I studied Active Isolated Stretching with its creator, Aaron L. Mattes. Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a widely used method of stretching used by Doctors, therapists and athletes to increase the body’s potential to heal and increase performance. This method of muscle lengthening and fascial release provides effective dynamic facilitated stretch of major muscle groups, but more importantly functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes.

Over the past decades many experts have advocated prolonged stretch up to 60 seconds. For years, this prolonged static stretch technique was the gold standard. Prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within the tissue creating localized ischemia and lactic acid buildup. This potentiates irritation or injury of local muscular, tendonous, lymphatic as well as neural tissues, similar to the effects and consequences of trauma and overuse syndromes.

AIS: The Mattes Method, is an effective treatment for deep and superficial fascial release, restoring proper fascial planes for optimal physiologic function. Performing an Active Isolated Stretch of no greater than 2.0 seconds allows the target muscle to optimally lengthen without triggering the protective stretch reflex and subsequent reciprocal antagonistic muscle contraction as the isolated muscle achieves a state of relaxation. Maximal beneficial stretch can be accomplished without opposing tension or resulting trauma.

Mattes Method myofascial release technique incorporates AIS which uses active movement and reciprocal inhibition to achieve optimal flexibility. Using a 2.0-second stretch has proven to be the key in avoiding reflexive contraction of the antagonistic muscle. Without activating muscle group contraction, restoration of full range of motion and flexibility can be successfully achieved.