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What is The Ki-Hara Method of Resistance Stretching?
The Ki-Hara Method is a form of Resistance Stretching refined by Anne Tierney and Steve Sierra of Innovative Body Solutions, Inc. The method includes flexibility training, strength training and core work in very specific patterns of movement similar to the body's natural movements. During Ki-Hara the muscles are contracted and lengthened at the same time throughout their range of motion. This keeps muscles from being over-stretched which can cause injury. Clients learn self-stretches in a class setting or are worked on by a Ki-Hara trainer in a private session. In self-stretching, clients provide their own resistance. In a private session, the trainer provides the resistance and thus, the client can strength train and stretch in many directions - including complicated rotations that can not be reproduced with machine or even body weight exercises.
Who can participate in Ki-Hara? Are there restrictions on age or physical health?
Ki-Hara is a method that can be performed on people of any age. At Stretch Chi our trainers work on anyone from toddlers with developmental conditions to athletes to senior citizens. Extra care is taken with growing children and aging adults.
Can Ki-Hara help with specific physiological conditions? Are there stretches for my bad knees, my back pain, my tennis elbow, my wrist pain, my ankle sprains, etc?
Our trainers have experience working with all of these injuries and use Ki-Hara to build stability around the joints and eliminate pain. We take a very gentle approach to helping with injuries. For broken bones, severe sprains and post-surgery, we highly recommend that you finish your allotted time for physical therapy before coming in for further work.
Does it hurt?
Sometimes. Our trainers use your pain signals as a way to track the way your body has compensated to avoid pain. While we sometimes get to a place that is uncomfortable, the pain is a sign that we have more work to do elsewhere. As we move through the body, our ultimate goal is for each stretch to feel absolutely amazing.
What do I wear?
Workout clothes are best. We suggest dressing in layers as sometimes the studio gets a little chilly in the winter months, and you'll warm up as you start stretching. We require that our clients wear pants. In the warmer months if you'd like to wear shorts, please wear bike shorts underneath. For women, we suggest sports bras.
How often should I come in?
We suggest 1-2 times per week when first starting out to really see the greatest results. Our sessions start with making sure you're muscles are balanced and activating properly. Within 5 weeks, the changes become permanent and clients can reduce to 1-2 times per month for minor tune ups if needed. If a few times a week is difficult for you, you can still see results by coming in as little as every 2-3 weeks.
Do I need to be flexible or in good shape?
Absolutely not! Many of our clients are not athletes at all, but in chronic pain and need a little fixing up before they can get into a workout routine. We are trained to work on clients of all body types.
Can Ki-Hara fix my back pain?
Most chronic back pain is caused by tight hamstrings. Your Ki-Hara trainer can release the tightness that causes lower back pain - even in the first session!
I have a disability? Will Ki-Hara work for me?
Yes - we have worked with people of all body types. We've seen great results with Cerebral Palsy and stroke victims.
Won't stretching make me weaker?
Traditional stretching (static stretching) has been shown to create over-stretched muscles and joint instability. Resistance Stretching creates elastic muscles that not only stretch further, but contract more, causing even more joint stability. We've found that clients can lift 15% more weight after using Resistance Stretching.
Do I need to warm up first?
It is not necessary, but can be beneficial. If you have time, a 10-15 minute jog around the neighborhood can get your muscles warmed up. If you don't have time, we take time to warm up the muscles in the session.
Does Ki-Hara work on feet and/or hands?
Yes! Carrie Collins, owner of Stretch Chi, specializes in working on hands and feet. A pianist of over 25 years, Carrie has a thorough knowledge of the intricate workings of the fingers, hands, forearms and shoulders. For musicians with tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, carpal tunnel, pitcher's shoulder, or frozen shoulder - we can help you release the tension in the lower arms. Carrie has also used her knowledge of Ki-Hara and Thai Reflexology to create a unique system for working on the feet.
I have a herniated disc - is Ki-Hara safe?
Definitely and Ki-Hara can be of great help. We take a very gentle approach with clients with disc herniations. Because you are gently resisting through each movement, we are only working within safe ranges for your body. We make no sudden or jerking movements.
Can I do Ki-Hara if I have osteoperosis?
Yes. Be sure to tell your trainer before hand so we can be extra careful.
What is Mashing?
Mashing is a form of bodywork derived from Shiatsu and Thai massage. It is performed by using the feet to compress muscles. Mashing is used to warm the body up and flush the body of toxins. It is deep and often intense work that allows muscles to stretch more effectively.