FST is a system that relies on the client to be relaxed in order for the session to be effective. FST does not work when the client is tense, therefore it is the job of the FST practitioner to effectively induce a state of relaxation in his/her client by instructing the client on proper breathing, and progressing the stretches gradually to develop trust with the client. Once this trust is developed, the client falls into a deep state of relaxation throughout which the practitioner stretches the client in different planes of movement in synch with the client's breathing rhythm.
The client/practitioner interaction is physical. This translates into a direct intention from the practitioner to the client. During FST, the client's one and only task is to be as relaxed as possible and focus on breathing alone. Once the client becomes accustomed to the movements over the course of several sessions, he/she may be instructed to engage certain muscles to facilitate a deeper stretch in some planes of movement; aside from that, the client lies down and relaxes while the practitioner does the rest.
The majority of people who undergo an FST session describe themselves as feeling better, lighter, taller, and more relaxed. Many also feel circulation and warmth in muscles and body parts that they have never felt before.
Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic Nervous System
When we are stressed, our Sympathetic Nervous System is dominant; it is responsible for priming us for action. It is the fight or flight response. The Sympathetic Nervous System counteracts the Parasympathetic Nervous System which is responsible for the body's functions at rest: digestion, salivation, sexual arousal, etc.
Being in a perpetual state of stress wreaks havoc on the way one's body functions; the Sympathetic Nervous System stays dominant and important bodily processes like digestion and libido suffer.
FST brings the client into a Parasympathetic state in a unique way. The client/practitioner rhythm that happens during an FST session demands concentration from the client. The client must be aware of their breathing (rate, depth), and is constantly being guided by the practitioner. This in turn takes the client's mind off of thoughts that could normally cause stress, and induces a state of relaxation in the client.