Whitney and Til have an in-depth conversation with Jules Mitchell (author of Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined) about topics like tissue change, flexibility, hyper-mobility as they relate to yoga and manual therapy.

Resources:

Sponsor Offers:

About Whitney Lowe  |  About Til Luchau  |  Email Us: info@thethinkingpractitioner.com

(The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is intended for professional practitioners of manual and movement therapies: bodywork, massage therapy, structural integration, chiropractic, myofascial and myotherapy, orthopedic, sports massage, physical therapy, osteopathy, yoga, strength and conditioning, and similar professions. It is not medical or treatment advice.)

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings        whitney lowe
Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings
Til Luchau

whitney lowe
Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Full Transcript (click me!)

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:
Episode 70: Stretching: Would Everyone Just Relax? (with Jules Mitchell) 

Til Luchau:

When I was looking for a publisher for a book I wanted to write, I was fortunate to have ended up with two offers, one from a large international media conglomerate and the other from Handspring, which at the time was a small publisher in Scotland run by just four people with a love for great books and our field.

Til Luchau:

To this day, I'm glad I chose to go with Handspring, as not only did they help me make the books I wanted to share The Advanced Myofascial Technique series, but their catalog has emerged as one of the leading collections of professional level books written especially for body workers, movement teachers and all professionals who use movement or touch to help patients achieve wellness.

Whitney Lowe:

And Handspring was recently joined with Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Integrative Health Singing Dragon Imprint, where their amazing impact continues, so head on over to their website at handspringpublishing.com to check out their list of titles, including Yoga Biomechanics, authored by our guest today, and be sure to use the code TTP at checkout for a discount, so thanks again very much, Handspring. Til, how are you today?

Til Luchau:

Doing well, Whitney. It is sure summer here and you would know it outside. Inside here is cool, but outside is pretty hot.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, we had a big heat wave came over here and I think we blew it in your direction, so it's cooled off here.

Til Luchau:

Thank you very much.

Whitney Lowe:

The good news is, it's cooling down for you, I think, coming up.

Til Luchau:

Who's our guest today and is she in a hot place or not?

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, it's hot, I think. It's hot. So we are very honored to have Jules Mitchell with us today, the author of Yoga Biomechanics, as we mentioned in the intro piece there, so Jules welcome very much. Great to have you here joining us on The Thinking Practitioner and for those not familiar with your work, Jules is a yoga practitioner. Do we call you a yoga educator or a practitioner, what's your title there?

Jules Mitchell:

Educator. I teach teachers.

 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, okay.

Jules Mitchell:

That's the crux of what I do.

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, and if I'm understanding correctly, you also have a background in body work prior to your yoga practice too, is that right? You had done some...

Jules Mitchell:

Not prior, I'm licensed to do massage therapy in two states, California and Nevada.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

But yoga's been decades, so this is part of the last 10 years or something.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, excellent. Well, our topic and focus today is going to be on some issues around stretching, which is the dominant theme in your book, Yoga Biomechanics and I was just astounded by the wealth and depth of information in that book, so I really wanted to... We touched on this in a previous episode, I believe it was episode 11, Til, and I did an overview of a lot of those concepts in there, but we really wanted to have you on the podcast to talk about some of this stuff in greater depth for us today.

Whitney Lowe:

So, can you, Jules, just also give our listeners a bit of a background on what you're doing now, what your background is too, so that people can understand a little context here.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, I basically am an educator, as we said. I teach biomechanics and some version of anatomy, mostly to yoga teachers. Although, because as you said, a lot of my work is in stretching, I do tend to attract a lot of outliers from other industries that want to talk about it in more depth. But for the most part, I'm in the yoga sphere, that's the basis of it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

And if you need a long background, I don't know how much you're going to give your listeners in a separate recording, but I started yoga first. That was kind of my introduction into this world and ended up, after many years of life happening, ended up in a graduate program in biomechanics. And I had a really strong math and engineering background, and so I just fell right into it.

Jules Mitchell:

And as I was researching stretching, mainly from this tissue mechanics perspective, I started to see things in an entirely different way and the mainstream narrative was just lacking in so many areas and so that's really what triggered my work. And obviously, yoga teachers are interested in stretching, but so are other modalities as well.

Til Luchau:

So you had a math and engineering background and then started doing yoga and then got curious about the engineering or biomechanical aspect of yoga, is that how it went?

Jules Mitchell:

Kind of.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

I started practicing yoga in college and I was a math minor, so those happened together. And then later I graduated and then went back to study engineering, all the while just practicing yoga. And then life happened and so on and so on. And then I started teaching yoga and I actually didn't even know what biomechanics was. I literally went to the university and was like, "I'm really interested." I was teaching yoga, I want to know more about anatomy. I wanted to know why you could stretch one way and not the other way in a different style.

Jules Mitchell:

I couldn't reconcile all these conflicting messages, so I was like, "I think I'm going to study kinesiology." I just didn't know what it was. And the dean of the program who had met me, took one look at my transcript and was like, "Someone who can do biomechanics." I was like, "But I don't have that much biology." And she's like, "That's okay. We can teach you the biology, that's easy. It's the physics that's really hard for people."

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So, they just funneled me into it. Really, I had no idea and I sat in my first tissue mechanics class and I just remember looking at the stress-strain curve of tendon behavior and looking around the room thinking, "Why is nobody as excited about this as I am, we have all this information? I can make sense of all these things that I've been told if I know this."

Til Luchau:

Yeah, well, I got to confess that your stress-strain curve, the one you put in your book, excited me too. And it's really, Whitney recommended the book to me before we did that episode talking about stretching and I started reading it and I go, "Okay, here's someone who's finally done it." You wrote the book or you did the whole thesis on this question I was trying to work out for myself and share with people as I did, it was like, "How does tissue change? What can we say about tissue change? And then what can we say about what we do and its relationship to that?"

Til Luchau:

Because there's so many debates and polarities and arguments and half stories that get quoted again and again, that I really wanted to dial it down for myself. I mentioned the books I wrote in the sponsor spot, that was my process in writing those, but then, to find your book, someone who had done... You did your masters and...

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, it was masters.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, you really dove into it and I was so excited to see not only the stress-strain curve, but the studies and the charts, so I just wanted a chance to thank you personally for that. Thanks so much.

Til Luchau:

So, what's it been like to go... I mean, I have my own answer too, what's it been like to go back and forth between those different ways of thinking or being to say, I don't want to characterize it too much, but there's a certain kind of thinking and being that's involved in engineering and math and there's another set of qualities or ways of being that have to do with yoga or doing body work, how do you navigate those two realms?

