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Active Isolated Stretching



For musculo-skeletal injuries, I highly recommend Active Isolated Stretching as a technique to help. I have seen fantastic results with a wide variety of different conditions such as:


  • long-standing lower back pain

  • headache

  • chronic hip problems

  • neck and shoulder tension

  • sports injuries

What is Active Isolated Stretching?
Active isolated stretching is a method developed by Aaron L Mattes over the past 35 years. Since then he has trained many others to do this work, and tens of thousands of people have benefitted. I trained with Aaron in 2012 and have found AIS to be a valuable addition to my practice.


This video gives a great introduction to AIS.

Arm stretching

AIS is great for musculo-skeletal injuries.
Active Isolated Stretching is a modern, well-researched and effective treatment system for musculo-skeletal injuries. Using well-established bio-mechanical principles, AIS leaves behind the idea of prolonged passive stretching that has been used for many years now in most massage therapies.

The results are incredible,

deeply effective
and remarkably

easy to attain.

The treatment is based on gentle stretching of the muscles.
This treatment can deliver amazing results to restore mobility in both chronic (long term) and acute (short term) conditions. Usually when we stretch, we only stretch the big powerful muscles. Unfortunately, the problem is often with the small activator muscles which we use to initiate movement. Most stretching techniques do not target these muscles. AIS very specifically targets both sets of muscles to enable a lasting release.


The treatment includes active movement by the patient.
Muscles work in pairs, so when we contract one muscle, its opposite partner receives a signal from the brain telling it to relax – this is the muscle we are stretching. It is really important that the patient moves (is active) in order for the stretched muscle to be able to release. When a muscle is stretched for a longer period of time, say 10 seconds or more, it can easily become traumatized and will contract to protect itself from further damage.

Leg stretching
Arm stretching

The key is stretching for very short periods of time.
When we work with AIS, we stretch the worked muscle for only 2 seconds at a time, but multiple times during a treatment. Ten two second stretches are more effective than one 20 second stretch. The treatment can be done fully clothed providing the clothes are loose fitting and an AIS session normally lasts about one hour.


When you come for AIS there will be an initial assessment and history followed by specifically targetted stretching to release problem muscles. Often, just a small change in a hand or foot position can stretch different muscle groups to ensure the problem is correctly addressed.


There are exercises so that you can do at home.
AIS can give remarkable and quick results – even with injuries that are long-standing. Of course, this is not always the case, and sometimes a few sessions are needed. Where necessary, I will give extra exercises that you can do at home to speed up the recovery. This is very empowering and means that you can learn to more effectively manage your own body in the short and long term.

Anyone interested in finding out how to do the full range of exercises themselves for their own best health and flexibility can buy the full book of exercises and stretching either online or from me at the clinic.


AIS can be safely and effectively combined with massage and/or acupuncture if necessary. I have found that sometimes there is an energetic or even an emotional problem behind a physical injury. If this is the case, we will look at that and I may suggest some acupuncture.


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