Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Friday, December 27, 2013

My BioCored Work with Nathalie Fossé and Fossé Restorative Therapy

Just finished my 5th BioCored session with Nathalie at her studio, Fossé Restorative Therapy, and I feel so much better than when I started! I don't know how she does it. She has some sort of energy force that she transmits to her clients. Nathalie was my last appointment of the day, after a grueling physical therapy session with my foot-guy, Scott, who upped my exercise reps (at least he massaged my calves/Achilles tendons and fixed the strained Achilles tendon issue.)

Again, not in the mood for more exercise work, but Nathalie gently coached me through some easy and some not so easy movements, assessing my progress along the way: "Relax your neck, relax your jaw, lift your abs. You are so determined--relax your brain and close your eyes..." and so it went.

With Nathalie's direction, at some point I felt I became one with the bungees--they became an extension of my arms, instead of a discomfort. I stopped fighting them, and released my control.

Nathalie and I agree that it's up to the patient to do the work with the expert guidance of a professional who gives a damn. She's a teacher in the end. However, she is also a gifted, empathetic healer, vigilant and knowledgeable and always learning herself, she admits. She sees what the patient cannot. Although we all know our own bodies better than anyone, should we pay attention to its messages, Nathalie studies her patients and observes how their bodies have decided to "settle" in order to compensate for years of abuse.

A patient's current posture and way of moving has become the new "normal," which is not normal at all. Nathalie seeks to correct that.

Nathalie's work is very personal and attuned to each individual. Unlike the traditional physical therapy setting, where the physical therapist works with several patients simultaneously, Nathalie devotes the entire time to her patients' needs. She watches you like a hawk. She directs seemingly small adjustments in your body alignment, that really make a world of difference in how you perform the exercise and thus, the progress you make.

In that respect, her work is superior, and why she gets noticeable results. For example, although I felt the burn the next day, the day after that, my posture improved and even though the knots in my back remained, they "softened" and I felt relief! Ahhhhh.....

I'm grateful Nathalie toils away in her studio, teaching clients and patients how to restore their bodies back to a healthy and balanced state. She's taught me in a few short sessions better body awareness, how to correct my posture and the significant role it plays in restorative work and how BioCored exercises complement and encourage those efforts.

In case you missed the video in the last post featuring Nathalie's BioCored work with me:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Have you given up on restoring your body back to health after injury or degenerative issues, and wish you felt good in your own body like you did when you were a kid? Don’t give up just yet! I am investigating different modalities that show promising results for those who suffer with chronic pain and old injuries.

We've all heard of acupuncture and chiropractic. They can either help or hurt, depending upon the practitioner. I've done both. They seem to work for a bit, and then it's back to square one. Most modalities require months and months of expensive treatments, leaving the patient perhaps better, perhaps not.

But have you heard about  ortho-bionomy or BioCored? These lesser known modalities follow ancient-healing roots that take into account the body's energy and communication systems. That's right--your body talks to itself, but it whispers in a foreign language, so you don't pay attention to it. You must learn to listen and discover how the body seeks to heal itself. Sounds a bit odd, but makes sense in the way that we can't see air but we breathe it, makes sense.

I'll look at the biocored method today, through the lens of a new practitioner, Nathalie Fossé.

Nathalie shows off because I asked her to!

BioCored, according to its website, is "an equipment and education company," that has developed a system of movement that corrects various issues that lead to pain and immobility, such as dormant and atrophied muscles and incorrect muscle firing patterns. The system is intended to complement traditional fitness and medical interventions.

As one moves through the BioCored method, according to Nathalie’s interpretation, the brain maps and remaps itself, which results in disorganizing pain pathways that have become entrenched. The series of movements using the bungee-like cords that hang from a ceiling support compel the body to use the proper muscles the way they were meant to be used. Muscles begin to move or “fire” correctly, thus eliminating the body’s compulsion to recruit the “wrong” muscles that had been taking over, due to injury and poor posture. Result: less pain, even with the first session of BioCored. And, unlike traditional methods, the results improve with each session, and they last.

The results last, because the body has been retrained to do its thing, rather than being “told” what to do. It follows the same pattern we do: if you try to force me to do something, even if it’s for my own good, I won’t do it. But, if you take a kinder, gentler approach, teaching me to make changes myself, you will have greater success. The body and mind have a similar relationship:

No pain no gain is bullshit. Less is more is golden,” Nathalie says. She has experienced both, and has learned that gentle massage, based on manipulation of the fascia, and exercise work more efficiently and effectively than forceful intense approaches. Using the BioCored equipment protects the joints during exercise. 
Nathalie demonstrates the plank using BioCored
Nathalie Fossé  is currently seeking her Master's Training in BioCored. She is in the process of adding the BioCored modality to her therapy and yoga practice, at Fossé Restorative Therapy, LLC. Her decision to learn and practice the BioCored method came out of the frustration with traditional massage and post-surgical physical therapy, both of which take an enormous time commitment from patient and practitioner, with limited results. Nathalie also suffers from past injuries and has personally experienced fantastic results with the BioCored method, including pain reduction, increased mobility, improved strength, better balance and a new-found connection with her own body.