Jules Mitchell:

Like the science and the kind of intuitive side, is that what you're saying?

Til Luchau:

Sure.

Jules Mitchell:

Actually, I really pride myself on reconciling those very well. Just let's use the stress-strain curve, for example. That's a model and it's a model that applies very well to non-living tissues that don't have cells and human tissue has cells, so the model has a bit of a limitation, I guess.

Jules Mitchell:

So, we can add to the model with more research, knowing cells, so we can have to add other disciplines like biochemistry and so on into that model, and then the reality of it is, when we're dealing with people, which is nonlinear and multidimensional, which is biology, which the stress-strain curve is very linear and very two dimensional, when we're dealing with people, it doesn't fit into the model in the exact way, but it doesn't mean you can't use the model to inform.

Jules Mitchell:

So, there's the human experience of receiving a massage or practicing yoga and there's the human experience of pain science and I think pain science has really helped me live in more of that intuitive world. And then there's what the research can tell us. And there's some strong claims we can make from the research and then there's a lot of claims we can't make strongly because of the research. And so it's really kind of balancing what we know and don't know with what the person in front of us is experiencing and we have to consider both, I think.

Whitney Lowe:

I think this was something that I had seen in your book or something else maybe that you had said earlier, or we were talking about at one point, in looking at the non-living tissues and non-living structures when you're applying those concepts of mechanics, that there are a lot of principles of load and tolerance for how much strain can a metal bar take before it bends and breaks and that sort of thing and a lot of those things are applied, but what's not true in non-living structures, that is true for humans, is adaptation and the capability that we have to change based on progressive loading processes and I thought that was a fascinating concept about taking that some of those mechanical concepts and saying, "Yeah, but it is a little bit different when we talk about living systems as well." And that's the bio in biomechanics essentially.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, and I think a lot of critics of biomechanics, especially classic biomechanics, tend to get really wrapped up in, "But living tissue isn't like that." And it's like, "Okay, but it doesn't mean we can't still learn." And I think that's really, when you ask what I do, my work isn't educating people to make sense of these things so that they can problem solve and think for themselves, because we can't just put a collagen fiber in a lab, in a setup and stretch it until it breaks and then make conclusions on humanity based on that.

Jules Mitchell:

We can do that for a steel beam. Yes, that's a good thing, but it isn't for people. And so, when you were saying that everyone's debating and there's arguments online, I believe that half of those debates and those arguments are from a very narrow viewpoint that are two people's viewpoints are clashing. And if you...

Til Luchau:

And the other half are?

Jules Mitchell:

Huh?

Til Luchau:

Half of them are from a narrow point of viewpoint and the other are from...

Jules Mitchell:

Well, one narrow viewpoint maybe and then the other half is from a different narrow viewpoint. So, they're not reconciling. And I feel like if you just sit down and tease out some of these details and define some of these terms like what is stretching even mean and you break down the variables, the conversation becomes really rich and nobody really wins the debate, but everybody learns from the process, if that makes sense?

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Tell me about, you've mentioned this in your book a number of times and few other things that you've noted too, what are some of the most common myths that you're aware of in regards to stretching?

Jules Mitchell:

I mean, all of them. Anything that Google will tell you about stretching.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

I mean, the types of questions I get just express it all. What's the best way to stretch?

Whitney Lowe:

Right.

Jules Mitchell:

For what? I just got an Instagram message yesterday from someone, "What do you think about stretching and back pain?" And what about it? I don't even know where to begin to answer that. Does it cause it, does it fix it, what do you mean?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So, I think there's just this kind of belief that stretching is good for you and it should be done. And actually, I don't disagree with that, but all the reasons are just really loose and uncertain. And so, I'm definitely not an anti stretcher, I actually think there's massive benefits to it, but we have to peel back all the layers and figure out why and what for, and what's the outcome you're looking for and then what parameters do you want to apply to that? And I just don't think the general public is interested in that.

Til Luchau:

No, it might be true, but I'm thinking, Whitney, about your question in terms of, say, massage, manual therapy, structural integration, and at the simplest level, our narrative was that we were stretching tissues in different ways, whether you were doing massage or doing structure integration, that there was some sort of stretching elongating going on of the actual tissue. And then as we started to get more specific about that, again, those arguments got more complex, yeah?

Jules Mitchell:

So, length that the tissue is permanently lengthening?

Til Luchau:

There's the permanent question, yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, that's not happening mostly.

Til Luchau:

That's probably not happening.

Jules Mitchell:

From extreme cases perhaps, but for the most part, no.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, can you elaborate on that a little bit and explain a little bit more, because I think, as Til mentioned, that's still a common concept that I think a lot of people...

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, thanks for reminding me. I forget, because I'm in my echo chamber so much, I forget. Yeah, I do think people think tissues are short and that they should be stretched to lengthen them, but the reality is that these tissues are actually, their job is to resist lengthening. That is literally what they do. That's what stress is. It's the capacity to resist lengthening. So, if it could just lengthen, that would be massively detrimental to our form.

Jules Mitchell:

And I think that's kind of... Let me back up with my narrative. Doing this work, what was key for me and what is key for how I educate people about stretching, is to separate range of motion from stretching, from the tensile load of stretching, and that's the subtitle of why book Stretching Redefined. Range of motion is an entirely different conversation, entirely different conversation that has many, many factors, most of which are not tissue related. Some are, but most of them are not.

Jules Mitchell:

So, if you take that whole conversation out, just remove range of motion for now and just talk about the tissue, all of a sudden you have a completely different understanding of stretching or tension and you can start looking at tissue behavior without the societal value of improving range of motion. And so, I really define them differently. I consider if you're trying to improve range of motion, you're doing flexibility exercises. I don't even call them stretching. You're literally doing flexibility exercises that promote flexibility, range of motion.

Jules Mitchell:

And if you're doing tension stretching work, that could look like a certain flexibility exercise, but it could also look like strength training, manual therapy, it could look like all kinds of things, because you're putting tension through a tissue that is literally, its job is to resist tension. And then when you separate range of motion, you can just have this, "Okay, let's have this conversation or that conversation," and it's really easy to see the difference. You're both quiet, so I think...

Whitney Lowe:

No, I see Til pondering something there.

