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Rejuvenate The Skin, Increase Circulation And Lymphatic Drainage With The Bodybuffer with Nancy Donahue
It’s your health guru, Taylor Smith.
It’s Sean Entin, The Stroke Hacker.
You have quite a reputation in the stroke community.
It is gaining momentum but I still want to be me. I’m here to give out the love, to share my points and our tips with people who need to heal and to recover.
Do you know what I got one for you?
Tell me, Taylor. I know you’ve got something.
I always got something. I got the power of vibration to help the body heal. Specifically, what I’m talking about is what our guest is going to come on and talk about, which is using something such as the body buffer to bring vibration to the body. One of the things that this helps to do is it’s going to increase circulation but specifically, it’s going to increase circulation of lymph fluid. You might be asking, “Taylor, this is boring. Why is this important?” Blood circulates and has assistance circulating because of the pumping motion of the heart but lymph does not have that same capacity. The circulation of lymph fluid in the body, which is how your body gets rid of waste is actually driven by movement and muscle contraction. If you’re sedentary or you’re not moving, you’ve had a stroke and half of your body isn’t working the way you want it to. You can’t move it as much, you may need something to assist you in helping to move this lymph fluid throughout the body, to help promote waste to getting out of your body.
It’s like you give yourself a full body massage with this product. How I found it was through my coach. She started working and using this product on me. This bodybuffer, I used it. Every day, I use it for ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at night. I get it into a place on my left side, which is my weak side where it’s atrophied, it’s not working, it’s not stretched and it gets in there in ten minutes and does what it needs to do. It allows me to continue on with my day because the cramps, this spasticity, the ill movement of exactly what Taylor said needs to be moved. If you’re paralyzed or if you’re suffering from a stroke or something else or worse or not, it’s good for everybody. It’s good for tension headaches for all of it.
I’ve found this unit to be able to use with one hand because I use it with my strong hand on my body. I’ll do it to someone else or someone do it to me. It is beyond awesome and what it does is it’s re-circuiting my brain to touch my weak side of my body. It’s causing it and saying, “Wake this side up.” The vibration, this perpetual motion of this device is sending signals to my brain saying, “Wake up and let’s get this going.” It’s not dead; it’s dormant. It’s missing one synapse. It’s essential for everybody. Stroke or no stroke, I don’t care if you’re playing around golf and you’re sore, you go horseback riding and you’re sore or after a hike. This machine, what Nancy has created and built is probably one of the best.
I’ve tried everything, I’ve spent lots of money, thousands and thousands of dollars on gimmicks and promotional things and this is my go-to. I traveled all summer and took this thing with me and I was so upset because I left one of them in Japan. Immediately when I get back to the States, I called Nancy. I said, “I need a unit shipped to me because I left mine in Japan.” She was like, “Sean, we’re backed up.” Since then I’ve stocked up, compiled it and I’m offering it up to you guys, the community of stroke, the Stroke Hackers because I believe in it so much. It’s weird that I ever talked about anything on the show unless I’m 100,000% committed to it. I believed in the people making the product. Nancy has shown that she is authentic. She believes in this because of how she built it and it’s awesome.
We’re going to spread a little love to our community of audience. The way we do that is we’re going to share one of our reviews from iTunes and encourage you if you have not done so yet, jump over to iTunes and leave a quick five-star review. It will help show us some love but it also helps more people who need to hear this podcast to find the podcast. We have this audacious goal that we’re going to do in year one, which is to get 10,000 downloads per episode by the end of the year so you can help be a part of that and support us on growing. Our review is called Feel Good Stories by the user Yawn Fest. What she said is, “As an avid podcast audience, I subscribed to this podcast right away. I love these motivational and feel-good stories of perseverance. I appreciate people sharing different treatments and strategies that might help others with their own challenges. Look forward to following the evolution of this team.” Without further ado though, we will get into it with our guest, the lovely Nancy Donahue.
Thank you, Taylor.
Welcome to the show, Nancy. How are you doing?
I’m doing great. Thank you for asking. How are you all?
How are you doing, Sean?
I’m good. Take us back to the beginning of how you got started?
