A new business has opened in Wichita called StretchLab and they specialize in assisted stretching. You can find them in the Waterfront at 10310 E 13th Street.
You may have seen their staff around town at events offering free stretches ahead of their opening. Now that StretchLab is ready for business, we stopped by during their grand opening week to check it out.
The whole concept of assisted stretching was pretty foreign to me until I heard about StretchLab’s opening. And as I get older and experience the aches and pains of an out-of-shape 40+ year old with a super active child, my interest in what they do piqued.
According to StretchLab, the benefits include increased flexibility and range of motions, reduced muscle and joint pain, better posture, improved performance among others. All things I could definitely use.
We set an appointment for the both of us to try it out with a 25-minute session. I had a chance to speak to a couple of “flexologists”. It seemed like everyone had a background in personal training, massage therapy or one of those backgrounds that made me feel like food blogging wasn’t the right choice if I wanted fewer aches and pains.
When it was our turn for the stretching, we started off in front of a scanner where we did a couple exercises to help the staff learn what areas to focus on and where the tension was. For me, it was 99% of my body. I really might be the least flexible person in Wichita.
After that, they walked us over to a table where the magic happened.
For the next 25 minutes, it was many stretches that focused on all areas of the body. While the flexologist can focus on certain parts, our first stretch walked us through multiple areas.
I’ve stretched before basketball games, tennis, etc., but StretchLab took it to a whole new level. It really confirmed my lazy efforts in stretching at home, the basketball court or anywhere else.
We were guided through a series of stretches. Our flexologist was able to pinpoint areas where we had lots of tension. For instance, my right shoulder was a focus area, probably from golf and 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 no Shakira and my hips lie all the time.
Many stretches emphasized a “push and release” method where I was contracting certain muscles for a few seconds, then relaxed and doing the same stretch again but with more effort.
During each stretch, my flexologist asked me to rate the tension (or pain) between a 1 and 10 scale. They wanted to get me to a 6 on each stretch. The kind of pain that felt good.
Honestly, the 25 minutes felt longer than it was, in a good way. I almost didn’t want them to stop, and regretted not doing a 50-minute stretch for my initial one.
After my stretch, I definitely felt more loose and lighter. It was a similar feeling to walking after a massage, but less groggy and more aware. They did make me aware that I could have some soreness the next day, and I felt a bit of soreness in my shoulder. Knowing how inflexible I am, I could see the value in it, especially as I become more active in the summer.
Lastly, shout out to Ivette who did our stretching. She was wonderful to work with. The whole time, she talked us through what she was doing and why. The education was just as important as the stretching.
StretchLab is located at 10310 E 13th Street at the Waterfront. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more local business spotlights, check out our Shop Local archive.