Til Luchau:

Well, I'm going to go for the simplest version of the question I can think of, and that is, okay, so then why, when I'm doing, say, a massage and I feel something hard under my hands and I rub it until it's soft, does the client feel better?

Til Luchau:

You're shrugging your shoulders.

Jules Mitchell:

I mean, that could be a lot of things.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

You're stretching and of course a part of that, where does the stretching narrative go then? Aren't I stretching the tissue and making it softer and more elastic?

Jules Mitchell:

So, let's just say you are stretching the tissue, let's just say you are. Okay, so let's just say you're applying tension.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Even though you're also applying compression, but let's leave that out of the equation for now. Let's just say you're applying tension, but lots of things are happening. First of all, there's a ton of mechanical receptors in the connective tissue layer, both the superficial fascia and the deep fascial layer, so a ton of mechanical receptors that are literally waiting for mechanical input, like tension and compression to send signals to the brain.

Jules Mitchell:

I'm not a neuroscientist, so I'm not going to get into what happens in the brain. You can bring a neuroscientist on the podcast to talk about that, but there's a lot of perception and response happening, right?

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

There's mechanical receptors. In the muscles themselves, there's proprioceptor muscle spindles in the joint spaces, there's also proprioceptors in organs, Golgi tendon organs. In the skin there's mechanical receptors, so if we're just talking on a technical level, that is one part of it.

Jules Mitchell:

The other part of it is if there is any sort of adaptive change, probably not quickly like in the moment on the massage table, but over time, over repeated inputs, you could be communicating to the cell. The cell also responds to tension and the cell changes its behavior and its collagen output and all of that in response, so you can be doing things, but that's not the same thing as taking tissue, rubbing on it and then turning it into a loose overstretched waistband. That wouldn't be a good thing.

Til Luchau:

Okay, yeah. In some ways this is an old conversation. I mean, this has been banted about so much, including our 70 episodes here, that we're almost ready for some new takes on it, but no, you've said it really well, you've kind of summarized the fact that there's so much going on there and yet there's something still very interesting about what you're saying. And tell me more about the cell, are you talking about cells in particular, talking about fibroblasts for example?

Jules Mitchell:

Fibroblasts, yeah. Through fibroblasts, yeah.

Til Luchau:

You said they're responding to pressures. Does that figure into your thinking at all, your modeling?

Jules Mitchell:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, that's in chapter four and chapter five.

Til Luchau:

Right. Great, me too.

Jules Mitchell:

I mean, that's literally tissue remodeling. Again, the cell, I always use the bone analogy, because I think people can wrap their head around bones a little bit better.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

If you compress a bone or you impose load bearing exercises onto someone, right? The cell in the bone is what lays down more bone to avoid the bone getting shorter.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Getting compressed.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

But the bone cells are fibroblasts. They've just differentiated to make bone, right?

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So, with the tendons and the ligaments and the fascia, it's the same thing. It's literally the same thing. When you stretch on them, when you pull on the tissue, the cell says, "Hold on, I'm a tension resisting structure, so if you're going to stretch me, I'm going to lay down more tissue to get better at resisting stretching." It's the exact same mechanism and when you grasp it around bone, you're like, "Oh yeah, that makes sense."

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Well, I'm right with you. Go ahead, Whitney.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I wanted to go back for just a second to something you'd said in a sentence a moment or two ago, because this is another refrain that I hear from a lot of people in our field, in the massage therapy world about a person, let's say, has a typical kind of kyphotic upper thoracic posture, a head forward posture, and people say, "Oh, don't work on that person's rhomboids because they're already overstretched and you're going to make them more overstretched." So, tell me a little bit about your thoughts and ideas around this idea of do muscles get over elongated or overstretched?

Jules Mitchell:

So, for that type of scenario, I would just apply a different model. I wouldn't apply a soft tissue tension, stretching model. For something like that, I would say, "Okay, well, because of the position, perhaps some of those tissues are held in a lengthened state," you might say like eccentrically oriented or something, depending on what system you're using and on the opposing side, it would be the opposite concentrically held or shortened. Whatever language you want to use. That's why definitions are so important, right? And then you might take a look at what's happening at all the joints, joint pressure, the person's sense. We all know posture is more than just tissue. We know this, we know that posture is something that you pick up from your family and your parents and your genes and also your mood.

Jules Mitchell:

I mean, everybody knows that there's many factors involved in posture, so if we're just looking at the tissue side and the mechanical side of things, instead of looking at stretching things out and tightening things, I might look at the person's position and apply a joint mechanics model, a joint pressure model, or apply several other models, society, personality type things, psychosocial factors. There's so many other things to look at, but that doesn't mean that if you're in that posture, that yes, the tissue is being held long, and yes the tissue is being short, but stretching one side of it, isn't the approach I would take. It's just a different model.

Til Luchau:

Because?

Jules Mitchell:

Because it's not going to get longer. I mean, if you stretch a long tissue, it's not going to get longer. You know what I'm saying? If I do a forward fold, I'm a yoga person, so I can do a deep forward bend and put my palms on the floor, I'm not making my hamstrings longer, because when I stand up, they go back to their resting length. If they were longer, when I stood up, they'd be sagging on the floor behind me. I'd throw them over my shoulders to leave the room. So using your rhomboid example, if the rhomboids are super loose, because they're long, for whatever reason, if you brought your shoulders into retraction, your rhomboids would be dragging behind you, but they're not.

Jules Mitchell:

Everything is always under tension, no matter what the position, so they're just under, let's just say more tension. So, now you're looking at posture correction as a kind of a normalizing resting position instead of a tightening or loosening of a tissue, if that makes sense?

Whitney Lowe:

So, in essence then are you saying that actually those long positions have increased the functional range over which that muscle is activating or those tissues are activating, because they're considered long or is that not accurate?

Jules Mitchell:

Oh, we got to peel apart layers and talk about what functional range means and whatnot.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

There's so many different models we can apply here and one would be that there's a center and you should be able to go so far to one side and so far to the other side. And so, if you're held in a position like an extra kyphotic curve, then maybe your center has shifted to the right and so now you have further to go on one side and you don't have as much to go on the other. We could look at that model and try to bring things back to center. If you subscribe to that model, that's great.

Jules Mitchell:

But again, it's not about stretching. Do you know what I mean? You could even look at it as kind of like how the joint is functioning, what the joint perceives as center. You could look at an entirely different model that is joints are the movers and then the muscles are the responders, so you could just say that if you had lengthened rhomboids, that's the response to what you're doing every day and resetting it would be something that would relate to joint behavior instead of soft tissue shortening and lengthening.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

I'm good with that.

