
Incredibly unique, combining elements of shiatsu massage and acupressure, performed in water. The deeply relaxing treatment also offers a myriad of benefits - body weight is supported by the water as a therapist supports, stretches and guides your body through a series of flowing movements. It is one of the signature treatments at Thermae Bath Spa, where the treatment is practised in our city's famous mineral-rich thermal waters.
How can we incorporate stretch therapy into our daily routine?
Admit it: nothing feels quite as good as a great stretch. And with the myriad of benefits becoming more apparent, it might be time to start asking: how do I incorporate stretching in to my daily routine? Here’s a few ideas:
Find a partner and work together on some assisted stretching. At the end of a long day you can really open up the joints by working together and assisting one another to maximise your stretch and achieve a full stretch.
Stretching in heat
Not everyone has the luxury of a home sauna but those that do can gain a great benefit of heat stretching particularly after a hard workout. Stretching in heat, such as in a sauna, improves flexibility and massively helps with muscle recovery. You can also use this space to lightly stretch in a seated position ensuring you don't overdo it in the high temperatures.
Doesn’t sound like a usual pairing, but we LOVE the Stretch & Glow Facial. A facial using the healthy ageing Gold skincare collection, with a ten minute guided stretch whilst the facemask is working it's magic. Here's the full How To: Stretch & Glow Facial...
STRETCH & GLOW FACIAL
• Cleanse with the Caviar & Gold Melting Cleanser. Take time to gently massage into the face and neck, without dragging skin. Remove with warm mitts.
• Polish the skin with the Gold & Pearl Facial Polish. Remove with warm mitts.
• Apply the #79 Pearl & Gold Face Mask. It is useful to use a little oil, such as the Organic Rosehip Oil, on the hair line, around the edge of the face, and eye brows. This will make the mask easier to remove.
• Whilst the mask is setting, commence your stretching!
• Gently stretch the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and work down to legs and feet, too. Do this with a series of slow, joint opening movements.
• After 10 minutes of stretching, it's time to remove the peel off mask. Starting at the jaw, gently remove upwards in one piece.
• Tone the face and neck with the Pearl & Gold Facial Toner. Apply to cotton pads and sweep up the neck and face.
• Massage the face, using the Organic Rosehip oil. Apply 4-5 drops on the the skin (more if needed) and gently massage into the face and neck.
• Gently dab a little Gold Contour Eye Serum under the eye, lightly pressing in to the skin.
• Finally, apply the 23C Gold Moisturiser to the face and neck, gently massaging in to the skin.