Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

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:

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just want to thank you for using BioCored and seeing good results. I just wanted to clarify why I designed the BioCored system: when we have a weak connection in our otherwise capable bodies,
    the chance of re-injury is possible or likely. As a LMT, I would see these re-injuries happen repetitively,
    over years of a typical lifestyle. BioCored is the best tool to find and assess these weak links in our
    clients and patients. Many fitness clients experience a "roadblock" that has roots in an injury or
    dysfunction. The BioCored Golden Rule is "NO PAIN" in the exercises, so we often modify the
    work when we have found the weakness in real time. This awareness is what we use to gauge what
    the client/patient can handle, and to formulate a session plan. So, any pain that you feel during or after a session should be minimal and attributed to DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness, a common effect of physical exertion. Not being aware of many of details of your sessions, I just wanted to reach out and offer you a 10% discount on any BioCored equipment you purchase,
    just call Vanessa at 617- 943- 6696. Any of your blog readers are also welcome to the offer!

    Thank you,

    David Bannerman
    Co-founder, BioCored