Whitney Lowe:

Okay, yeah. I know we've touched on this a little bit already in this discussion, but I just wanted see, and maybe I'm just shooting for the moon here, if there's a relatively short answer to this question, but to what degree would you say that stretching's benefits or due primarily to connective tissue changes or how much more are they about neurological changes? And mainly we're talking muscle here, but mild fascial tissues, muscle fascia, tendon, all those tissues involved in the stretching process.

Jules Mitchell:

Okay, so your question is, what part is neurological and what part is connective tissue?

Whitney Lowe:

If there's a way to weigh them out, or...

Til Luchau:

He asked which is more, I heard you Whitney.

Whitney Lowe:

Did I say that? To what degree are stretching benefits to do... Okay, didn't mean to say more. What percentages, if there's a way to weigh that, are related to those categories?

Jules Mitchell:

I don't think we know.

Whitney Lowe:

Or maybe even categories are even not relevant so much?

Jules Mitchell:

No, I think it's really just what model you're applying. So if you're really looking at a tissue like Biotensegrity model, you are accepting the fact that the tissue itself is doing logic computations on tension and responding. And then if you are in the neuroscience world or the pain science world, you look... So, I don't think there's any way for us at this time with our scientific technology to make a conclusion like that.

Jules Mitchell:

I just think it's really about who's looking at it and what model they're applying and it's tricky, because we know that no system works independently of any other system, so we're saying, "Oh, well here's the connective tissue system, here's the neuromuscular system." These are all just... Maybe it's blood flow. Maybe when we stretch, we get better blood flow and we feel better. I mean, really we could try that model on, there's tons of research on stretching and cardiovascular responses. It's just, that's not the model that I'm buried in, so I can't say much about it.

Til Luchau:

You're saying we don't know and it depends on the model or lens we're looking through to what degree it's neurological change we're looking for, or to what degree it might be tissue change we're looking for.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

All right.

Jules Mitchell:

Sorry.

Whitney Lowe:

I wanted an answer to give me the real truth, is what I was looking for. The hopeless pursuit of the truth.

Til Luchau:

But there's something beyond it's both or it's all of these that we don't know too, that keeps us coming back to the question because it is the elephant. We all got a hold of the trunk and we say it's this, we got a hold of the leg, we say it's that, but we're still looking for something. We're looking for an understanding paradox, this dichotomy or whatever it is. There's different ways of looking to reconcile these differences.

Jules Mitchell:

Agreed. I'm not saying that we should be satisfied with we're not certain, but that's where we're at. And one of the things that I find really interesting, especially as we move along with technology and specialization, the more specialized you get in one area, the harder it is to actually bring in other models, like a neuroscientist that is so wrapped up in neuroscience is going to have an entirely different perspective on stretching than someone who studies connective tissue behavior.

Til Luchau:

Yes.

Jules Mitchell:

And the more specialized you get, because we are so advanced intellectually, right?

Til Luchau:

Yes.

Jules Mitchell:

It becomes harder and harder and harder to just kind of know a little bit about a lot of things, I think.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Well, Whitney, are you all queued up or should I go for it?

Whitney Lowe:

No, go for it.

Til Luchau:

I'm just thinking again, since these are models, since they're narratives, how has your practice with yourself or what you're teaching, how has that been informed by all this study and all this information, all these models and narratives you've got, how has that changed over the years?

Jules Mitchell:

It has completely transformed me into a movement optimist, so to speak, to borrow a hashtag from Greg Lehman.

Til Luchau:

Greg Lehman, yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

I used to be so worried about overstretching injuring doing this, doing that, especially in yoga, the education is like, "Don't do this, you'll hurt them. Don't do this, you'll hurt them." And now that I look at actual tissue and the stress-strain curve and I'm looking at the variables, the only thing you can really do when you're stretching is you can change how hard you stretch and how far you stretch.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

That's about it. And then we can go into-

Til Luchau:

How hard, how far, how long.

Jules Mitchell:

How hard. Yeah, the length and the amount of force that you're putting.

Til Luchau:

Amount Of force. How about duration?

Jules Mitchell:

Yep, we can go into viscoelasticity and start looking at time.

Til Luchau:

How about context?

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, context?

Til Luchau:

I'm sorry, I'm not-

Jules Mitchell:

Well, context is not mechanical.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

Context, you know what I'm saying? But yes, of course we can put in all of those things, especially with range of motion, I think context matters more.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

Than actual tissue input. I think that's a big conversation as far as flexibility, but just for tissue. And if you're worried about injuring a tissue, because you're bending over to touch your toes and you're looking at the variables of how long and how much load, if you're bending over to pick up a barbell or something in a dead lift, it's the same thing, except because of the increased load, it's more length and more load, so why are we not walking all around the gym floors going, "You're going to hurt yourself. You're going to hurt yourself. You're going to tear that tissue." How is a simple stretch and yoga class going to overload the tissue?

Til Luchau:

Got you. How is loading it in one context good for it and in another context we think of it as being bad for it.

Jules Mitchell:

Exactly.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

When that cell is literally perceiving stress and strain? And so, that was kind of what changed for me is like, I'm not loading people with reckless abandon, but I think I relaxed a lot about the myths that we've been told and the dangers that we've worried about. And I really went back to teaching the person, back to that intuition side. Does it feel good for the person? That is far more important than my understanding of I'm going to stretch it and make it looser. That's not a valid way to teach.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, I like it. You mentioned the stress-strain curve again. I'm wondering if we should just summarize that. In fact, I think I found it in your book. Is this it here?

Jules Mitchell:

Yep, that's it.

Til Luchau:

That's it? Well good, chapter three, maybe we can stick it in the show notes if you're just doing the audio version. What are some of the takeaways from that? How would you describe it?

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah. Well, first of all, that's not a real stress-strain curve. That's for educational purposes that I drew.

Til Luchau:

Okay, great.

Jules Mitchell:

Doesn't exactly look like that and all tissue look different, but I drew that in PowerPoint to be able to show the different areas.

Til Luchau:

Nice.

Jules Mitchell:

And really what it's saying is that normal human movement, most of what we do, falls within that elastic region. So, you stretch a tissue and it returns to its resting length over and over and over, so you go to a yoga class, you do all this stretching, it returns to its resting length. Sure, you might feel more flexible, that's a different story. That's not because the tissue length... It returns, so that's-

Til Luchau:

The keyword being feel in there and feeling more flexible.

