How does Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) feel? Is it like traditional stretching?Fascial Stretch Therapy is completely unique and different from traditional stretching and other modalities! FST Practitioners are certified through the Stretch to Win Institute to stretch the connective tissues (nets of fascia) that run throughout your entire body in layers. We do table-based assisted stretch, focusing on the nets of fascia to improve your mobility. FST has a PAIN-FREE approach - so there's no pushing past where you're mobility is meant to go, which eliminates risk of overstretching or injury. We work with your body with various movements to free up restrictions in the most productive way depending on you, specializing each session to fit your needs and goals.
What is fascia (fah-sha)? How does it work?Fascia is your system of connective tissue, made primarily of collagen, that runs throughout your entire body. It surrounds muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, and even nerves. These nets of tissue work as a tensional network - the state of tension is essential both at rest and when you move since it's woven into all of our body's systems. When there is an imbalance along the nets (scar tissue, build-up of collagen, etc.), we work gently with your tissue to break up those build-ups and open up your mobility again to work functionally.
Can I do FST myself? Are the stretches something my friend can do for me?Nope! Any individual who is not certified through the Stretch to Win Institute should not attempt to replicate FST on themselves or a friend/family member. Certified FST Practitioners only - We're trained to work with deep connective tissue, and much of the work can't be seen by the outside eye. Fascial Stretch Therapy is different than the technique of myofascial release that's commonly used in massage therapy. We are completely unique to the Portage/Kalamazoo area, and The Stretch to Win Institute in Arizona is the only location in the United States to learn this technique. We also learn FST directly from the creators of the technique themselves, Ann and Chris Frederick.
How are you set up? Is it like physical therapy or massage therapy?The short answer is that we are unique in our set-up. Every single session for each individual is customized, even when it's your 4th or 5th visit - all of them are different depending on the state of your fascia, if you have inflammation in any joints, if you just did yardwork all weekend, you name it! We meet you where you're at, working with you during your session, and never run you through a pre-determined program or FST routine. Our "timeline" with each client is personalized as well. After your Discovery Session, if both parties agree that FST is a good fit for your goals, you and your practitioner work together to craft your custom wellness plan based on your individual objectives. Our goal for every client is to create notable change and progress, with the overall goal of eventually building out your sessions to about once a month to keep up with your maintenance goals!
I'm interested! How do I book a session?We'd love to invite you into West Michigan Specialized Stretch to experience FST for yourself and to free up restrictions in your body! For everyone's first session with us, we invite you to book your very own Discovery Session - and you can do that right on our website by going to our Services page to book a day/time that works best for your schedule, or you can always contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 269-355-0109.
What's included in my first FST session (aka Discovery Session)?For your first visit to West Michigan Specialized Stretch, we'd love to take 65 minutes of dedicated time to get to know you and introduce you to FST. The first 10-15 minutes of your Discovery Session is dedicated time for education and assessment. From there, we'll demonstrate FST for a solid portion of your session and build your custom wellness plan with you. Being your first visit, it's highly likely that you've never experienced this science-backed form of stretch before, so it's crucial to get a good history and teach you about your fascia (specific to your body and how it's currently functioning). Once you have a good idea of what FST is and how your body responds to this pain-free technique, you and your practitioner will work together to craft your custom wellness plan based on your goals!
How many sessions do you recommend to see/feel a difference?Everything is individualized! Your body's fascia will tell us how often we need to work with you to reach your goals of optimal mobility and other objectives you may have - some fascial nets adapt quickly, others take some more time to unwind (ex: 20 years of shoulder pain will give us a few layers to work with). That's why every individual session is specialized and not from a template or routine, and is also why we take the stress out of the equation and work with you to create your custom wellness plan after your Discovery Session.
What should I wear? Do I have to do anything before my session?Short answer: workout clothes! Socks are recommended for every session, we also have some for purchase in case you forget during flip-flop season! Wear comfortable, athletic-type clothing that is mobile, such as: leggings, shorts with compression shorts underneath (men and women), t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt. Feel free to reach out with any attire questions. Before any session, we just ask that you check in with your body, hydrate, update us with any changes, and get ready to experience the benefits of FST!
Do you accept insurance? HSA/FSA?We do not accept insurance. West Michigan Specialized Stretch is a cash-based provider and does not participate with any insurance plans. We accept cash, credit/debit, or check. We DO accept HSA/FSA! If you have any questions, please check with your HR department. This allows our practitioners to focus on you and your needs without being limited by the templates and restrictions of insurance companies. We have a shared goal of prioritizing your wellness to get you back to being pain-free and able to live the quality of life you want.
Our relationships with our clients are built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. As a condition of working with our practitioners, all clients must agree to the policies below.
Prior to your first appointment, you will be required to complete a confidential health history form. This form must be updated any time there are significant changes to your health history (ex. surgery, major illness).
The information in your file can only be released with your consent or as required by law. In order to best serve you, your practitioner may discuss your case with the other healthcare providers involved in your care.
A Note on Tipping
Tips are appreciated, but never expected!
Our rates reflect the value of this specialized technique, and we appreciate your generosity greatly; whether that be monetary, supporting our business by spreading the word, or even leaving us a Google review.
We appreciate you telling your friends, family, co-workers, etc. about us and how FST has helped you - and ultimately refer those who would benefit from FST to visit West Michigan Specialized Stretch so that they can get to feeling as good as you do too!
Cancellation & Late Arrival Policy
Sometimes life happens and you have to cancel or reschedule your session, and that's OK. There is no fee if notification is given at least 24 hours prior to your session.
Notification that is given less than 24 hours prior to the session time will result in a 100% charge of the service amount to the card on file, on a case-by-case basis.
In the event that you may arrive late to your session, you will receive the remaining time scheduled (full price will still be charged).
Short answer: workout clothes!
Socks are recommended for every session, we also have some for purchase in case you forget during flip-flop season!
Wear comfortable, athletic-type clothing that is mobile, such as: leggings, shorts with compression shorts underneath (men and women), t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt. Feel free to reach out with any attire questions.
Appointment Times & Booking
Hours are by appointment only; we're open M-F unless otherwise posted, and some Saturday morning appointments may be available (feel free to reach out to schedule a Saturday appointment if needed).
We currently are not taking same-day appointments, bookings are open 24 hours prior to session start time. Please be sure you receive a confirmation email when scheduling your appointment to ensure that it's registered on our schedule.
Please note that the time you have booked is the length of your entire appointment, not necessarily the hands-on FST time total.
We do our best to maximize your hands-on time. You should expect at least 10 minutes of total assessment time within your session to measure progress. Our sessions are set up this way to be the most therapeutic for you, while also being able to measure notable change as part of it!
Note for package holders: You can share any number of your package sessions with another eligible client (someone who has already completed their own Discovery Session), just let us know ahead of time so we can pull from your package for their session.
Refusal of Service
For safety purposes, we reserve the right to refuse or discontinue treatment at any time. Reasons may include, but are not limited to:
sexual or romantic advances
illness or infectious conditions
contagious or unidentified skin conditions (ex. rashes, mysterious bug bites)
If you develop a skin condition, please clear it with your doctor before receiving FST. If you exhibit any of the aforementioned conditions or behaviors, you'll be denied treatment and charged for the session.