Pin and stretch is a deep tissue massage and stretching technique that is highly effective at treating problems with muscle, tendon, ligament and fascia. We teach this technique often throughout our massage course, as part of our Deep Tissue massage classes and in our Stretching and Thai Yoga Massage classes. We find this technique greatly beneficial and therapeutic for clients. With Pin & Stretch, specific areas are identified in muscles and tendons where overuse has caused repetitive injury and scar tissue has built up. Pin and stretch is a method of stretching involving shortening the muscle length by pinning the muscle, then taking the muscle through the full range of motion.
The stretch can be applied passively by the therapist or actively by the client. The therapist uses their hand (or other body part such as an elbow or forearm) to manually place a “pin” into the belly of the muscle and then moves one of the muscle’s attachments away from that pinned point. The pin acts to stop the stretch force from spreading to the rest of the muscle beyond the pin point. Therefore, with the pin and stretch technique, the force of the stretch will be concentrated to the region of the muscle that is between the pinned point and the attachment that is moved. Moving the muscle through the full range of motion while in a shortened state increases stretch of the muscle and restores proper muscle length. After the massage, nerve conduction will improve as well as blood and lymph flow throughout the body to speed up the rate of healing and improve performance.
Quick tips on how to perform Pin and Stretch:
- Pin the target muscle using finger, palm pressure, or elbow pressure.
- Apply stretch to the muscle.
Pin & Stretch works most effectively on the more distal aspect of a muscle attachment. Pin & Stretch is an amazing technique to use on the Piriformis muscle, neck and upper back muscles, and arm flexor muscles, just to name a few of our favorites!