Jules Mitchell:

Yes, feeling more flexible, yes. That was deliberate. Yeah, you feel more flexible. You might actually be more flexible with a goniometer test, but you still feel, it's still a sensation, it's not because the connective tissue got longer. That's the main takeaway really that I have of the stress-strain curve.

Jules Mitchell:

I also mentioned that in that curve, there's some limitations. There's only two dimensions, right? Stress and strain and I think Whitney said time, or maybe, Til, you said time. There's no time on that chart or that graph, which is why you have to start looking into viscoelasticity. An example that I like to give is if you just stand up and you turn your foot backwards, so you're twisting your knee, your knee ligaments can handle that. It's not a lot of load, it's not a lot of length. It might feel weird, but you'll be fine. They'll return when you turn your foot straight again.

Jules Mitchell:

But if you did that skiing, you would have a completely different response. Your knee ligaments, they respond very differently when loads are applied quickly and I don't mean just moving fast, I mean quickly, like as in an accident versus when you're just kind of hanging out and that's why we do need to look at time eventually. But I use the stress-strain curve as an educational tool, because if you understand these two dimensions and the relationships between stress and strain, then you can start to have bigger conversations where you can add time and you can talk about these things and it changes the narrative quite a bit. I'm not as concerned about a certain a yoga shape being problematic.

Til Luchau:

Okay, great, so the relationship between stress and strain, stress being, and again, refresh my memory on the weighting of these two terms.

Jules Mitchell:

Load.

Til Luchau:

Load, and strain being deformation or...

Jules Mitchell:

Yep, yeah.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

Measured in millimeters.

Til Luchau:

Okay, so one is the amount of tension or load, the other is the amount of shape change or length change that it undergoes and those are related on a curve.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

And that's what you're working with, you say?

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

For the most part, yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Marvelous example, I think of applied biomechanics of looking at these concepts and seeing how they relate to things that we've heard that may or may not necessarily be accurate, so.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, I mean, think about it. If you stretch a hamstring, you're going to put tension through the muscle tissue and the myofascial part as well as the tendon, right? Everybody can agree on that, if you're just doing a passive hamstring stretch. We can get super technical if we want on what parts stretch more and whether they're compliant or stiff, but that is not for a podcast, but I'm just acknowledging that I can appreciate that there is some technical difference.

Jules Mitchell:

But for the most part, we can just agree that you're putting tension through the structure, right? Well, if I go to the gym and do a prone hamstring curl where I'm bending the knee, I'm also putting tension through the muscle and the tendons, right? So, it's also getting stretched, so to speak, because it's pulling on the tendon and the myofascia. So, my question is, does the cell know the difference, right? It's tension. Tension is tension.

Jules Mitchell:

And I think obviously you can't, and your audience might not know what yin yoga is, but it's a style of yoga, it's a lot of passive stretching. I don't think you can yin yoga your way into a deadlift record. Obviously there's a difference, but just on the mechanical side, as far as looseness and tightness of a tissue on the mechanical side, does it know? And in reality, if it does know, I would argue that the heavier load, which creates, because we understand the relationship between stress and strain, so the heavier load creates more length, so then literally everyone at the gym would be walking around cautioning overstretching, but they're not.

Til Luchau:

Your curve has quite a big slope of elastic range, you get more stress, you get more strain, up to, what do you call it, a yield point. And then at some point there's a fail point, but you're saying that's pretty far up the...

Jules Mitchell:

You usually run out of space first. Those measurements have come from collagen fibers in a lab where you can actually stress to the capacity of the tissue. Most normal human movement falls within the two to five, 6% strain and the failure point comes from 10, 12, depending on what research you're looking at.

Til Luchau:

Way out on the margins.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

But then something like yin yoga where you're hanging out for a longer periods of time maybe under lower load, maybe toward the end range of a joint, is that a characteristic? No.

Jules Mitchell:

Well, no, because then you creep, so when you're just doing a gentle stretch, not fast loading, over time the tissue creeps and creep is actually like a built in mechanism to avoid over stretching. Literally, the internal friction of the tissue changes temporarily, temporarily, because it's creep and recovery, to avoid going into a plastic range.

Jules Mitchell:

So now, because we're adding the third dimension of time, we can't use the two dimensional stress-strain curve, so we can appreciate the relationship between the two dimensional stress-strain curve, but as soon as we add time, we're adding another variable and all of a sudden things change and that's what creep and recovery is about.

Til Luchau:

Define creep for us, if you could.

Jules Mitchell:

It's so exciting.

Til Luchau:

It is cool. Tell us again what creep is in layman's terms.

Jules Mitchell:

So creep is after you've held a tissue at a stretch for a certain amount of time, let's just say like two minutes, right? The internal friction of the material of this non-Newtonian material, which our tissues are, changes so that you continue to strain, but at a much slower rate. And this is like when the load is constant basically, so I'm just in a forward bend or a passive held hamstring stretch on the massage table and the load is constant, someone's holding your leg at the same load.

Til Luchau:

When you say you continue to strain, just translate it to layman's terms, you continue to have shape.

Jules Mitchell:

It just gets a little longer.

Til Luchau:

Length change gets a little longer.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, it gets a little longer.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, it gets longer and looser because of its molecular structure changes.

Til Luchau:

Yes, so you're hanging on.

Jules Mitchell:

And so, it feels nice. And it does that so that you... It changes its structure so that you don't go into the plastic region, because now you're applying this other phenomena.

Til Luchau:

Time.

Jules Mitchell:

And then when you get up, it takes a little while and it changes back and you recover.

Til Luchau:

So fascia does stretch, but it maybe doesn't deform?

Jules Mitchell:

Depends how you're defining stretch and deform.

Til Luchau:

Right.

Jules Mitchell:

Right? So, to me, deformation is strain and it's temporary.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, okay.

Jules Mitchell:

But I do think tissue remodels on a larger scale, so again, it depends how you're defining deform, but if you're just looking at it as in it's resting millimeter length, no, but of course there are...

Til Luchau:

And you can strain it on a very short term level or short timescale level or you hang out with it, you get creep, but you're saying generally both those things return to whatever they were beforehand.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, and that's great.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

That's what we want.

Til Luchau:

So, Schleip calls it the flat butt syndrome. He said if it wasn't like that just in the time we're talking about it, we'd stand up and we'd have flat butts.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

That basically our fascia would've remodeled into a new shape.

