Two years ago, my friend and colleague LoriBeth Cohen introduced me to the OOV, a specialized tool that I still use today in my practice. After three classes, multiple private OOV sessions with pilates/OOV practitioner Noel, and two years of using the OOV with my patients—I’m here to tell you it is nothing short of a miracle worker in my rehab toolbox.
The OOV is an unusual-looking device that works as a biofeedback tool to subconsciously teach your body how to stabilize and function optimally. The crescent-shaped bottom creates three-dimensional instability while the S-shaped top follows the natural curves of the spine. You can do exercises in any position on the OOV: sitting; lying on your back, stomach, or side; standing, or even on your hands and knees.
I’ve often written about how important your core is—otherwise known as all the muscles between your diaphragm and your pelvic floor—and how core weakness plays into a person’s pain issue. If any component of your core is not functioning optimally or at all, then injury can occur anywhere in your body, leading to: back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neck pain, knee pain, et cetera.
At The Manual Touch, the first thing we teach our patients is how to engage their core with this trick. As their PT progresses, we will take them through a series of exercises so they can learn how to use their core functionally. Using the OOV can make this process even more successful.
Here are some of the miracles, thanks to the OOV:
Finding your core/abs—in order to stay on the OOV, your core/abs have to kick in subconsciously
- Mark (age 45) told me that he had never been able to feel his lower abs during core exercises. But now he knows how to feel them when doing his exercises.
- Jeff (age 46) is a fast runner who, a few years back, lost a significant amount of weight. Upon evaluation, I found that Jeff had a diastasis of his upper abs, and as a result, isn’t using his core efficiently, making him prone to injury. He now does OOV exercises daily with his dog, and is able to do high-level core exercises. His diastasis has significantly reduced and he is running faster than ever.
- Bo (age 38) still experienced random bouts of shortness of breath following his recovery from COVID. After three PT visits for exercise, IMT, and the OOV, Bo no longer has any shortness-of-breath episodes. Bo said, “I immediately noticed a positive change in my breathing after Denise had me start using the OOV. I purchased an OOV to use at home, and whenever shortness-of-breath episodes strike, the OOV is what I use to quickly alleviate the symptoms.”
- Mark (age 56) came to me two weeks after being discharged from a three-week hospital stay for COVID. After two visits of IMT treatment and using the OOV, Mark reported that he turned a corner in his healing process, and felt he could breathe at least 50% better.
- Many of the senior men we treat come in with a hunched posture and back pain. These men are all able to stand up straighter after using the OOV.
Stability and balance
- Kristin (age 23) had poor balance and hip pain as a result of her hypermobility dysfunction. She regularly uses her OOV and now has good balance and no hip pain!
- Hallie (age 60) had difficulty doing single-leg balance exercises with the TRX. After standing on the OOV for a few minutes, she then could do the single-leg balance exercises!
Diaphragm breathing—the OOV promotes diaphragmatic breathing
- Melanie (age 47) had neck pain partly from posture but mostly from overusing her neck muscles for breathing instead of using her diaphragm efficiently. After using the OOV regularly, Melanie now uses her diaphragm efficiently and has no neck pain!
- I have been trying to teach my mom (age 79) how to use her diaphragm for years without any luck. My mom sat on the OOV for five minutes multiple times and now understands how to use her diaphragm!
Relaxation—the OOV settles your nervous system
- When I stand or lay on the OOV, I notice my nervous system feels more settled.
- Many patients often comment, “I feel more relaxed!” after using the OOV.
Recently on a girls’ weekend in Michigan, I led my girlfriends in an OOV session.
Want to try this new miracle tool, the OOV, for your rehab process, or to improve your posture and balance? Just looking for a fun, new way to exercise? Give us a call at (847) 541-7600 to schedule your appointment, and see how the OOV can help you reach your health goals.