ELDOA: A new way to stretch and contract your way to relief
The Future of Fitness Explained: ELDOA
If you love to learn about new exercise and fitness trends, The Future of Fitness explains it to you in a way you can understand and separate the hype cycle from actual results.
Maybe you first heard about ELDOAs at a pilates or yoga studio. Maybe this method was recommended to you by a physiotherapist or osteopath. If you suffer from chronic back or joint pain, recurring injuries, or just poor posture, it’s possible that you’ve stumbled on ELDOAs as a way to relieve and re-adjust your spine. But is this just another trendy mat exercise or will it actually produce the results you need?
What is the ELDOA method?
ELDOA is an acronym — that’s why you will always see it capitalized. Designed by French osteopath and medical doctor Guy VOYER D.O., ELDOA stands for Etirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptition Osteo-Articulaire (translation: longitudinal osteoarticular decoaptation stretches). Using myofascial tension and muscle contractions, ELDOAs can affect the tissue, ligaments, nervous tissues, and organs associated with a joint or spinal segment.
What do I need to do?
The ELDOA Method is a series of postural exercises. Each exercise is carefully designed to “create space”. Getting into the postures isn’t hard, but holding them feels challenging, and precision is essential. ELDOA postures are very specific compared to other techniques. Each posture is held for 1 minute of tension, followed by a release. During this minute, you continue to reach and stretch—using your legs and arms to find the force needed to push more length into the spine and add more space around the target joint.
Does it work?
Everyone can benefit from the effects of ELDOAs but each person is different. From stress relief to improved recovery time, ELDOAs have a number of benefits. Many people report benefits including normalizing bulging discs, increased flexibility, reduced back and joint pain, relief of neck and shoulder pain, and improved posture.
Should I try it?
While there are ELDOA videos on YouTube, ELDOAs and Myofascial Stretches are very specific and complex techniques. They require attention to form and correct progressions. If you are interested in adding ELDOAs to your workouts, find a certified instructor. There are a number of studios in Toronto who conduct ELDOA classes. I’m also a certified ELDOA instructor and have successfully used these postures with my clients.
More Information Please!
Try these links and get educated about the ELDOA method:
Feeling the connection, extending the range: the benefits of Fascial Stretching Therapy
Last week we talked about the importance of incorporating stretching into your workout and outlined its many benefits. Today, we’re going to focus on Fascial Stretch Therapy — a type of stretching that targets not only muscles but fascia.
Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and joints. It wraps and supports muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, nerves. Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) is an assisted stretching body treatment that is performed on a treatment table. Because FST targets the entire joint and joint capsule by gently pulling and moving your arms, legs, spine, and neck in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement, the experience is both stimulating and relaxing at the same time. In a session, your body will be moved and stretched in ways that you just can not do on your own.
Traction is very important to the treatment. Gentle traction is applied to the joint being targeted, opening up the joint and creating space for increased range of motion before taking the limb through the movement pattern — paying attention to the fascia restrictions that may need to be addressed.
FST is not a painful practice. However, you might find the stretching sensation uncomfortable if a joint is really restricted. As we always advise, it’s very important that you speak up if you are in pain or feeling intense stretches beyond your comfort zone.
Following your treatment, you may experience a sense of lightness or of being more open. Like most types of body work, the effects are cumulative. Long-term benefits of FST can include an increased range of motion and muscular balance. While FST can reduce risk or injury and improve muscle function, this type of stretching will decrease compression and impingement in joints.
A number of our trainers at TrainingSpaces offer FST — so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
For more information about FST, check out these links:
Video: activekinetix.com, Burnaby / Vancouver
Improve flexibility, reduce stress, boost circulation: don’t forget stretching after a workout
So you’ve finished a workout. You’ve taken an hour for yourself and pounded it out on the treadmill, kept up pace in spin class, or sweated it out lifting weights. It’s time to move on with your day. You take a moment before heading out the studio door. Should you spend time stretching? Do you really need to lie down and pull yourself into a deflated pretzel before removing your sweaty clothes? Is stretching that important?
The answer is yes. Stretching is essential. If you haven’t stretched, you haven’t completed your workout. It’s easy to ignore stretching — especially when you’re in a rush. However, if you aren’t stretching you’re missing the full benefits of your workout.
The most obvious benefit of stretching is improving flexibility and range of motion. This ultimately improves your physical performance and helps reduce risk of injury. In aiding your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements. This makes future workouts more efficient.
Flexibility isn’t the only benefit from stretching. A 2013 study evaluated how heart attack patients responded to stretching as part of their rehabilitation. Among the findings: regular stretching improves circulation. This increases blood flow to your muscles — which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness. If your muscles are already contracted because you haven’t stretched, they will be less effective during exercise. Regular stretching will relax all of your muscles and enable them to be more available during exercise.
The benefits of stretching aren’t purely physical. There are mental advantages as well. Stretching is a great way to alleviate stress. A buildup of stress causes your muscles to contract, making you feel tense and uneasy. It also encourages the release of endorphins, providing a sense of tranquility and euphoria.
Now that we’ve outlined just some of the benefits of stretching, you need to incorporate it into your routine. There are also a number of apps, like lolo fit’s Performance Stretching, that can guide you through a varied routine that you customize based on your workout. Whether it’s stretching with a foam roller or post-running, these apps target the muscle groups that need attention — relieving you of the guesswork associated with determining the best stretch for your activity.
So it’s time to stop thinking of stretching as a luxury and embrace it as a necessity. You’ll feel stronger, more flexible, and happier.