Jules Mitchell:

He does call it that, you're right.

Whitney Lowe:

Going back to this time issue, I hear a lot of debates frequently from different practitioners of different systems, et cetera, kind like what's what's the right or proper amount of time to stretch and I know there's not a set answer for that, but based on what-

Til Luchau:

Two minutes, I heard her say, it's two minutes.

Whitney Lowe:

Two minutes. Okay, yeah. Yeah, we're going to hold you that, it was on camera. Based on what you were saying here, there's an argument that if you are one of the advocates of a very short duration stretch and you're probably familiar with Aaron Mattes's Active Isolated Stretching methods, which advocates two or three second stretch versus, let's say, some other type of longer, minute, minute and a half, two minute long stretch. Based on what you were saying, you'd get some benefits of creep in one of those processes, but not in the other, because you wouldn't get creep in the short duration stretch, yet it still seems to be very effective for people, so how does that time and creep issue play a part in effectiveness?

Jules Mitchell:

Oh, so many questions, effective for what? What are we measuring effectiveness as?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Range of motion?

Whitney Lowe:

Right.

Jules Mitchell:

Because I'm not talking about that.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Or are we measuring pain reduction or sports performance or cardiovascular health or what are we calling effective?

Whitney Lowe:

Right, yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So there's that.

Whitney Lowe:

It's kind of the ultimate thing of like, "Yeah, how are you measuring?" Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

If you're doing a quick stretch, you're probably just talking to the muscle spindle, would be my guess, because you're activating a stretch reflex, but I don't know, I'd need to see the specifics. And if you're doing a long, melting, juicy stretch, you're probably not activating the muscle spindle at that level, because it's too much information.

Whitney Lowe:

Right.

Jules Mitchell:

So, now you're working in a different range and then now creep is happening and I wouldn't even call creep, like you said, a benefit of creep. It's just a phenomena, that's it. It's a phenomena that exists so that our tissues don't overstretch, so when I'm sitting here doing this interview, when I walk up my lumbodorsal fascia, which is now getting loose and creeping from sitting here, when I get up and walk around in a few minutes, I'll be back to normal, because that would be super problematic if I've slept on my arm in a certain way and my shoulder joint capsule got stretched out over time, instead it creeps and then in my sleep, I sense it and I change positions, you know-

Til Luchau:

Or on long flights, you talked about that Toronto Airport design or whatever it was.

Jules Mitchell:

Exactly.

Til Luchau:

How did that go? What was that about?

Jules Mitchell:

That's the famous story of the Toronto Airport was having people injure their backs when they were getting their luggage, and so they brought in a spinal biomechanist who said, "Simple, just take the baggage claim and move it a five minute walk from the terminal." Or maybe they just make you wait for a really long time to get your bags. Maybe they do that and by that point, your connective tissue has set to its resting length again, or tightened up, so to speak, because if you, again, look at mechanics of force transmission and so on, when you're going to pick up your luggage, nobody's walking up to the carousel and doing a perfect squat form, they're just bending over, relying on the springiness of their connective tissue in their back to grab their suitcase and if that connective tissue has creeped, it's just not springy for a little while, but then it becomes springy again, otherwise we would all have lost springiness of our tissue after kindergarten, where we're forced to sit in a chair for a full day. Would've been over for us then.

Til Luchau:

Okay, and presumably there's a measurable benefit of this five minute walk or wait that there's fewer back injuries hopefully?

Jules Mitchell:

Hopefully.

Til Luchau:

We don't know, hopefully. Okay, do you think it was the walk or the wait? You said both.

Jules Mitchell:

It's probably both, yeah.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

It was just the resting length. Yeah, it could be both.

Til Luchau:

Okay, so we don't even have to do anything, we can just stand there and we'll return.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, probably. Just change the position from a lengthened position to a neutral position.

Til Luchau:

Nice. Okay, so for my next session, I'm just going to have my client take a different position and wait for a while.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, like where you go get a cup of coffee or something. This is part of the therapy.

Til Luchau:

I'm joking, but you're saying that even changing position and hanging out lingering the position has effects.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Which is why we change position all the time.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Because our essential nervous system is collecting this information. It knows when we're creeping. And so, we change the cross in our legs or we stand up and even in an airplane, people stand up, because you can sense it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I'm reminded, Til, of our previous conversation in another episode with Stuart McGill talking about ambulance drivers, being in the ambulance for 30 minutes or whatever on the way to a call where they have to go lift a 400 pound person out of a bathtub who's had a heart attack, and the benefits of time and movement after getting out of the vehicle for long periods of time and then being able to be more prepared for that heavy lift, because of the additional time there, so.

Jules Mitchell:

Perfect example.

Til Luchau:

I remember the intervention he described there was a lumbar support in the seat, but we're saying actually there just needs to be a little longer track from the ambulance into the bathtub or wherever the patient is.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, except that's probably not the route we want to go. I can't save you, I have to stand outside.

Whitney Lowe:

Paramedic can wait. My two minutes is not up. I'll be in there in a few.

Jules Mitchell:

The heart attack can wait, that's right.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Jules, I want to touch on another thing here. In your book, you talk about something called resistance stretching, which similar to a lot of things that I have heard and read about the benefits of eccentric loading. Can you comment a little bit on what that is or benefits of loading something in an eccentric fashion versus more of a static type of stretching process?

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, I can. Resistance stretching is... Unfortunately there's not really much research on it and resistance stretching is different than eccentric loading, because it's pretty low load in technique, so it is kind of different.

Jules Mitchell:

But at the same time, I advocate the technique for the general public and often within yoga teachers, because the sensation is the sensation of stretching but it's not pushing to end range. And it becomes about control through a range, which to me is what's more important in range of motion than just being able to achieve a certain range, but being able to have not just control, but like a smooth, deliberate control through a range. And you'll see people are very good at their concentric contractions and as soon as they're asked to decelerate or lengthen against resistance, it becomes very choppy. Eccentric contractions use a lot of brain power, so it's a skillful way of stretching somebody.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So, I'm just an advocate for it, because I think yoga people, yoga students, yoga teachers, we chase sensation quite a bit and we are especially known to attract people with hyper mobility, because they tend to be good at yoga and people with hyper mobility really are chasing the sensation, especially in the beginning, because they have different connective tissue. And so, resistance stretching provides all of that sensation while at the same time having the person extremely involved in the lengthening process, so that's my...

Til Luchau:

Okay, I just got about five questions. That's great.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, great.