I’ll keep it on the short side. I started off as a model and had a very successful career. I did a lot of covers for Mademoiselle, Vogue, and every magazine worldwide. I left New York City for a while. I went to culinary school and I became a chef, as well as a personal trainer at the same time. I was then offered a job as a Fitness Director at a high-end country club and this is where the bodybuffer comes into play. The same time I was doing a lot of marathons and triathlons. I was training a surgeon and she had liposuction done on her belly. She was using a device to help with the edema and scar tissue.
She gave it to me to use pre and post run. The muscle soreness and recovery, it helped a lot with both those. I handed it to another business partner and she noticed that her legs were softer and smoother. It helped with her edema and things like that. The four doctors from Boston, we got together with the other businesswomen and MIT engineers. We developed the BelleCore bodybuffer. It took three years of R&D. We wanted it designed for the body specifically for the uses of muscle soreness, muscle recovery, lymphatic drainage, blood circulation and exfoliation.
The minute we launched in January 2010, we got an exclusive at 42 Neiman Marcus stores as the first beauty body wellness tool on the market. We also got an exclusive Harrys of London. We were at Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Brookstone. We stayed in the stores for about six years to get some traction. At the same time, I went to every marathon expo, Chicago, DC, New York, LA Marathon Expos. We went to every spa expo to get the product out there and we did that for five years, which was tons of work. It laid the groundwork for the brand, which is basically what you have to do. We exited all the stores and now we’re direct to consumer.
Because of all that groundwork, I don’t really have to do much advertising, although I will start a little bit now because we were out of stock for a year and a half. The beauty of it all was because we did our homework and we did our groundwork. I had customers waiting a year and a half and they all came back. They ordered and I had a wait list of over 1,500 people. I’m excited about that. It is great, it works. That’s the story of how it was developed and I keep plugging along. This will be our ninth year out.
Years ago, my running coach pulled it out one night because I get sore and spasticity from the injury of my stroke. She would always have to dig into my muscles. She took out your buffer on me and within fifteen minutes of putting it into my muscles, it opened everything out. Scar tissue was starting to dissolve and because of a paralyze on my left side, the atrophy was pretty intense. I used it everywhere I went, every country and everywhere from the airplanes, the ups, the downs and neck or anything else. We talk about the products but once I got a hold of this, I had to bring it on, bring you on and talk about what this can do. Everybody who’s an athlete or going through any kind of pain needs something like this device to help them to get through the day or for the moment.A lot of women wanted the bodybuffer for cellulite control because it gets rid of the edema. Click To Tweet
I have some cancer patients come to us and say it’s helped with their lymphatic drainage. I have people with fibromyalgia come to us. I have people with plantar fasciitis, people from all over do it for different reasons. The main component or the technology of why it works is the vibration in the device and also the random orbital oscillation. The vibration helps with muscle soreness, recovery, circulation, lymphatic drainage and that’s why it works. The interesting thing is I had a tech guy from Utah look at my device and he said, “Nancy, you are before your time.” When I was at all these running expos, people were like, “That’s crazy. What is that?” Then shortly thereafter, I saw somebody who copied me hands down. The rollers never had vibration. I would see the rollers out all these expos and then slowly they realize that vibration was the thing to do. The roller has added vibration. You see vibration balls, the rolling balls and it’s all because of us. We started this a long time ago.
With all the different plates you can stand down and work on and all that good jazz. I know people are even getting into, “It vibrates at a very specific frequency that’s supposed to have a more profound impact on the body.” Is the Belle Buffer part of your R&D? Was it figuring out what type of vibration is going to be most effective for the human body and why?
That’s what the three years of R&D is. To get it straight, my company’s BelleCore and the product is the bodybuffer. Everybody seems to get confused but we can basically refer to the bodybuffer to make it easier. To answer your question, Taylor, that’s what the three years of R&D was. We figured out that it had to run between 2,500 and 3,200 RPM in order to do what we wanted it to do. When we launched in 2010, Neiman Marcus figured it out because it helps. A lot of women wanted it for cellulite control because it gets rid of the edema. It’s basically fluid in the legs and it makes your legs look clumpy and bumpy. We had the athletes using it for muscle soreness and recovery. We had older people or people that are standing all day, use it for blood circulation.
