ELDOA is an acronym in French, which in English would translate as LOADS (Longtitudinal Osteo Articular Decoaptation Stretches).
ELDOAs are specific positions that put tension on the fascial lines (the tension is created by your own muscle strength) of the body in order to create space in the joints….one specific joint at a time.
Back pain mainly is caused by compression due to poor posture, poor mechanics, carrying heavy things (shoulder bags, backpacks, etc.) muscle imbalances, genetic conditions like scoliosis, since we are all under the force of gravity 100% of the time.
When you do an ELDOA posture you are improving joint awareness, blood flow to the area, and posture, and decreasing pressure and pain in the discs.
These postures were developed by a French osteopath named Dr. Guy Voyer. He studied many established therapeutic modalities and combined what he felt were the most important aspects of each method in order to come up with ELDOA method. To Dr. Voyer’s surprise, patients came back reporting also having unexpected improvements such as better sleep, less incontinence, better digestion, less menstrual cramps and more.
He realized that this was because of the connections of the fascial lines throughout the body as well as the relationships to the nerves and spinal cord.
Each pose has many small movement details which move the body into positions that hold the fascia in tension, and the goal is to hold for one minute.
Each and every body is different: Some people first need to work up to achieving an aligned posture, some people work towards holding for a full minute, some people can get into the position easily and their effort is to work up to pushing to their maximum effort for the full minute.
It doesn’t matter what starting point someone is at when they begin an ELDOA practice as long as they are focused and doing their best to achieve the best position possible for their body.
Over time they build the strength to hold the aligned pose, which, when done correctly, is putting tension on the the fascia to create space in a given joint.
The practice of ELDOA is a great way to develop awareness, help heal and prevent injuries, relieve pain and compression, as well as strengthen and lengthen the body for full body benefits.
I’ve found that the flexibility, control, breathing and postural awareness gained with ELDOA help my clients to experience Pilates on a deeper level and get more out of their Pilates sessions. They also notice subtle movements in their body and become much more aware of their posture and habits.
The ultimate goal of learning ELDOA is to become your own best therapist, and to make it your own in order to keep your body healthy and pain free.