Til Luchau:

Okay, so chasing sensation is certainly a relevant concept to massage and manual therapy too. And so, I mean there's the pros of so many of the effects might have to do with sensation, there's the cons of maybe what the sensation is. The thing that the sensation shows is isn't always the thing that has the lasting benefit, might be the argument against that. Is that what you're referring to in terms of chasing the sensation in yoga context?

Jules Mitchell:

I think in the yoga context, when I say chasing sensation, I mean end range stretching. We want to feel the stretch.

Til Luchau:

You want to feel something.

Jules Mitchell:

And so, we push harder into the stretch when maybe you could just back up a little and just do a shorter range stretch against resistance and all of a sudden you get all of that sensation and you get other benefits of eccentric along with it. I'm not against end range stretching by the way, it's just I think when somebody's looking for some sort of response and they keep trying that and if they're not getting what they want, this is a great alternative to introduce.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, okay. Next question, hyper mobility, I'm glad you mentioned that. So, hyper mobility that hurts, let's say that's what makes it hyper, does it come down to strengthening and stabilization or are there places that adaptation or relaxation might play a therapeutic role or does it all come down to getting stronger and stiffer?

Jules Mitchell:

That's a big question.

Til Luchau:

Yes.

Jules Mitchell:

So, hyper mobility, one of the struggles with hyper mobility is it's only been on the radar of researchers for the last 10, 20 years, so there's not a lot of information. And also, it's a very diverse set of conditions and it's also a spectrum, they call it a spectrum disorder, so you could have very local, high functioning, localized hyper mobility and be very high functioning all the way to the other end.

Jules Mitchell:

So, it's really tough to make assumptions, but I will say that in the yoga context, especially people with hyper mobility tend to be feeling... They often feel tight because their muscles are constantly pulling in, because their tissue, the connective tissue, has a different molecular structure. It's at the collagen level, so at the triple helix collagen level, sorry, molecular level, the collagen has a different structure, so they tend to want to stretch out and-

Til Luchau:

Because it feels good, because it feels...

Jules Mitchell:

It feels good or they feel-

Til Luchau:

Something we can do.

Jules Mitchell:

Like they need to be stretched, because they feel tight even though they're not. And so they just kind of keep doing end range stuff, which ends up just not changing anything. And so, the reason I like resistance stretching for that population is not because it's about strengthening and stabilizing, but it gives them the sense of the muscle stretch that they're looking for.

Jules Mitchell:

And at the same time, because of its eccentric nature, they're still putting tension through the system and they still need tension through the system. So going back to what is stretching or tension? The joint capsules, the ligament, the tendons, they still need tension through the system, so stretching isn't bad for them. I think that's where people's brains get like, "Well, stretching much to make it looser, so people with hyper mobility don't need to stretch."

Til Luchau:

Shouldn't do that, right.

Jules Mitchell:

People with hyper mobility still need tension through the tissues, they just need tension in a way that satisfies the sensory experience that they're looking for.

Til Luchau:

Scratches the itch, yep.

Jules Mitchell:

Yes, and that's why I think eccentric and resistance stretching can really be beneficial over passive stretching for them.

Til Luchau:

Can you give us a quick example of eccentric or active stretching so that just people can track what we're talking about?

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah, so it's kind of like a PNF. It is technically a version of a-

Til Luchau:

PNF stands for?

Jules Mitchell:

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

So let's just use the classic hamstring stretch example. You're on a table and someone's stretching your hamstring in a straight leg position. Everybody is familiar with that. Well, the passive stretch would be that you just push them as far as they can go. That would be the best.

Til Luchau:

So, heel toward their butt or whatever?

Jules Mitchell:

Well, they're supine, so you're pushing their knee toward their chest.

Til Luchau:

Knee toward chest. Okay, gotcha.

Jules Mitchell:

Exactly, yeah. So you're just pushing as hard as you can and they're not resisting you. A resistance stretch would be where you start them before their end range and they try to avoid the stretch, so now they're trying to bring their heel to the table, but you are overriding them, so it's not a battle, you're not going at 100% effort, like 20% or something like that, you can play with the ratios depending on the person, but they're just giving some resistance so that the target muscle that you're trying to stretch is being activated.

Jules Mitchell:

And so, what happens is now that they're feeling a stretch. I have this firm belief that what we feel in the stretch is actually the contraction. That's my either narrative, but so it feels really stretchy even though they're not even going to their end range. And then what happens is, because you're resisting each other, the stretcher and the stretchee are resisting each other, as soon as the stretchee has no more oomph to give, the stretch ends, because if there's there's no resistance, there's nowhere to go.

Jules Mitchell:

And so, it kind of puts the person being stretched in the driver's seat. Instead of being stretched, there's someone who's facilitating a stretch for them, but they get to control how much resistance they want to give, when they want it to stop. It's a really proprioceptively nuanced experience, which is why it is kind of like a PNF, which is a different type of stretch, but not unrelated.

Til Luchau:

Thank you. Thank you. You're making me think about how... I think it began with Robert Schleip's influence on the golgi tendon response being only activated when the muscle's contracting and then we apply to all kinds of things, bring a lot more active client movement into the table work as well.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

And then that was bolstered by say the Stecco's work on gliding and things like that and realizing that, "Okay, actually some of the effects we're having is on movement between layers and so maybe we can get movement on the client side to help facilitate that too." Any overlap there in what you're talking about or completely different maps?

Jules Mitchell:

I don't think it's separate.

Til Luchau:

Yeah?

Jules Mitchell:

I really think when you're creating muscle contractions, it puts tension on the endomysium and the endomysium kind of wrinkles and I think that promotes sliding. There's just so many layers of how this applies in multiple different models, so I'm with you. I see you.

Til Luchau:

And then we have Helene Langevin.

Jules Mitchell:

Helene.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, she's actually going to be our guest here in a next episode or two.

Jules Mitchell:

Great.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to asking her about her rat research, stretching rats and showing anti-inflammatory effects from 10 minutes, I think it was. Was it twice a day?

Jules Mitchell:

30 minutes.

Til Luchau:

Was it 30 minutes?

Jules Mitchell:

In 2005, 2006, it was 30 minutes, but she might have done research since then.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, I somehow remember 10 minutes, but...

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

So, how does that map out into your thinking?

Jules Mitchell:

I love that work as well.

Til Luchau:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

It's not my wheelhouse, so I'm glad you have her on, so you can talk to her about that, because again, I'm more of the biomechanist.

Til Luchau:

Okay.

Jules Mitchell:

But I think that is a very exciting area of research and I'm so glad she's doing that work.

Til Luchau:

The inflammatory effect-

Jules Mitchell:

It's the biochemical response to tension and it goes back to when I was saying that the cell responds to the stretch or the tension, and I'm talking about how the cell secretes collagen and arranges fibers, because that's my area. Helene is looking at the biochemical nature of the tissue of part of the neuro immune system, which is fascinating work and really ties well into the pain science work as well, so I'm thrilled about all of that and my finger is on the pulse with it, but again, it's not my space to talk about on a podcast, but I'm here for it.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, great. I'm looking forward to listening and asking the questions as well. What else, Whitney?

Whitney Lowe:

Well, I had a couple other things, I know we're kind of getting close to our wind down time, but just maybe this might be just a short kind of answer here. I noted in your book that you had said that for a lot of folks, it's kind of an oversimplification to speak about stretching and exercise correcting postural distortions or postural deviations, so we do hear that a lot of like, "Oh, you've got this position, you just need to stretch so and so, and that'll correct your postural deviation." Any quick comments or things you can can make mention about that?

Jules Mitchell:

I'll tell a little story that's kind of fun. One of my friends and colleagues is a yoga teacher for a certain school. And when they do their teacher training on the first day, they take a picture of them in what we call mountain pose, which is your standing assessment. And at the end of the training, they take another picture and they compare the two.

Jules Mitchell:

And she told me, we were talking about this exact conversation, the question that you asked, and she told me that at the end of the training everyone says that they feel like they look so much taller, their shoulders are back, all of these things, and then they attribute it, not to the fact that they got more range of motion and can clasp their hands behind their back because they stretched their pecks, but they attribute it to a sense of self and getting to know themself and the experiences of the training.

Jules Mitchell:

And I think that's such a good example. Stretching might add to that. You might actually release some endorphins and change the way you feel about yourself through stretching. I know I love the sense of stretching, but that doesn't mean that it was because the tissue got longer. So, what happens in the general public and out in the Facebook groups is, well, if stretching doesn't lengthen your pecks to improve your forward shoulder posture, then stretching, you shouldn't do it at all. And it's like, well actually it could have some benefits just probably for a different mechanism. Everybody, just relax.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, well, that's a wonderful synopsis of that. Thank you again for touching base on that. And as so many times we could go off for hours on these things, I've just got probably 50 more questions that I want to ask now to do this, but I think we've got enough to start biting into this.

Til Luchau:

I think we just got our episode title too. I think it's just like, would everybody just relax about stretching or something like that.

Whitney Lowe:

I like that.

Jules Mitchell:

Everyone just relax.

Whitney Lowe:

A good bumper sticker and t-shirt slogan.

Jules Mitchell:

Opinions are only partially valid.

Whitney Lowe:

That's right. Jules, tell us where can people find out more about your phenomenal work that you're doing and keep track with you a little bit better?

Jules Mitchell:

On my website, julesmitchell.com. I've got everything there. I have book clubs and classes and lectures and all kinds of stuff.

Whitney Lowe:

Okay, all right. That sounds good. And again, thank you so much for joining us today. It's always nice to bring in some of these additional perspectives here and you've got such a unique background to be able to view the lens through which to view a lot of these things, so again, thank you so much for contributions there.

Jules Mitchell:

Thanks for having me.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

So honored really. I was shocked you invited me, I was really humbled. Thank you, I really appreciate it.

Whitney Lowe:

All right.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, that's sweet.

Til Luchau:

I really just want to do another plug for your book and we'll put a link in the show notes about that.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Yoga Biomechanic Stretching Redefined, Handspring Publishing. Again, it's the book that I was on my way to trying to figure it out. I'm so grateful you did all that hard work and are still sharing it with all of us.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, my copy is very yellow inside from lots of highlighting.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, look at all those dog eared pages and highlighted stuff. It's so great.

Jules Mitchell:

And with mine I have pages falling out.

Til Luchau:

That's right.

Jules Mitchell:

Because I'm always referencing it.

Whitney Lowe:

Right, and your copy too, and Til and I both having written stuff before, is probably all written up inside with like, "Oh, this has got to change in the next edition. Oh, that's got to change in the next edition." All that stuff happens too.

Jules Mitchell:

Yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Jules Mitchell:

Yes.

Whitney Lowe:

So speaking of-

Jules Mitchell:

Thanks for reminding me.

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, indeed. Speaking of books, Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy education for over 20 years and thousands of schools around the world teach with their textbooks, e-textbooks and digital resources. And in these trying times, this beloved publisher is dedicated to helping educators with online friendly, digital resources that make instruction easier and more effective in the classroom or virtually.

Til Luchau:

Books of Discovery likes to say learning adventures start here. They see that same spirit here on The Thinking Practitioner podcast and they're proud to support our work, knowing we share their mission to bring the massage and body work community enlivening content that advances our profession. Check out their collection of e-textbooks and digital learning resources for pathology, kinesiology, anatomy and physiology at booksofdiscovery.com, where Thinking Practitioner listeners save 15% by entering thinking at checkout.

Whitney Lowe:

And we would like to say a thank you to all of our continuing ongoing sponsors and especially to you, the listeners for hanging out with us. Hope you got some good gems out of the conversation today. You can stop by our sites for show notes, transcripts and any extras there. From me you can find that over on academyofclinicalmassage.com, and Til, where can people find that from you?

Til Luchau:

Advanced-trainings.com. If there are questions or things you want to hear us talk about, just email us at info@thethinkingpractitioner.com or look for us on social media, just under our names today. My name is Til Luchau, yours?

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, and my name is Whitney Lowe and I will say over on social media, just tell everybody to relax a little bit over there as well.

Til Luchau:

So nice.

Whitney Lowe:

That would be a good suggestion. If you will, please do take a moment to write us on Apple Podcast as it does help other people find the show and you can hear us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or wherever else you happen to listen. Please do share the word and tell a friend and thanks again to everyone for hanging out with us today. We'll see you again soon in our next episode.

Huge thanks to our founding sponsors:

           ABMP massage therapy            Handspring Publishing

Live Workshop Schedule

This Month's Free Online Course

Our gift to you. Includes CE, Certificate, and Extras.

Follow Us

Join us on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

for information, resources, videos, and upcoming courses!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

EnglishEspañol繁體中文Deutsch日本語한국어Norsk bokmålPolski

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This