What’s special about that RPM? If I was using a different RPM, it wouldn’t be having as profound of an effect.
It has to run at that speed, which seems to be high speed. It can be a little bit high for some people. I don’t know the exact answer because it’s so long ago that we went through all the dynamics of the testing. I know that’s what we came up with that we felt was working the best for muscle soreness, recovery, circulation and all that. The funny thing is the vibration came a little bit later in the game because we knew it was working but then we had a number of Spartan athletes. One of the top guys, Isaiah Vidal, he worked with us for a while and Rose Wetzel, they are two of the top. They were all using it because of the vibration. They were like, “Nancy, this is what’s working. It’s the vibration of the device.” The vibration was the buzzword probably in 2008 or 2007. It was like, “This vibrates.” Meanwhile, we’ve already had a vibrating tool forever. That was the magic word at all the expos and you saw all those plates but those plates had been out a long time.
I don’t know when they first began. I know in years they became very popular and every workout studio is starting to incorporate some vibration plate into their workout.
I actually tried one. A friend of mine had one out in the Hamptons. I tried it, I don’t like it. I understand why they use it. It wasn’t for me though, it’s crazy. I tested them at all the expos too. One of my business partners bought one and she loved it, but she buys everything under the sun.
When I get on them it shakes your eyeballs and it’s a little bit uncomfortable.
What does the vibration plates help you with? I got on some during my rehab therapy.
There’s a specific frequency I know that was studied by NASA to help rebuild muscle and bone density after their astronauts came back from outer space. That was one specific frequency. In general, it’s to help add extra stimulus to the muscle, promote circulation and lymphatic flow. I would say the bulk of it is probably lymphatic. Your blood can circulate without movement but lymph can’t circulate without movement.
It would help you with the clots in the brain. It would cause the pathways of circulation to be better which could prevent stroke. I shouldn’t say this, but it can help with heart attacks or stroke if it’s done every day as a necessary use.
It’s a precaution but I can’t medically say that either. We can’t do but it’s healthy. I buff my legs every day because for some reason I work out three hours a day, but I seem to need that for blood circulation. It’s not that I sit all day because I try not to but it feels good to get everything moving. I know one of the doctor partners travels quite often and she uses it for circulation as well because she’s on a plane all the time. She had trouble with clotting and stuff.
Would you usually use it personally before a workout, after or both?
I do, it’s probably after. I usually do yoga first thing in the morning and I get warmed up because I do hot yoga and then I do it at the end of the day. A lot of my customers do it pre-runs. The runners do it before they run and after they run. After this retreat, I was pretty beaten up because to get to the studio you had to walk up 200 stairs because it was at the top of the mountain, Xinalani. It’s tree houses built into the side of a mountain. Going up to do two classes, going up and down, my knees were a little bit sore so I came home and I bust the meniscus, the side and the IT band and my legs feel fine again.
That was in Mexico?
Yeah, that was called Xinalani. It is 45 minutes off the coast of Puerto Vallarta and it’s a specific yoga place and it’s beautiful. It’s a workout to get up to the studio down and then you do two yoga classes, three yoga classes a day but it was great. I love it. I’m a yoga freak. It’s fine.
You get a vacation and the yoga experience all at the same time.
This is my favorite way to travel. I know maybe a quarter of the people that are going and I certainly know the teachers that I go because I’m very specific about that. You meet great people and it’s a great way to travel because I love to travel and I love it. This is probably my sixth one, my next one will be to France. My son gives me a hard time, “Mom, you’d certainly taken a lot of vacation.” I said, “When you get to be my age, you can take as much vacation as you want. I worked whole life so you can do what you do.”
How long have you been in yoga practice in general?
