Frequently Asked Questions

  • I have a back/knee/neck/etc pain/injury. Is ST suitable for me?

    You have come to the right place!

    Founder Kit Laughlin developed ST from his research and personal experience with many methods as he sought to cure his severe back pain.

    Kit is now recognised as a leading expert in treating back and neck pain through exercises alone ie without medications or invasive surgical procedures.

    You are advised to start with private lessons before joining our group classes.

  • What is the difference between ST and yoga and Pilates?

    To answer this properly, first of all, what do you mean by yoga?

    Yoga is a Hindu philosophical tradition. However, today, most mainstream yoga schools teach a modern form of Hatha yoga, that is yoga as a form of exercise. Even in the modern forms of yoga, the teaching approaches vary greatly: for instance Asthanga Yoga has little resemblance to Laughter Yoga and neither are similar to Aerial Yoga.

    Pilates today has also evolved into different teaching interpretations, most broadly Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer.

    Stretch Therapy is not Yoga or Pilates but it is consistent with the yoga/Pilates schools that emphasise anatomy, physiology and awareness.

    We use some of the poses and techniques from yoga, dance, gymnastics and traditional Japanese exercise forms Jikyo Jutsu and Makko Hoo in addition to our own unique techniques and positions.

    For example, yoga lacks neck muscle stretches (particularly levator scapulae and the scalene group) so we designed a number of new exercises. Other differences include ‘Partner-Based’ exercises, where a partner’s strength, weight or support makes the ‘contract’ part easier to perform, or the final stretch position easier to hold so the ‘stretcher’ (the person doing the stretching) can get the full benefit of the vital relaxing and breathing aspects more easily.

    Another difference is that we often target specific muscles for particular reasons, for example, piriformis in relation to sciatica, and the scalenes for some arm and hand problems.

    Stretch Therapy techniques can effectively help you improve your Yoga practice, or any athletic performance. Our students include yoga and pilates teachers as well as marathon runners, and avid tennis players and golfers.

  • I have done Yoga/Pilates etc, can I skip the Starters’ Workshop and enrol in your Regular Classes?

    We do not usually accept students straight into our Regular classes. There are certain key concepts unique to Stretch Therapy which new students have to absorb.

    If you have prior experience in yoga/Pilates/bodyworks and are comfortable with the basic forms of the Stretch Therapy exercises, the teacher will provide variations. You will still get a very good stretch and workout.

    If attending the Starters’ Workshop is not practical for any reason, you can arrange a few private sessions.

  • How different are stretching techniques like AIS, chiropractic, manual therapy and physiotherapy compared to Stretch Therapy?

    These systems generally employ a certain degree of therapist or machine-assisted stretches.

    In ST, you do the exercises yourself. The teacher guides. This is the key for your condition to improve: Your mind needs to connect with your body and be aware of the movement. This does not happen when someone else is manipulating/treating you.

    We do not use any machines, only simple props like chairs, bolsters and blocks.

  • I am undergoing chiropractic/physiotherapy/etc treatment. Can I join ST now?

    If your treatment includes stretching/strengthening exercises, it is best for you to complete the course that you have signed up for before joining ST.

    If the treatment is general massage, heat treatment or dry needling, you should be able to start ST right away. However, do inform your therapist before you do.

  • Am I too old to stretch?

    Chronological age is not an appropriate benchmark nowadays. Active 70 year-olds could be in better shape than couch-potatoes in their 20s.

    The answer depends on your health, any treatments you are receiving, injuries and/or existing pains.

    In our experience with all ages from children to 80-year olds, proper stretching results in increased strength and mobility, leading to lower risk of injury (and falls), and a significant increase in quality of life.

    A rule-of-thumb is if you can climb up the stairs to our centre on the first floor, Stretch Therapy can help you!

  • Am I too stiff to stretch?

    If you are stiff, it is because you have held a lot of tensions in your body for a long, long time.

    The way to relief is the right kind of stretching and strengthening exercises, combined with relaxation techniques.

    Some people conjure up an image of a ballerina in a side split when it comes to stretching and conclude that stretching is not for them. That is a misguided view.

    Everyone has differences in their range of movement. All Stretch Therapy exercises can be scaled up or down to suit people with different ranges. If you are stiff, we won’t start with a full side split, for sure!

  • Will stretching make my muscles weak? I am very stiff but I don’t want to weaken my muscles.

    Stretch Therapy actually strengthens your muscles throughout the full range of motion.

    Bear in mind that to stretch a muscle, another muscle has to contract (work!). You will find real core strength developing as you progress in ST.

  • Can I stretch while I’m pregnant?

    Absolutely! Wai Kuan practised yoga all the way to the 9th month of her pregnancy. And she delivered her baby naturally, without any medical assistance – that’s another story!

    The 4 major elements of ST – stretch, strength, relaxation and re-patterning – are excellent preparation for motherhood.  In fact, ST founder Kit Laughlin has authored a book on this subject – Stretching and Pregnancy, now in its 2nd edition.

  • Can I have a trial class?

    No, we do not offer trial classes.

    To experience improvement, students must commit to a course of classes to understand and practice the basic foundations. Like any exercise-based method, Stretch Therapy must be done regularly to be effective.

    From its founding at Australia National University more than 35 years ago, Stretch Therapy is now a global movement with thousands of happy students to attest to its effectiveness.

  • Can I observe a class before I decide to enrol?

    We do not allow observers as their presence may distract the class. To see what happens in a class, check out our extensive Google, Facebook and Instagram photo galleries. You do not need a Google, FB or Instagram account to view them.

  • "Still got questions?"

    Drop us a WhatsApp message

    Connect with us via Telegram

    Send us an email