Nathalie says that the goal of utilizing BioCored is to restore the body to homeostasis. This happens in the brain. The BioCored method assists the brain by balancing the physical body and allowing the brain to receive the messages the body sends, without interference from referential pain receptors that camouflage the real reason one is suffering.

The controlled instability, created through the use of the bungee-like cords while performing exercise movements, accomplishes this by incorporating higher brain systems such as the proprioceptive and visual sensory systems of the body. 

Nathalie says that understanding how it works is akin to understanding how an amputee can still feel pain in the amputated limb. The amputee's brain has not been retrained. The pain is no longer in the lost limb, however the pain still resides within the brain!

The BioCored method seeks to address pain issues, for example, by enlisting the brain as part of the equation, unlike the traditional allopathic approach that focuses on symptoms and disease rather than restoring the entire organism.

Nathalie assesses my alignment
I spent a couple of hours with Nathalie working through the BioCored process. My mobility increased in my “bad” arm, after only a few subtle movements. Some of the more advanced movements reminded me of yoga postures—they look deceptively simple, but they are not!

Nathalie quickly confirmed what traditional practitioners have told me:
I still list slightly to the right. When Nathalie corrected my body alignment, however, I did not experience discomfort, which usually happens when the body has realignment issues.

Nathalie teaches me the plank

My second session with Nathalie, I noticed a grounding, better posture, freedom of movement, despite still having the myofascial knot issues in my back. Of course, I wanted everything fixed right away, but it doesn’t’ work like that. It's a process. Naturally, I asked the unanswerable question “When can I expect to be all better, with no painful knots?”

Patiently, Nathalie explained how expectations can interrupt the process and stall progress, because while we focus on the “bad” area we want fixed, we fail to notice subtle changes that are taking place in the parts of the anatomy that are the root cause of the problem. We become obsessed with immediate and perfect results. Instead, we must trust the process, do the work and allow the body to follow its own path back to restoration. We plant the seed of healing in our brain by sewing corrective exercises that rebuild the damaged areas and relieve stressed areas. The homeostasis manifested brings relief as we harvest the benefits of the process.

I think Nathalie was trying to tell me that physical therapy is not a magic wand. But it can be miraculous.

Nathalie tries to help me show off using BioCored. Not quite.

My third visit with Nathalie I felt weak, recovering from a cold and having been up most of the night, before I got some winks. Not in the mood for exercise!

Nathalie had been in her studio since 6:00am, so how could I complain? We proceeded with the exercise therapy plan.

Nathalie assessed my eye movement, explaining that the eyes, the vision, control muscle movement.

“What if you’re blind?” I asked.

Nathalie told me that blind folks compensate and learn how to “place” themselves through other systems, like the proprioceptive system of the body.Proprioceptive information is sensations from muscles and joints, and it helps to place us in space. The rest of us generally rely on vision to place ourselves, and that leads to how our bodies use muscles.

Nathalie then addressed my pain issues of the decade: neck, upper back/scapula “knots” that limit my swimming and daily activity. She led me through BioCored exercises that targeted the "correct" muscles, and although I had done similar exercises in other physical therapy settings, the BioCored was more subtle. Nathalie also vigilantly monitored me as I went through the movements. I could not cheat! 

One of the most impressive things about working with Natalie: she has such a unique and strict awareness of the physical body and can observe the tiniest changes in my posture, which is critical to performing the exercises correctly.

Nathalie has such a calming nature and comprehensive knowledge regarding the mind/body connection and how BioCored complements that balance. You feel her passion for her work and a confidence in the fact that she strives for positive results in each individual with whom she works.

Just like any new demand you place on your body, BioCored exercises leave their mark: I’m still in pain, however, I have much freer movement. I also felt more energized and balanced than when we started. I’m glad I went: especially since the next day I felt much less pain! The work was working!

Nathalie wants me to judge her work and asked me to commit to once a week sessions for 5 weeks. Since my other physical therapist released me, I think I can give her a more focused assessment of our work together. Plus, she makes me laugh and complemented me on my shapely legs!

I’m so vain. Check out the video: