If you’ve ever been sitting at your desk for too long, you know how nice it can feel to stand up and stretch. Sometimes I catch myself, hunched over the computer, looking like the witch from Snow White, and wishing there was a machine that would (gently) pull my arms in opposite directions because I feel like a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil. Enter the Living Legacy Pilates Stretch Studio. They do not have a magic stretch machine, but they do offer stretch sessions with a trained stretch therapist. These sessions are “designed to increase mobility, flexibility, and blood flow”. Want to try it with me?
I entered the LLP studio and removed my shoes at the door. I was greeted by a big open space with windows on three sides and various machines and padded tables. I met my therapist Emily White. Her friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease as we walked over to the large tables. We sat down and introduced ourselves, then she asked about my flexibility, health history, and any goals I had for our session. Lastly, she gave me an overview of what we were going to do.
Throughout our session White instructed or guided me into different stretches from head to toe. I learned a lot about where I was tight and how that tightness affects me and my other muscle groups. I learned how to engage various muscles so that I could stand with improved posture. The session also highlighted where I needed help (for me it was my hips). Throughout our stretch, I learned a lot as White taught me things about the different muscle groups, what she was working on, how she was stretching a particular muscle, and why she was stretching a certain area where she noticed tightness. She was also really great at encouraging me to breathe through all the stretches — because I realized that I hold my breath and I’m tense all the time. Throughout the entire process, White was never judgemental and she constantly checked in with me to make sure I knew what to expect next and that the stretches were manageable. At first, it took some getting used to in order to relax enough to allow myself to be stretched, but after a few stretches and some gentle reminders, I was able to fully let go. I also appreciated that during our session she gave me some stretches I could do at home, on my own.
White is very good at what she does. She is a massage therapist and her specialty for both massage and stretch therapy is chronic pain. She says stretching is truly for everyone. She sees people of all ages and for a variety of reasons, from high school athletes who want to increase flexibility, to seniors trying to maintain their mobility. After the initial session, your stretch therapist will create a tailored plan based on what they noticed during their time with you, so future sessions can address those specific things.
When I signed up, I initially thought that I would lay on the table like a stuffed octopus (or something equally floppy) and just be moved around. But after experiencing it, I would describe a stretch session more like a cross between yoga and massage. There was a little bit of work involved as I used my muscles in a different way than I was used to and I felt my body warm up as the hour progressed. But it was also incredibly relaxing and, similar to a massage, I felt so good afterwards. If you can do it, I would highly recommend.
Living Legacy Pilates Studio Stretch Sessions
44 E Main St
Hours by appointment
$165 for your first three 50 minute stretch sessions