IGNACIO “NACHO” ELOSU heads up Grizzly Studio, offering corrective postural alignment therapy to help people live a pain-free life. We ask the therapist in Hong Kong what sparked his passion for correcting body balance and symmetry through exercises and stretches.
About Grizzly Studio
The studio opened in Wong Chuk Hang in 2020, taking its name from Nacho’s professional career as a rugby union prop forward. “My vision is to give clients some of that grizzly brown bear strength!” he says. “Also, my wife loves bears so much that I named the company Grizzly before she had the chance to name it Teddy Bear, ha.”
The studio focuses on the Egoscue Method, a postural alignment therapy created in the 1970s in America. Nacho is currently the only certified Egoscue therapist in Hong Kong.
The method uses gentle exercises and stretches to return body balance and symmetry to the body. If you lose symmetry or posture due to muscular imbalances – whether from injury or staring at screens all day – the muscles will move your bones into new, dysfunctional positions in your body. The result can be chronic and acute pain. Egoscue aims to restore posture, mitigate pain and return people to a pain-free life.
When sport takes its toll
Nacho is from rugby-mad Argentina – and it was his involvement with the sport that ultimately led to him launching Grizzly Studio. “I played professionally for 13 years in Europe’s top leagues until I began to experience endless pain. At first, I thought this was normal for elite athletes (who doesn’t get hurt playing a contact sport?). But it became unbearable.”
Nacho tried everything for his intense knee, back, elbow and neck pain, but nothing worked. “I had surgery on my right shoulder and tried physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy and other holistic treatments.” His mobility was restricted, too. “I had to keep my arm bent at 45 degrees all day and night – even when sleeping; I couldn’t extend it.”
The result? He was forced to retire from rugby at a young age.
A silver lining for this therapist in Hong Kong
“I was super frustrated and sad; I stayed home and didn’t want to see anyone. Then, my family encouraged me to have a holiday. I went to California where my sister was working at an Egoscue centre; she introduced me to this therapy.”
Nacho tried an eight-week programme, doing the therapy exercises every day. He soon felt his mobility coming back, bit by bit. “So I kept doing it. Another eight weeks passed, and I could finally extend my arm. I’ve been living a pain-free life since. If I’d known earlier about Egoscue therapy, maybe I wouldn’t have been forced to retire from rugby.” Happily, his disappointment at one career ending was offset by a new passion: sharing the impact a pain-free body can bring.
Nacho signed up to do a course and become a therapist.
Egoscue vs physiotherapy
Nacho isn’t a physiotherapist, and he explains that the Egoscue approach is different. “I get feedback from clients with knee or shoulder pain, for example, who have been given exercises from a physio to move the knee or shoulder more often. And they say: ‘But they didn’t check other parts of my body’.”
“With the Egoscue Method, we see the body as a unit,” Nacho continues. “So, shoulder pain might be felt in the shoulder, but the pain can be a compensation of a hip not working properly or an ankle or foot not moving as designed.”
Posture alignment at Grizzly Studio is available for adults and children, which means everyone can work on developing a bit more bear strength! The studio also offers personal training, corporate fitness classes and after-school fitness classes for kids.
Want to find out more from this therapist in Hong Kong about correcting your body balance and posture? Visit grizzlystudiowch.com or follow Instagram @grizzlystudiowch to discover pain-free exercises and stretches.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.