Stress Releaser Stretchcloth®:
The Gentle Way to Physical Fitness
The exercises in this easy-to-follow, spiral-bound book enhance the effects of Somatic Stretch® exercises through the use of the “Stretchcloth,” a unique exercise aid devised by the author consisting of a lengthy band of slightly stretchy material.
The twenty-seven exercises deepen stretches and ease you through areas of joint restriction, releasing tension and increasing your flexibility. They also help to isolate and strengthen muscles in the abdomen, back, and rib cage for proper weight support, removing strain and promoting a healthy back.
By varying the length of the cloth and using more, or less, pressure, the exercises can be done as gently or intensely as desired. The book opens flat for easy viewing and each exercise has short, concise instructions accompanied by large photographs.
Better than going to the gym, July 20, 2000
By A Customer
This book is clear in instruction and gives exercises that are wonderful for stretching and strengthening. Breathing is emphasized and the exercises have a rhythm to them that are a pleasure to do. The exercises are sound and are a wonderful alternative to machines and an excellent warm-up if one is working out at a fitness center.
I have owned this book for a few months now and finally felt I should write a review, because this approach to stretching has been helping me so much. (Note: I bought the book new from Amazon and it included the stretchcloth in a pocket in the back of the book. The cloth is very durable and shows no signs of wear. Also, I love that the cloth is so portable.)
I bought the book because I was wanting to try yet another approach to address my chronically tight lower back, hamstrings, and calves. As I’ve continued to learn and do the exercises, I’v been surprised at just how effective they are. Before finding this book, I had tried several approaches to unwinding tight muscles, including Feldenkrais and Hanna Somatics. While the work of Feldenkrais and Thomas Hanna is truly brilliant, at a certain point I found myself wanting something that would (1) take less time than Feldenrais, (2) effectively target more parts of the body than Hanna’s basic 10 moves seemed to, and (3) give me the satisfying feeling you get from a good stretch.
The stretching in this book has a somatics approach, even a yogic approach one might say in that it’s about going slowly enough to stay in tune with your body and feel it from the inside out. The 27 exercises target all the parts of the body in an efficient way (although you certainly don’t have to do all of the exercises every day.) On average, I do about 20 minutes a day, sometimes up to 45 minutes, and sometimes only 10 minutes. Even if I have just 10 minutes, I do a few key exercises for the parts of the body I need, and, voila, I feel so much better! I’ve come to feel it’s both the most effective and efficient way of stretching I’ve experienced. I feel like I’m doing a kind of physical and inner therapy on myself.
The instructions in the book are clear and there are large photos to look it. And the lay-flat spiral binding makes it easy to consult the book while you’re working. Of course, there is a learning curve since you’re learning from a book. I do encourage anyone interested in a healthful and innovative approach to stretching to stick with it — it’s worth it!
Toni Rice USA October, 2004
I was broadsided in my car by another vehicle and had a broken and dislocated rib and a sprained neck. I had knee surgery for a tear I had incurred also. With the help of your book I am finally able to isolate and bring some stretch and movement into some of these areas.