A new business has opened in Wichita called Stretch Lab and they specialize in assisted stretching. You can find them at the Waterfront at 10310 E 13th Street.
You may have seen their staff around town at events offering free stretches before they open. Now that StretchLab is ready for business, we stopped by during their opening week to check it out.
The whole concept of assisted stretching was pretty foreign to me until I heard about the opening of StretchLabs. And as I get older and experience the aches and pains of an out-of-shape 40-year-old with a super active kid, my interest in what they do has piqued.
According to StretchLab, the benefits include increased flexibility and range of motion, reduced muscle and joint pain, better posture, improved performance among others. All things I could definitely use.
We made an appointment for both of us to try it out with a 25 minute session. I had a chance to talk to a couple of flexologists. It seemed like everyone had a background in personal training, massage therapy, or any of those backgrounds that made me think food blogging wasn’t the right choice if I wanted less aches and pains.
When it was our turn to stretch, we set out in front of a scanner where we did a couple of stretches to help the staff figure out which areas to focus on and where the tension was. For me, it was 99% of my body. I may actually be the least flexible person in Wichita.
Afterwards, they ushered us to a table where the magic happened.
For the next 25 minutes, many stretches focused on all areas of the body. While the flexologist may focus on a few parts, our first stroke walked us through more areas.
I’ve been stretching before basketball games, tennis, etc., but StretchLab has taken it to a whole new level. It really vindicated my lazy stretching efforts at home, on the basketball court, or wherever.
We were guided through a number of stretches. Our flexologist was able to pinpoint areas where we had a lot of tension. For example, my right shoulder was an area of concern, probably from golf and the years of lifting my fork to eat the food I blog about and lifting multiple shot glasses over the years. As well as my tight hips which, I feel, have gotten worse over the years, I’m not Shakira and my hips lie all the time.
Many stretches emphasized a push and release method in which I contracted a few muscles for a few seconds, then relaxed and repeated the same stretch but with more effort.
During each stretch, my flexologist asked me to rate the tension (or pain) on a scale of 1 to 10. They wanted me to get a 6 on each stretch. The kind of pain that felt good.
Honestly, the 25 minutes felt longer than they were, in a good way. I almost didn’t want them to stop and I regretted not doing a 50 minute stretch for the initial one.
After my stretch, I definitely felt looser and lighter. It was a similar feeling to walking after a massage, but less groggy and more aware. They let me know that I might have some pain the next day, and I felt some pain in my shoulder. Knowing how inflexible I am, I could see the value in that, especially as I get more active in the summer.
Finally, shout out to Ivette who did our stretch. It was wonderful to work with her. All the while, she explained what she was doing and why. Education was just as important as stretching.
StretchLab is located at 10310 E 13th Street at the Waterfront. Their hours are Monday to Thursday 8am to 8pm, Friday 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 2pm
You can learn more about StretchLab on Facebook, Instagram or on their website.
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