The ELDOA

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ELDOA is a French acronym that stands for Longitudinal Osteo-Articular Decoaptation Stretches (LOADS in English). Simply put, it is an exercise system developed by Guy Voyer, MD DO, to create space. Everything in the body is in link, and with gravity as a constant force, our upright bodies are constantly fighting compression. Eventually, the weakest link breaks and an injury occurs.

The ELDOA can be used as a tool to generally stabilize and strengthen the spine, or more specifically to target exactly the cause of a problem, whether it is a pinched nerve, disc bulge, or muscular issue. In just minutes a day you can correct and prevent low back pain with a few simple movements, making this the most essential exercise there is.

Due to the specificity of these types of exercises, it is important to have an well-trained, experienced ELDOA instructor present to ensure the accuracy of the positions for your body’s specific requirements. Everyone benefits from ELDOA, just look at these proven effects:

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  • Improved concussion recovery
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Spinal disc hydration through imbibition
  • Increased circulation
  • Improved posture
  • “Text neck” reversal
  • Back pain prevention
  • Back pain relief
  • Decreased symptoms from disc bulges
  • Increased intervertebral spacing
  • Improved scoliosis curve
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Reduction in menstrual symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased muscle tone and quality
  • Shorter training recovery times

 

For more about how the ELDOA works, it is first important to understand a little bit about the body. Muscles are aligned in different layers and organized at different angles, or lines of pull, throughout the body. We are taught in basic anatomy that these muscles all have separate motions, related only in the way that they equalize tension surrounding a joint to aid its motion. This is only partially true, as the tissue that holds the muscle belly—what we think of as muscles—in place is called fascia.

This fantastic video by Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau features a never-before-seen look at living human fascia. It is long but extremely worth the watch if you are interested in learning about how your body works.

Fascia is talked about frequently today, but rarely understood completely. Fascia is the structure that holds the muscle because it is part of the muscle, blending seamlessly into a tendon, then perhaps splitting into a ligament before connecting to a periosteum, or the “skin” of the bone. If looked at in this way, you can see why Antidote clients are always saying, “its all connected.”

The ELDOA uses this complex network of connections by using a mobile segment of the body to create tension around a fixed point, literally pulling the bones apart with a micro-movement. This technique can be utilized with the coaching of a properly trained practitioner at almost any joint in the body, from the pelvis and sacrum, to the shoulders, to the skull and TMJ. Dr. Voyer created an ELDOA for every articulation in the body.

 The larger, more superficial muscles are generally used for power, but their various relationships to the deeper muscles (R) are important to understand when studying the ELDOA. 

The larger, more superficial muscles are generally used for power, but their various relationships to the deeper muscles (R) are important to understand when studying the ELDOA. 

 Multiple layers of deeper muscles are represented in this photo, but notice how they all seem to blend into one another. In many ways, they do. See below for more.

Multiple layers of deeper muscles are represented in this photo, but notice how they all seem to blend into one another. In many ways, they do. See below for more.

ELDOA differs from other treatments in that you create the tension with your own muscles and there is no assistance from compression or added tension. This serves to respect the organization of the tissue, allowing the fascia to relax via its own natural mechanisms, instead of tearing it and causing scarring. It also utilizes isometric strength, known to the weightlifting community as one of the many tenets of building strength in a muscle, to strengthen the muscles of the spine in their most extreme range of motion, providing exponential returns on time spent practicing.

Back pain is almost a guarantee in today’s society, but it doesn’t have to be. Gravity and the resulting compression that it brings is relentless, and until now we had no way of fighting it. The ELDOA works on all types of back and joint pain in both the acute and long-term phase, and when used regularly is the best way to prevent the onset of several more severe conditions.

 A simplified example of the relationships and continuity that the muscles can have along the myofascial chain.

A simplified example of the relationships and continuity that the muscles can have along the myofascial chain.

Antidote's ELDOA classes are taught by certified ELDOA/MFS coach Jonathan Francis, who uses a combination of ELDOA, Myofascial stretching (MFS) and several other Soma Training techniques to ensure that each class provides the best results possible. While classes are based on a loose curriculum, no two are alike. The body is a harmonic system, responding each day to the situations and challenges that each day brings. The classes are always given a goal, but the means by which it is reached will always change to keep the body in a constant state of adaptation. Follow the below links for more information on classes or private coaching.

 
 

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, nor do I wish to be treated as such. Do not mistake the above or any other information contained on this page or any other page on this website as medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. All participants with specific medical conditions that wish to participate in Antidote classes must first receive clearance from their physician or healthcare provider.