HOW DOES IT WORK?
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a particular technique/stretch which enhances muscle elasticity and has been shown, under certain circumstances, to have a positive effect on both active and passive range of movements. PNF is supposed to be great for improving flexibility.
It could possibly be compared to a passive form of Yoga, as it has similar benefits on the body and mind. We use PNF on any most areas of the body and it is completely safe and pain-free.
For example, a PNF stretch is performed for the hamstrings by getting the client to lay on their back. The leg will be brought up by the practitioner to the first point that the client feels stretch. This spot will be held for 8 seconds. The client will then try to ‘bring their heel towards their glute’ (contract their hamstrings) with 20% of their strength for 8 seconds, as they hold their breath. As they breathe out, they relax the hamstring and the practitioner takes their hamstring into a further and deeper stretch. This is repeated 3 times.
The results are an instant increase in muscle length and flexibility. This new flexibility will mean the client won’t be as restricted in a certain area and this can encourage more fluid and pain-free movement for them.