I’ve been doing it since I was a Fitness Director. I’m going to say probably sixteen, seventeen years. I came off of being an endurance junkie. I was a crazy triathlete. I was doing probably ten triathlons a summer easily and then I got injured. I had cervical fusion because as a chef, lifting all those heavy trays, I was lifting the heavy baking bowl totally and I was biking a lot. On top of that, being a chef you’re leaning over so I suffered from terrible neck pain. I had to hang up the bike and I had cervical fusion, which helped tremendously. I had to chill out a bit. I had to stop running. As a fitness director, you have to be trained in everything. I would have to be trained as a yoga teacher, Pilates teacher. I had to have both certificates for physical for training people. I fell in love with it. I was like, “This is hard.” I couldn’t believe it because when you’re an endurance person you think, “Yoga is easy. This is not working out.” It’s hard. That’s how I got into it.When you're an endurance person you think that yoga is easy, but it's not, Click To Tweet
I’ve always loved the practice. I used to teach. I still do it in my own way but not very formally in a classroom setting. What I found it’s an interesting practice because it always stays the same. What changes is who’s showing up in the room. The years that I’ve been practicing, the practice hasn’t changed that much. You progress and you do different variations, but its core. It’s very similar each time. I have so much in the last few years that I show up and it’s like I’m doing an entirely different practice than when I first started yoga, even though it’s a lot the same.
The interesting thing is I had to hire yoga teachers too and all the instructors because I have to run the fitness program at the country club. I started participating in the classes. I remember my first half-moon and I don’t know if you know what half-moon is, it’s a pose. I thought it was the hardest thing I said to the yoga teacher at the time, her name was Nancy as well. I said, “Will this ever feel light?” She said, “Yeah, it will.”
For everyone who doesn’t know what a half moon is, will you describe it quickly?
Half-moon is as if you’re balancing on your right foot and your hand is probably twelve inches in front of your right foot, your left leg is going up and out to the side, hip open. Your left arm is straight up to the sky arm open, your torso is open, hip open. When I first did it, I thought this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s my favorite pose on the planet. It’s beautiful. To go back to what you said, every day I practice, it’s a different practice. It’s never the same.
At its core, I’ve realized what yoga is about creating a relationship with yourself. How that relationship changes over time is the most interesting part about it. A perfect example would be you, half-moon one day it’s the hardest thing in the world. Next day it’s your favorite thing ever.
There are so many other poses and things, going into a tripod. I used to watch teachers go to a tripod, headstand piking up and I thought I will never be able to do that. I used to try to flip up. I can pike up five times a day and I’m like, “I remember when I didn’t even think of it was possible.”
You were on the cover of Vogue and magazines, you modeled for them how many years?
40 years. I’m modeling, I went to a casting. I’m probably older than both of you. I’m 60 now. I’m with IconicFocus Models in New York and I have the same agent since I’m eighteen.
You stuck with the same person for all those years, which is rare. That’s unbelievable.
I stuck with it because here and there you can get a job for a lot of money. I did all my other stuff on the side.
You modeled and triathlon at the same time.
Yes, because with modeling you get a gig here and there, it’s not consistent. Between when I was eighteen to 30, it was very consistent every day and then at 30, I started to become a more active runner, triathlete and things like that. I wasn’t living in New York, I was living outside of Boston.
Who was the model of that came on the show?
A girl named Claudia Mason, she was a model and at one point in her career, she actually had a stroke. She became an advocate for stroke after having gone through that experience.
What do you recommend to the audience, if they do get their hands on one? How many minutes a day? What do you recommend the average time?
Typically, we suggest using the BelleCore bodybuffer five to twenty minutes a day. Use it on your legs, calves, shins, arms, shoulders, back, glutes, piriformis, everything before you work out. You can use it after your workout. It helps with muscle soreness, recovery, circulation, lymphatic drainage, for this tool because it uses vibration and random orbital oscillation. We’ve touched on every audience. Physical therapists use it, chiropractor uses it to break down the myofascial tissue before they start to dig in.
I love it. To me ten minutes with the bodybuffer is like going for an hour and a half with my masseuse. It’s a quick down and dirty fix to everything I got going on and I’m sure everyone’s got their own issues.
There are some other devices, which I’m not going to name. They use a different technology but this feels good. That’s why we love it so much and that’s why we’re hung in there with the company because it feels so good.
