An image of a therapist helping a female client stretch is used to illustrate the concept of assisted stretching.

Assisted stretching services are booming, and as a professional massage therapist, you are in the perfect position to take advantage of this shift toward stretching and recovery services. Adding assisted stretching to your list of treatments is a great way to better serve your clients and add an additional revenue stream to your practice, without adding any additional costs to your practice.

Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in the popularity of assisted stretching—to the point that studios dedicated to assisted stretching are popping up all over the country.

Why is assisted stretching growing in popularity? For a long time, the fitness community has focused on training harder, pushing more weight, higher-intensity workouts, and running faster and further—but the tide is turning.

People are starting to realize that if they want to keep doing their favorite workouts, they need to take their recovery and longevity seriously. That’s where assisted stretching comes in.

Benefits of Assisted Stretching

Benefits of assisted stretching to your clients are numerous. Not only does assisted stretching improve flexibility, mobility and range of motion, which improves free movement, it also reduces aches, pains and stiff, tight muscles and joints.

For athletes and weekend warriors, increased flexibility improves sporting performance and reduces such soft-tissue injuries as muscle and tendon strains. It also reduces recovery time, fatigue and delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Other benefits of stretching include improved posture, increased body awareness, coordination and energy, plus improved circulation, relaxation and stress relief. According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching improves flexibility, which in turn:

• Improves performance in physical activities

• Decreases risk of injuries

• Helps joints move through their full range of motion

• Increases muscle blood flow

• Enables muscles to work most effectively

• Improves the ability to do daily activities

Assisted stretching can benefit virtually any client cohort. One study, “The effects of an active-assisted stretching program on functional performance in elderly persons: a pilot study,” published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, indicated that an eight-week course of assisted stretching effectively reduced age-related losses in ROM and improved functional performance in elderly persons with insufficient physical reserves to perform higher-intensity exercises.

Assisted Stretching in Massage Practice

There are several ways to align assisted stretching with your existing treatments. You can also offer it as a stand-alone service.

One of the first ways to integrate assisted stretching into your practice is to add a few assisted stretches to your existing treatments. For example, if you notice one of your clients has tight hamstrings that are not loosening up as they should with your massage work, stop the session and do a few assisted stretches on their hamstrings and then return to massaging. The stretches will complement the massage and help loosen up those tight muscles.

Another way to use assisted stretching is to do a half-and-half session. The first half of your session is spent on massage, while the second half is spent on assisted stretching.

You can also offer assisted stretching as a stand-alone session. You can offer a 15-, 30- or 60-minute session, or any time period that suits you and your client. This option gives you the opportunity to spend more time with the client on their flexibility, cover more muscle groups, and go deeper into the muscle groups you’re working on.

Marketing Assisted Stretching

The first place to get clients for your new assisted stretching services is with your existing clients and past clients. Let them know you’re offering assisted stretching. Explain to them what assisted stretching is and how it can benefit them, and then offer them an incentive to come try it. Remember to ask your clients to refer their family and friends.

One of the best ways to acquire new clients is to get involved with your local community and develop relationships with local businesses and influencers.

You can create a joint venture with local personal trainers, osteopaths, chiropractors and physical therapists. You can create a joint venture with local gyms, sports clubs, fitness studios and schools.

The best way to develop these relationships is to offer these people a free stretching mini-session. Invite them to your practice or go to them, and give them a free one-hour stretch. Spend time with them, get to know them, develop a relationship with them and even offer them an incentive to send clients to you.

Pricing Assisted Stretching Services

The first thing to consider when pricing your assisted stretching services is your own education, your own experience and how many years you’ve been working in the massage industry. Just as with your massage, if you’ve been a massage therapist for 20 years and built a reputation as being professional and well-educated, then you can charge a premium for your assisted stretching services.

If you’re just starting out, then you may need to price your services a little lower.

Another factor to consider is your location. What do people expect to pay for similar services in your area? Consider the socioeconomic situation in your local area. If you’re in a very expensive area, don’t underprice yourself and vice versa.

To start with, I recommend you charge a price similar to your existing services. If you charge $90 for a one-hour session, then you should be able to charge about the same amount for your assisted stretching services.

As a point of reference, StretchLab, a franchised stretching studio, charges customers a $149 membership fee for four 25-minute assisted stretching sessions per month. A non-membership-based stand-alone 50-minute assisted stretching session at StretchLab costs $95.

Customize Assisted Stretching

It’s important to customize and personalize the stretching session for your client, just like you would with massage. Your client wants to know you are engaged enough to pick up on what’s important to them and to realize what areas you need work on, and then to customize the routine for them.

Start with an assessment for the client’s written record, just as you would with massage: Why have they come to see you? Is there something that’s troubling them? Do they have some sort of ache, pain or injury? Do they want to improve their sporting performance? Are they struggling to sit at work all day? All this information will give you clues as to what you need to focus on.

Next, assess the client from a visual perspective, both while standing and while walking or moving. Look for such things as: Is one shoulder higher than the other? Does their head lean toward one side? Do they look twisted? Are their hips not exactly level? Do they favor one leg more than the other? When they walk, does one foot turn out or turn in more than the other?

Then comes a physical assessment. Use the first session to get to know the client. Don’t do too much or push the stretches too hard. Focus on the major muscle groups and get feedback from the client about what they’re feeling.

Start to look for areas or muscle groups that are tight. Take notice of any imbalances in the client. Is one side of the client tighter than the other side? Be aware if the client struggles to get into a position or tenses up when you start a stretch. All these things are clues about what you need to work on and where you need to focus your attention with this client.

People Want to be Stretched

Assisted stretching’s growing popularity offers massage therapists the opportunity to grab ahold of this trend to augment the benefits of massage and create an additional revenue stream—one that is easier on the therapist’s body than is massage.

Many CE trainers now offer training in assisted stretching to massage therapists. Why wait? Stretch yourself and grow professionally with this healthy trend!

Brad Walker

About the Author

Brad Walker is often referred to as the Stretch Coach and has even been called the Stretching Guru. Such magazines as Runners World, Bicycling, Triathlete, Swimming & Fitness and Triathlon Sports have all featured his work. Amazon has listed his books on five best-seller lists. Google cites over 100,000 references to Walker. Satisfied customers from 122 countries have sent thousands of verified customer reviews. If you want to know more about stretching, flexibility and how to add assisted stretching to your practice, visit