Introduction of the Body Braid at the Ehlers Danlos Society conference June 26 & 27, 2021.
People with hypermobility get extra benefit wearing the Body Braid. The extra feedback and resistance reduce the risk of injury from overstretching joints, which is common with hypermobility. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a genetic disorder of connective tissue that can cause severe hypermobility and many people with this condition have become keen Body Braid users. While safe stretching can be a very healthy activity, people with hypermobility can easily overstretch and cause injury. This is particularly tricky because people with hypermobility are “good” at doing stretches but also tend to overstretch causing problems and pain.
The Body Braid is helpful for people with hypermobility in three ways. The Body Braid gives extra sensation feedback as you stretch out the elastic material. You are more aware of feeling the stretch as it is happening, so you are more likely to adjust to keep the stretch within a healthy range. An important benefit is that this added feedback keeps going even when you are not paying attention to it. A key principle of the Body Braid is that it is guiding your movement to be in a safe range and better aligned without having to think about it all the time.
A second benefit, in addition to the increased sensation feedback, is the mechanical hold and support that the elastic bands provide. The Body Braid bands follow your body's own bands of connective tissue that coordinate movement. The bands transmit the mechanical force spiraling from top to bottom and side to side which increases coordination. Wearing the Body Braid links movement anywhere in the body to movement all over the body.
The third benefit is returning the spring in our step. Our own connective tissue bands are elastic when we are young, but they become progressively more fibrous and fixed with age and injury. The Body Braid restores the bounce to our movement, aligns coordination and also gives added sensation feedback. The combination helps to keep movement in a safe range.
Here is an EDS testimonial:
I just wanted to say THANK YOU! My Body Braid is so incredibly fabulous. As an EDS Zebra, I find it hard to exercise and
get my resistance training in but your Body Braid has made my life so much easier.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful invention.
“I am so grateful for your invention. I have been to more physicians and chiropractors than I can count in my lifetime. Physicians couldn’t help me They just got a lot of x-rays (maybe I should glow in the dark by now?) and wanted to give me oral steroids and biologics for the rest of my life... Which I wasn’t willing to do. Chiropractic and OMT helped, but the help was temporary. Within a few days, my spine and hips would become mis-aligned.
Body Braid helps so much. Walking and skating in it, I can sense where my legs are in relation to the rest of my body for the first time in my life. My shoulders are square with my hips, and my body functions as “one unit” despite EDS, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and scoliosis. My ankles don’t cave in when I walk, and I am no longer having trouble lifting my right leg or tripping over my right foot. I can walk up and down stairs without feeling like I am going to put my feet in the wrong place or fall. My back doesn’t hurt at all. The constant ache is gone. And in addition to this, because my legs and feet aren’t wobbly and contact the ground well, I feel grounded and calm.
I will never say “physicians can’t help me” again because you are one, and you did help me... and you did it without drugs.”
"First I’d like to express my gratitude to you for inventing the Body Braid. I have Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and I have the chronic pain and proprioception issues that come along with my condition. I’ve always longed to have someone constantly hug me and “press my joints in” so that they were tighter.
I have been wearing a Body Braid since October of 2017 and it has changed my world! I now get my constant hug while wearing the Body Braid, and I am able to feel where my body is since I have the gentle reminder from the resistance when I move. Thank you for making this incredible tool! "