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Our modern lives are increasingly sedentary, with our bodies hunched over laptops and phones with our necks and spines compressedBut our bodies were made to move, and prolonged time in one position can lead to stiffness and can put huge amounts of strain on the neck, back and spine. Whilst we all know that stretching is good for releasing muscles, it is also a form of relaxation which helps reduce our feelings of stress. Stretching also allows your brain to recalibrate its communication with your muscles and calculate how strong a signal it needs to send to different muscles to accomplish different movements so is really important for avoiding overstraining the muscles.

But how often do we take the time to dedicate to a session of deep stretching? This is where Stretch Lab comes in to help you take the responsibility stretching off your hands. Assisted stretching with specially trained stretchologists helps to you to unwind, by relaxing and releasing strained muscles, improving flexibility and adjusting imbalances and relieving any aches or pains. My one on one 50 min session with Kindall began with a light all over massage with a Theragun before she performed a series of dynamic and static stretches to release my knotty, tired muscles and increase range of motion. As I have had breast cancer and a mastectomy with an implant only reconstruction, my chest wall on the right side is pulled forward to accommodate the implant so I have constant tension in my back, neck and shoulder. Kindall’s stretches helped to relieve the pain and relax my upper body in a way that I certainly have never been able to mange myself.

Stretchologists undergo Stretch Lab's in- house training where they learn their proprietary method of 'Stretchology' TM as taught by Dr Brett Gibbens, a sports chiropacter and Sports rehab specialist. All Stretchologists have a background in bodywork or a related field (Massage/ Yoga/ Pilates/ Dance/ PT etc). This base knowledge is then developed and built upon during training, after which they complete practice sessions before they are let loose on clients. I asked founder Kunal Kapoor about how he envisioned seeing assisted stretching fitting into the London health and wellness scene. He says "Our whole brand has been designed to be as accessible as possible. The goal is to normalise assisted stretching in the same way people go for a blow dry or get their nails done now. Once that first step is taken, our regular customers see the most benefit by making it a weekly or even several times a week activity."

Personally, I will be back regularly and intersperse these sessions in between massages and my own stretching. Stretch Lab have kindly given the Urban Kitchen community 20% discount off their first assisted stretching session using the code TORAL20 until the end of 2020.



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