Take time for a stretch
By Kelly Daniel, Membership & Marketing Manager, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
Many are becoming familiar with the new services that downtown business Stretch ER Fascial Stretch Therapy™ & Pilates offers since its opening in fall of 2016. For owner Elena Ramirez, pictured above in her Pilates studio, the business developed from years of training in healing methods and her own personal practices. (Photos by Brandee Best Photography)
“I have always been a healer in some way or another,” Ramirez said. “I was hooked on fascial stretch therapy once it was performed on me. It is all science-based and is proven to increase performance.”
Her background includes eight years of service in the U.S. Air Force as an aerospace medical technician. She specialized in intensive care, pediatrics, and allergy and immunizations. “I served three tours in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan, working in the ICU while in war zones.”
After completing her service in the Air Force Ramirez said she felt a passion to heal but in a “non-traditional way and different from Westernized medicine.”
That passion for alternative healing methods may have started at age 16 in her practice in Pilates. She loves teaching Pilates to others, “seeing the changes that occur when rehabbing, and being able to practice through all stages and ages of life,” she said.
An important realization and connection was made for Ramirez while studying kinesiological science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She heard about fascial stretch therapy from a fellow student.
Ramirez said that bringing the new methods to the area opens up communication opportunities, and that she is happy to "talk to anyone who has questions regarding what it is that I do.” She explained that “fascia is your connective tissue, encapsulating every cell and muscle fiber, then grouping our muscle in functional lines. Connective tissue is what is pulling and.pushing on your bony structures to cause faulty alignment. Our body develops layers of connective tissue to protect us from exposure to prolonged postures.”
The fascial stretch therapy Ramirez performs takes the body into ranges of motion to pull away the layers of fascial adhesions. “Almost every system runs through your fascial network, Relieving the adhesions locked up in this network helps all other systems such as circulatory, nervous, and lymphatic,” she said. “It is pain free and feels like heaven. After your session you feel like you have a new body.”
Ramirez was born and raised in Nacogdoches and did not always plan to return to open a practice. She has spent time “rolling where the universe takes me,” she said. “I have a strong family and friend base here and that drives me. I haven’t been around this many loved ones in sometime and it feels good to be home and serve this lovely community. It makes my heart happy helping people I have known most of my life.”
The techniques are attracting clients from surrounding communities including larger cities such as Tyler. Ramirez plans to have a Pilates studio with 10 pieces of Pilates equipment to accommodate group Pilates classes. Within 10-years, her goal is to have a Pilates instructor teaching studio as well as have more stretch therapists on board.
“The body is so smart,” Ramirez said. “If it tells you something hurts, lay off of it for a while. If you are tight, stretch. Don’t numb the body and push past your boundaries. Listen and feel where your body takes you.”