It took one StretchLab session for Jessica Plummer to know she was hooked and wanted to bring the unique wellness concept to the Omaha area. The StretchLab studio near 204th and Pacific streets in Elkhorn offers one-on-one customized, assisted stretching sessions for a monthly membership fee.
Benefits of StretchLab’s methods, which have been perfected since the franchise launched in California in 2015, include greater flexibility and range of motion, reduced muscle and joint pain, enhanced sports performance, better posture, and less stress.
“I got a stretch at a studio in Texas when we researched the company, and I loved it,” Plummer said when discussing the move to open her first studio in July 2022. “I had been dealing with hip pain for a while, and after one stretch I was pain free for six days. I told my husband, ‘We need one of these at home. If nothing else, I’ll be a customer.’”
The 380 StretchLab locations in the U.S. and Canada share the same basic design with several stretching benches (think massage tables) where highly-trained “flexologists”—a term trademarked by StretchLab for its professional staff—address areas of tightness, instability, weakness or minor pain.
Imagine a rejuvenating massage, but instead of kneading muscles, StretchLab flexologists devise a custom program using a variety of techniques, positions, and dynamic and static stretches that net long-term benefits.
“Our flexologists can do things for your body that you could never do by stretching on your own,” said Plummer, a hair stylist for 20 years who led group fitness classes before discovering Stretch Lab. “It’s amazing what they can do.”
Flexologists receive more than 100 hours of extensive training that includes work with a master flexologist in a nationally accredited program. Before applying at StretchLab, flexologists must have a background in an anatomy discipline such as exercise science, sports training, or even dance instruction. “That’s what sets us apart,” Plummer said, “the training level of our staff.”
A phased approach for each client begins with a movement assessment using StretchLab’s proprietary infrared scanner and a consultation where clients discuss injury history, current lifestyle, and wellness goals.
“It’s common for people to create a ‘new normal’ for their body from an injury that occurred 20 or 30 years ago,” said Wyatt Nickels, StretchLab Elkhorn’s general manager and a certified flexologist. “We are very results oriented in helping clients address their wellness needs or fitness goals.”
StretchLab Elkhorn has seen strong growth in client numbers and success stories: youth athletes are performing injury free, and golfers of all ages are putting more pop in their swing. A 60-year-old is independently navigating stairs with no pain. A client in her late 70s moved from inflexible and weak to running a 5k race. “She was so proud, she wore her medal and gave us all the credit,” Plummer said. “People from 10 years old to 90 are feeling and seeing a difference.”
The area’s first StretchLab has been so successful, Plummer is planning to open a second studio this spring in LaVista. “There are so many needs, we just wanted to do something to help people,” she said. “It’s been so rewarding to provide this, and the feedback has been awesome.”
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