My first introduction to ELDOA
A couple years ago I saw a flyer about ELDOA pass by the studio and didn’t think much of it. Soon after, I heard more and more about this special technique that apparently had amazing results. These days there are so many fads out there. I still wasn’t sold.
I decided to try an intro night. I found it tiring and a bit boring. It was supposed to be for back pain, but my back and SI joints kept hurting throughout the exercises. However, at the end of the class when I was finished, something felt different. My back hurt less. But still, I wasn’t sold.
One of our Body Harmonics instructors then got certified and was absolutely raving about it. She wanted to start a class at the studio. Despite the fact that ELDOA didn’t resonate with me, this was an excellent instructor and I trusted her and her expertise. Before adding a class to the schedule, I asked her to work with my mother in law who had extreme back pain that was getting worse and worse.
When my mother in law walked in for her first ELDOA session, her ribs were very laterally shifted over her pelvis. This was her normal stance. By the end of the hour, she was walking taller and straighter than I’d seen her since I’d met her. Even better, the effects lasted her a couple days. This was amazing! I was finally understood the benefits, was excited to add a class to the Body Harmonics schedule and ready to sign up for my Level 1 ELDOA training.
ELDOA training and the early days
When I got to the training, it was even more amazing than I thought it would be. The training started with some anatomy and basic info re what ELDOA is. Then we began “learning by doing”. We basically spent 1.5 intense days practicing 4 ELDOA’s for the spine and 2 general ELDOA’s. This was the first time I’d done ELDOA and personally felt what was going on. It took the two days and lots of repetition, but my body transformed. My hips loosened up, my spine began to thaw out and I was able to access my core more effectively than ever before.
I practiced these ELDOAs with many of my private clients and used them as a cool down at the end of their sessions. Clients of all ages and abilities loved and really felt the benefits of ELDOA.
Even more close to my heart, I was on vacation with my family in Eastern Canada. We’d just finished a long car ride from PEI to Halifax. My mother, who had recently had her second hip replacement, was experiencing increasing back pain since the surgery and especially from the car ride.
I asked if she’d be willing to try an ELDOA. At first she was skeptical, but she couldn’t say no to her daughter. Here’s her feedback after doing an ELDOA for her L5/S1 articulation:
“I had to listen hard to what you were saying. And it hurt. Like a good hurt, because it was stretchy. It stretched from my wrists, all the way down my back to my ankles – that was really strange. And I was afraid it was going to hurt, but I didn’t. When I stood up, everything was realigned, my pain was gone and I when I stood up, I was on my heels and felt grounded. In the end, it was actually quite a pleasant experience and I’d like to try more so I can do it myself at home.”
Since then, I’ve completed my ELDOA Level 2 & 3 Certification. I can now teach ELDOA postures that can help treat the entire spine, rib cage, sternum, hips and the shoulder complex. I absolutely love using the postures for my own body, with clients and even subbing ELDOA group classes at Body Harmonics.
So what exactly is ELDOA?
ELDOA is a technique developed by French Osteopath, Dr. Guy Voyer. He studied many forms of back pain relief in attempt to treat his own back. After years of study, he finally developed the ELDOA method.
Simply stated, each ELODA is a specific posture designed to create a myofascial tension at a specific joint. A joint is where two bones meet and for a variety of reasons (poor posture, heavy bags, sitting too much, tight shoes, repetitive strain, etc.), they don’t sit in optimal alignment.
Doing an ELDOA posture can help create more space in that specific pair of joints to help realign the body and decrease pain.
Three unexpected surprises about ELDOA
Awareness & focus: when you do ELDOA, you must build awareness throughout the body to make it work well. This takes patience, time and focus. You learn about the body, how it moves and how you
Intensity and physical challenge: although there is movement in an ELDOA session to prepare the body for each posture, each specific posture is ideally held for one minute. From a distance, this looks simple and doesn’t sound like much. However, it is very demanding and physically intense.
Quick and effective pain relief: in the beginning, it takes practice to learn the rules, optimize your form and position and get the most out of each exercise. Once you learn the ELDOA techniques and specific postures you’re working on, each one can be done in just one minute. For some, one pose is enough for instant relief. For others, it might take a few. Regardless, it’s relatively quick and very effective.
Author: Larisa Makuch
Larisa Makuch is a Pilates & Movement teacher, teacher trainer and ELDOA instructor. She draws on her experiences to create innovative teaching and business strategies. Larisa has a Body Harmonics Comprehensive Pilates diploma, several Specialist diplomas and a BA.
“For me it’s all about helping people move better, feel better and build their confidence each and every day. I especially enjoy those ‘aha’ moments when clients and colleagues make discoveries that translate into more freedom, more joy and less pain in their lives.”