Dave Watson was walking with a friend who works as a personal trainer when they stopped him and asked if he'd ever been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
“They knew just by watching me walk,” he said.
Watson went to see a specialist and, sure enough, doctors confirmed his friend's suspicions, he said. He lives with most of the disease's symptoms.
“I have a typical Parkinson's gait, which means I walk and shuffle my feet. That's usually because the muscles are bound up,” he said.
Watson prioritizes vigorous exercise and good nutrition in managing Parkinson's, but he also suffered an ATV accident recently. A former football coach at Winona State University in Minnesota and a high school coach of more than two decades, Watson said he believes in the benefits of stretching.
So he started going to StretchLab, which now has a location in Lone Tree, adding deep stretching sessions with a “flexologist” to his recovery regimen.
“The experience has been absolutely fantastic. I've seen some pretty serious improvement, especially in my surgical leg,” he said. “It helps with my cognitive issues. All the symptoms that come with Parkinson's are subsiding.”
StretchLab's site in Lone Tree at 9090 Sky Ridge Avenue held a soft opening on July 17 and a grand opening on Sept. 24. The location is co-owned by Krystle and Bryan Crowe.
The couple has worked in the energy sector but always wanted to own their own business. They discovered StretchLab while working with a franchise broker in 2020.
“We really loved the fact that it was a mobility that's been around for a really long time, and they have taken it and given it more energy,” Krystle said.
Stretching is often used to improve the body's range of motion and flexibility, but also to alleviate pain or improve posture.
One stretching technique used by StretchLab is called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF. The form of stretching involves contracting muscles as well as stretching. StretchLab also uses static stretching, or holding a stretch for a set amount of time, and dynamic stretching, which incorporates movement into the stretch.
Krystle said people often think of stretching as a wellness technique for elite athletes or highly active people, but StretchLab aims to work with a variety of clients.
“We have all ranges of age groups, from young athletes, 13-years-old, to elderly clients,” general manager Angie Kraske said. “People who are very active in sports, and people who are very sedentary, desk jobs.”