Generally, it’s nice when other people do things for you. It’s especially nice when they do things that you otherwise would have neglected to do yourself. It could be the dishes, laundry, drying your hair, and now, it can be stretching, too.
Yes, you can actually pay a (trained and vetted) stranger to methodically stretch you out. Aside from just feeling really good, recovery is also Big Business because stretching is crucial to lengthening muscles and preventing injury. And also because the fitness industry pummelled us with more HIIT than we can handle and now it’s trying to course correct.
The space is the brainchild of Vanessa Chu and her business partner, Amanda Freeman, who previously brought us SLT. The concept is fairly simple: a certified bodyworker provides one-on-one dynamic stretching in a semi-private vestibule. When you arrive, you fill out an intake form that asks everything from the body parts you’re looking to work on to whether or not you want to make conversation with the person who’s stretching you. The survey is easy to fill out and it asks the important questions. We like this part.
The stretching itself is obviously nice, too. Your Stretch*r will stretch each muscle out a few times, gradually going deeper, but never in a painful way. It definitely feels good, which is kind of all you can say about someone stretching you out. And because your Strech*r is an expert, they’re careful not to overdo it—making injury less likely.
Stretch*d offers 25, 55, and 75 minute sessions. The longer the session, the more of an opportunity for your stretcher to work on spots that are particularly tight. They also offer a bunch of add-ons (all of which will cost you) like compression boots, a hypervolt gun, or plain old additional time. It’s a nice way to treat yourself, especially if you sit at a desk all day.
If we had to make a comparison, we’d say Stretch*d is kind of like Drybar…for stretching. If you just want to feel a little better, go here. Just like Drybar won’t give you a cut or color, Stretch*d won’t make any serious problems or injuries go away. You should go to a doctor for that. And once you get done with tax and tip, the 55 minute option is pretty comparable to the price of a physical therapy session, so that’s something to consider.
Stretch*d is a fun thing to do with a friend and it’s a good gift for someone who works out a lot. There’s not much to dislike about this experience as long as you don’t go in expecting a massage or physical therapy. This is different, but it’s still very, very nice.
— Photo Credit: Active Spaces.