BY: Dr. Mark Hsu, DC

“Stretch…foam roll…self-massage!”

Who hasn’t heard these magical words?

Doctors, coaches, fellow runners, magazines, and online articles all mention them at some point 

Who has also heard athletes say they feel tighter even though they are ALWAYS stretching?


At Model Wellness, you will understand why I will educate patients on this important routine:


Our bodies and muscles tend to find shortcuts to do repetitive movement

Meaning… muscle are shortened with knots when do the same movement

Constantly pounding pavement will make your muscles stuck in a shortened state

I associate tightness with knots or trigger points located in the muscles

Knots are bundles of muscle that are really stuck together and maybe twisted

When your muscles are filled with these knots you can’t function properly

You can stretch 24/7 but you most likely did nothing to the knot itself

Again, some athletes are just built differently!

Stretching may provide temporary relief but it may cause you to become tighter

Simply because the knot has grown from seizing up the tissue you just stretched!

First, you need to do some sort of self-massage 

It can be foam/ LAX ball rolling or massage gun over the knot to break it up and smooth it out

Reach out to me in regards to the massage gun because there are pros and cons 

Once the knot is taken care of, that is when you can fully stretch out that muscle

Stretched out muscle is relaxed / lengthened to allow the correct engagement for your activities

This is why its important to foam roll first and then stretch rather the other way around

I recommend this protocol so you go into your activity without knots / tightness 

Then after your activity, you release the knots that formed from the activity

Once you release the knots, what is next? Yes, STRETCHING!

My protocol allows muscles to remember (aka muscle memory) to stay the new relaxed you

It is not easy to do because after activities, who truly wants to spend time to do recovery?

Many tend to go about their day flashing the medals and forget to apply recovery techniques

I can attest to that as well during the start of my running journey

I ended up not wanting to doing ANYTHING after a run 

I wanted to drink my beer, eat my hard earned banana, and take a “nap” until the next day 

I was so sore, I needed the whole week to recovery!

Once I became a massage therapist and then a doctor of chiropractic, did I realize this protocol

This was back in 2015 and those who come see me are thankful with an indepth explanation 

Hopefully, you can take my protocol and apply it to your journey as well

Visit to make your appointment with me! 

I hope to be a part of the key that unlocks your potential!