Now Offering ELDOA at Spine Stretch

March 29, 2016

See what ELDOA can do for you!  We will be hosting a 2 hour workshop on April 26th at 2 pm and a regularly scheduled 60 min class beginning in May!  Classes during the month of May will be offered at $10.00 off the drop in rate ($5.00 off package rate).   

ELDOA is both a stretch & an exercise where you sweat and you aren’t even moving!  The ELDOA are a series of static postural exercises that decompress joints and allow normalization of function locally and globally across many body systems.  It was developed by world renowned French Osteopath Guy Voyer, DO.  

Voyer is an international leading expert on the study and treatment of fascia.  As an orthopedic MD, Osteopath, physiotherapist, athletic trainer and athlete with more than 10 other medical and paramedical specialties, it’s not surprising that he is the creator of many ground breaking therapeutic EXERCISE techniques for the body, (ELDOA, myofascial normalization stretches, precise ligamentous proprioception, segmental muscle exercises, diaphragmatic strengthening and stretching). 

Many of today’s prominent rehab and body performance specialists have studied with Dr. Voyer during their career, including Charles Poliquin, Paul Chek, Kim Goss, Dan Hellman and other current trainers for a multitude of Olympic & professional athletes and everyday people. Therefore trainers, physios, chiros, kinesiologists, osteopaths, exercise specialists, and bodyworkers will all appreciate Voyer’s holistic body perspective. 

ELDOA is a French acronym that stands for Entirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptation Osteo-Articulaire. In English, the translation is LOADS, for Longitudinal Osteoarticular Decoaptation Stretching. ELDOA is both a myofascial stretch and a static strengthening exercise that helps normalize fascial chains and decompress targeted joints.

Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to, toning the intrinsic muscles of the spine for more stability and less injury risk, normalizing nerve function through spinal disc decompression, stretching the suspensory muscles and connective tissue for organs. We tend to forget that not only does ELDOA increase postural health, but that posture IS health. The spine houses the nerves that feed our organs, and the connective tissue that suspends the organs enhances their function and attaches to the spine.

Voyer developed the ELDOA weaving threads in from the international bodywork research of R. Klapp, Niederhoffer, Kabat, Brunnstrom, Bobath, Piret & Beziers, Mezieres, and Godlieve and Struyf-Denis.

An ELDOA creates decompression, traction and normalization of fluids and tissue.  Where there is dysfunction, ELDOA can normalize muscles, ligaments, nerves, fascia, organs, proprioception and therefore the function of the nervous system and even endocrine systems is noted. Using the idea that mirco movement enhances macro function, ELDOA affects local and global body systems bringing them into harmony. It’s not unusual for a client with back pain to do ELDOA and experience less back pain, but also have normalized digestion, reproductive function, better sleep, less heart palpitations and more due to the effects of an ELDOA practice.

There is an ELDOA posture for each level of the spine and for each axis of the SI joint, the hip, the shoulder and even precise ELDOA for the cranial bones to normalize the movement of cerebral spinal fluid.  ELDOA is used to treat back and joint pain (getting to the root cause), increase stability, lessen injury risk, enhance athletic performance and everyday functioning of the body.

Understanding ELDOA takes more than just memorizing what the ideal postural position for that joint segment would look like. It will look different for each person based on their limitations.  An understanding of complexity and systems theory is taught in ELDOA courses to help the practitioner truly understand how the body works as a whole and where to intervene. A functional understanding of the body’s fascia system is necessary to understand how to put the fascia chains into tension for each person’s body limitations. The wonderful thing about ELDOA is that it can be used as a tool for assessment as well. Upon getting a client into the position for a specific ELDOA we can see the dysfunction in areas that give us clues to further help this person experience better health and function in their body.

Typically the ELDOA is a “goal” in a session or class where multiple strategies are used to help achieve the best ELDOA for a targeted joint(s). For example, if the patient has mid back pain as so many desk workers do, we may choose to decompress at T6/7 area which is helpful for desk-workers. Usually the important transition T12/L1 is included and targeted to assist both thoracic and lumbar mobilization.

What structures are located at this level that can be affecting the thoracolumbar junction? To name a few important ones- the diaphragm, the psoas, the phrenic center of the diaphragm higher and the lower trapezius, the root of the mesentery lower, etc.  Neurological, proprioceptive exercises will be taught to bring awareness to the cortical spinal tract and post central gyrus in the brain of this area, breathwork will be performed to begin to “milk” the fluid in this area, myofascial normalization stretching of the muscles attaching in that area, lemniscat movements to reeducate and create dissociation of the thorax from the lumbar and pelvis. Diaphragm strengthening exercises as well will help define this area and prep it for decompression and normalization. After all this, when one or more ELDOA in that area are performed, the joints, fluid and tissue normalize easier and have a system wide affect on the health of the organism. Big bang for the buck for sure!

Everyone benefits from ELDOA. The posture itself is a static hold for one minute that creates an aerobic metabolism and the byproducts of which are heat and water- sweat! That’s right, you’re not moving, but you’re sweating. This building up of heat and kinetic sense in the spinal joint creates a polarity change at the disc membrane level allowing sodium ions and water to flow back into the disc, rehydrating it and increasing space in the joint by normalizing supporting muscle tone. In some cases a fluidic model for performing an ELDOA may be used where the person goes in and out fluidically holding only for 10-15 seconds a few times to release adhesive patterns and move more fluid initially before attempting, as a progression, the full ELDOA.

In the most extreme cases, ELDOA has managed even 2 cm L5/S1 disc herniations and has seen people come off of pain medication, cancelled surgery, restored joint function allowing people to come back to leading a normal life. It is a practice that you learn, become more aware of your body and its function, begin normalizing this function and feel better. You can do it in class format, in private sessions, utilize ELDOA as part of a regular bodywork or personal training session to enhance recovery and learn to do your specifically helpful ELDOAs at home.

Stretch & strengthen your spine, normalize organ function and harmonize your body.  There are many factors of progression for ELDOA and the related segmental strengthening exercises, myofascial stretches and diaphragm focused osteopathic exercises. Embarking on an ELDOA exploration is a true way to discover the complexity and miracle that is YOUR body. You only get one body in this life. How much does your body do for you? What do you do for your body?

Author: Lisa Bender

Lisa Bender, studio director, is an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Registered Massage Therapist and STOTT® Certified Pilates Instructor. Lisa believes that optimal health begins with intelligent exercise and unifying body and physiological function.
Lisa Bender Lisa Bender
March 29, 2016 March 29, 2016

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