We Tried the StretchLab in Dallas, and This Is What Happened

When it comes to self-care, Dallas offers plenty of options. Dallas has a nightclub/gym for those who need to be hello pumped up through live music. There’s a tickle bar for those who find that kind of thing relaxing, plus oxygen bars, a Botox bar, naked yoga and plenty of soul-cycling, pole-dancing, rock-climbing, pilates and CrossFit studios.

But for some of us, the only part of exercise we’ll consider is the stretching part. And a new place in Dallas will stretch your body for you.

As Mockingbird Station continues to grow, new tenants are arriving to meet a variety of needs. One of the neighborhood’s newest spots offers a California-based wellness concept called StretchLab, which seeks to alleviate an assortment of ailments through simple stretch exercises.

StrechLab is targeted to people with weary, knotted muscles and claims to help improve flexibility, relieve pain and correct imbalances in the body. Each stretch session is spearheaded by a practitioner who has had at least 60 hours of professional training. Those attending the stretch session with the purpose of being stretched can choose either a 25-minute muscle maintenance stretch or the standard 50-minute stretch. Prices vary according to membership status.

The franchise has several spaces in DFW, including Addison, Southlake and Flower Mound. During our visit to the newly opened Mockingbird Station location, we opted for the 50-minute stretch. And for this late-20s millennial with unexplained back pain, it was damn near heavenly.

While the 25-minute muscle maintenance stretch is designed for those who are pressed for time and simply seeking relief for pain in one of the major muscle groups, the 50-minute stretch is a full-body stretch aimed at improving the client’s range of motion and flexibility, loosening tight muscles and easing stiff joints.

But for some of us, the only part of exercise we’ll consider is the stretching part. And a new place in Dallas will stretch your body for you.

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At the beginning of our visit, we lay on a padded bed while a flexologist created a personalized routine. The flexologist then instructed us to lie or sit in certain positions, including a supine position with hands behind the head, and a seated position, after which the flexologist comes from behind and pulls the limbs back gently, calming the back and chest muscles. Another stretch exercise includes stretch-ees lying on their backs, as the flexologist picks up either leg, pushing them back and forth in a bicycle motion.

Granted, it may seem weird to have a stranger all up in your space like that, especially in the midst of a multi-streak pandemic, but those in good health may find themselves feeling relief after a session.

People who have a lot of physical tension may feel a sharp sense of pain during the first session. Personally, I felt a pain similar to that when you crack your toes or knuckles, but times 10. Thankfully, it’s only temporary, and the relief that follows lasts for a good few days.

To say that stretching alleviated my anxiety might be a bit of a … wait for it … stretch. But the session did provide a good deal of relief, albeit temporary, for the muscle tension I’ve been suffering for years — most likely due to carrying backpacks and messenger bags with a laptop and photography equipment.

Like IV drip treatments, goat yoga and acupuncture, StretchLab is something you should try at least once in your life. I don’t see myself signing up for a long-term membership or coming in regularly, but I do look forward to sporadic visits as needed.

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