ELDOA TM in English is LOADS. What are these acronyms? Well, ELDOA is French, and it was the brain child of French Osteopath, Guy Voyer. It means Elongation Longitudinaux Avec Decoaption Osteo Articulaire; or in English, Longitudinal Osteo-Articular Decoaptation Stretching.

Still confused? Me too, so I sat down with Ashley Frejlich and quizzed her about ELDOA TM.

After an ELDOA TM class a client was heard saying: “I felt taller after my class, like I had been completely stretched out. Opening up all my joints and spacing everything out in my spine.” This would be because ELDOA TM is a method and a set of postures that creates space within a precise joint, or segment of the spine, using myofascial tension and muscle contraction.

Ashley explained that Myofascial Stretching is the precise stretching of a muscle within its fascial chain. So it stretches muscles and tendons around joints. ELDOA TM are stretches in the longitudinal axis to create separation of the joints. They are rehabilitative techniques that involve decompressing and strengthening targeted joints. In ELDOA TM classes, you will work using both myofascial stretching and the ELDOA TM poses.

Benefits in general would include loosening in the muscles, increased blood flow, and with that - wonderful sleep! If you have tightness in the muscles, then regular ELDOA TM targets the space between the joints and drains the toxins out of the lymph nodes and ligaments.

Spinal stretching and mobility improve recovery time of an injury and increases your body awareness. Big benefits would be that it relieves chronic back pain, and shoulder and neck tensions.

It also reduces inflammation and arthritis, and improves posture. Okay, so I need most of that as the wet weather plays havoc with my arthritis; and my Mom was always saying, “Stand up straight, Kathryn!”

However, if you have no spinal issues, why bother, you might ask? Well, even if you have no spinal issues, we all, through aging, experience some disc degeneration in our spine. ELDOA TM keeps the spine normalized, and reduces the risk of injury. It is preventative. Isn’t it always better to prevent something going wrong, than having to say “I really should have!”

As well as taking classes once or twice a week, you can also do some stretches at home. However, you need an instructor, so you know the basic principles and understand what your poses are achieving for you. Each exercise is unique, they are not random, and they are specific to the needs and the joints of each person. You can work from head to toe, but would not use the same poses each week.

Um, what pose, Ashley? Am I taking a selfie? Ashley laughs and explains: the poses put you in awkward positions, and they require you to align your body so that your head, torso and your pelvis is in a straight line. You reach your hands towards the sky and push upwards; and in opposition, you push your inner knees toward the floor; all while gazing at your cheeks, holding the pose for 60 seconds.

Now I see why she says you need an instructor!