Thursday, July 23, 2009

Serials and Scenarios - Stretch for Life DVD

Stretch 4 Life

Educate, facilitate, increase range of motion, and repair muscular trauma

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX—Flexibility is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. The body has an enormous and amazing way of healing, and incorporating simple stretching exercises can be extremely helpful in speeding up recovery as well as in maintaining good physical fitness. Licensed massage therapist and educator Lori Walter has developed Stretch 4 Life, a proven and effective tool for people of any age and level of muscular fitness. By using this full body stretch routine, relaxation and flexibility can easily be achieved. The Stretch 4 Life DVD and manual are a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to pursue enhanced health and well-being. This fabulous routine will also help reinforce healthy habits.

With this practical and easy to use program, Stretch 4 Life will enable anyone to achieve increased flexibility. Tailor any stretch sequence you need to aid in your journey to better health. Individuals can get started with only a few simple stretches to begin the healing process. Later, as the range of motion and strength improve, individuals can increase the specialized plan by simply incorporating additional stretches from the manual and DVD.

Lori Walter is a licensed massage therapist and stretch instructor. She has developed this Stretch 4 Life routine over her 13 years of work with the goal to help people heal and repair their structural integrity. For more information or to place and order, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to stretch?
Although the mind is the dominant center of control, by attaining relaxation in the voluntary muscle system, we can influence relaxation in the involuntary muscles and other systems of the body. While the muscles in the heart will perform their jobs without conscious effort, we can assist them by ensuring that the muscles we can control do not become tense and thus interfere with the processes. Instead those muscles can be relaxed, which conserves our energy for those times when we need extra. By learning to relax we have a useful tool for release when life gets more complicated.

What techniques will I learn to help me relax?
Muscle work always has at least two parts. A muscle contracts and shortens or it relaxes and lengthens. In this way muscles also work together but in an exactly opposite and reciprocal relationship. For example, when we bend an elbow, the biceps muscle contracts and the triceps muscle behind lengthens to allow the movement. Sometimes this interaction may be disturbed, as when our foot goes into a cramp. The muscle remains in a state of contraction, which becomes painful because it is prolonged and very fatiguing. Relaxation is the physiological state that follows muscle contraction. To achieve relaxation, we will learn to move in one direction followed by a balance of movement in the opposite direction.

What is diaphragmatic breathing and why is it important?
Respiration at rest is performed most significantly by the diaphragm, and any “action” occurring in the abdominal area is quite passive. In fact, if the muscles of the abdomen are not relaxed and passive, then breathing is forced up into the chest. Diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation of the abdominal wall complement each other by helping us stay loose and keeping our breathing slow and deep.

Why is posture important and can I learn to stand up straight now?
Correct posture is energizing to the system of the body. It is the position your brain likes best and will re-learn it quickly and easily.

My Review:

If you are looking for an instructional DVD on how and why to stretch this may be the one for you. Developed by a massage therapist over years of study and success with many subjects, this DVD is geared toward the instructor who wants to teach the best and most body-friendly stretches, or the student who wants to learn exactly how to do each subtle move.

The format begins with the common questions one might ask about why and what is involved in stretching with a demonstration for each answer. Then several stretches are modeled by two subjects. Proper breathing, muscle movement and beginner, intermediate and advanced techniques are shown and explained. The voice over is loud enough to understand. The movements are slow, studied and repeated.

Those who are looking for a routine or a set of exercises will not find what they are seeking within this DVD.The moves are very basic stretches/warm-ups. And I'll be honest in admitting that I did some skimming because there is a lot of information that I didn't want to sit through. The background music was slightly more annoying than soothing and I appreciated the models willingness to show the techniques but would have liked to see an occasional smile.

I can see the benefit for patients who are beginning recovery, the elderly or those in chronic pain as the moves are designed to repair muscles and increase range of motion as muscles grow more flexible and stronger. Adding these kind of stretching repetitions before bed or first thing in the morning and learning how to do them correctly would be worth the DVD purchase price as well.