Contract Relax Stretching/PNF Stretching
Contract Relax Stretching (also called PNF Stretching) is a technique used to gain length in shortened muscles, therefore increasing range of motion and flexibility. The therapist takes the target muscle to the point of a gentle stretch. The patient is asked to contract against resistance provided by the therapist for 10 seconds, then to relax for 5 seconds. This resets the connection between the brain and the muscle spindles (stretch sensors in the muscles), allowing the muscle to lengthen more. The process is repeated 3-5 times or until the desired length is achieved.
Caution: this type of stretching should only be done with an experienced partner or with a certified therapist as there is risk of overstretch and injury. Please do not attempt at home without professional advise.