Did anyone use a leg stretcher to achieve the splits?

At age 10 I achieved the splits by using a leg stretcher and found it was easier than the conventional way. Just wondering if anyone did it the conventional way?
Update: @Possum: hahaha it didn't do me any harm though. I'm as flexible as a balet dancer. I must say though, I didn't use the machine version, I used the cheap one, the one where you pull. Which mimics the exercise where you have a partner which stretches your leg.
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