I’ve used it a handful of times here when I hang out with Sean. What I love is that it’s gentle. It’s like riding that fine line in between, “This might be overwhelming and this isn’t enough.” It got that gentle happy medium going on.
If you wanted to dig in more, you can tip it to the side to get into a piriformis issue.
I might tip it to the side because I’m digging in.
I found out too with stroke, it works so well with atrophy because it gets you into the muscle, the part of the body which hasn’t been worked on for so many years, if not months. It’s an awesome product. It’s something that I’m recommending everyone as well. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you put this on yourself and you’re going to feel better within minutes.
I remember when you first reached out. We were all so elated to hear your story because it’s a pretty crazy wild story how it helped you. We were totally thrilled, especially all the doctors that are on our team.
What’s so interesting is that I get hit up all the time because people can’t talk about stroke, brain injury or trauma. Because I’ve suffered it, I can talk about it which is so weird. The legal, the verbiage, what the doctors say, what the attorneys say but I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled to have you on and thank you so much for what you’ve invented because it’s part of my daily chores every day.
It’s my pleasure, honor and thank you for having me on.
What’s your inspiration for life?
I have to say my mother and father. My father, who has passed away, was my mentor. When I first told him, “Dad, I’m going to bring this product to market,” he was like, “Go for it. I’m behind you 100%.” I’m one of eleven kids. My father isn’t that type of guy that goes, “You sweet little girl. Go ahead, try it.” My father is like a strict businessman and if he thought it was a stupid idea, he would say, “Absolutely not, you’re insane.” He knew that I had something here. A little background, my dad was President of Nike and had been on the Board of Nike since 1978. He’s a big businessman and he knew what he was talking about.
When I asked him, “Dad, I’m going to bring this to market,” he was behind me 100% and he helped support me financially and being there for any questions I had. My mom who was always been there for me and she’s 88 and works out three times a day. She’s amazing, it has to be my parents. I’m going to reiterate, it’s not because I’m daddy’s little girl because they have so many other kids. When they recognize that this was an incredible product that we’re bringing to market, it’s the support, the love and the kindness they gave me. It hasn’t been easy and anybody who starts a business knows how hard it is. You have your up days and then you have your down days.
We know it so, you got to keep the ups than downs being an entrepreneur for sure.
Let people know where they can find you, where they can find your site and everything.
On Instagram, it’s @BelleCoreLLC. You can come to my Instagram which is @NancyCDonahue. To get it directly from our website, it’s BelleCore.com. The beauty about Instagram and Facebook is that you can click the picture and shop to buy and you can see the visuals. We have a lot of visuals of people using it and things like that.
Thank you so much, Nancy.
Taylor, Sean, thank you.
- Nancy Donahue
- Adventures in Health on iTunes
- Claudia Mason – previous episode
- @BelleCoreLLC – Instagram
- Instagram – @NancyCDonahue
About Nancy C. Donahue
My name is Nancy C. Donahue and I had a very successful first act. I was one of the first international supermodels of the late ’70s and ’80s, and appeared on numerous covers of American, British, French, Italian and German Vogue, Mademoiselle, Harpers Bazaar, Self and virtually every prestigious fashion journal in the world. I was represented by Ford Models and worked with the greats of the industry including Avedon, Penn, and Newton. I was a go-to model for the European Collections and was often paired with my fellow supermodels of the time: Gia, Kim Alexis, Esme, Patti Hanson, Carol Alt, etc.
In the early ’90s, I moved to my hometown of Lowell, MA, to raise my son. I became an NSCA Personal Trainer, a certified RYT yoga teacher and received a certification from the Physical Mind Institute for Pilates. With these qualifications, I became the Fitness Director of a high-end country club.
In 2007 I co-founded BelleCore LLC and started the development of a breakthrough body-tool for the beauty/wellness industry with 4 Boston Doctors, M.I.T. and Harvard engineers. After 3 years of development, we launched our first product, the HoneyBelle® bodybuffer, and was immediately signed up for an exclusive deal with Neiman Marcus. In January 2011 we launched the EU version at Harrods, London as an exclusive for the UK market. For Summer 2011 we added the babyBelle® bodybuffer, a smaller but as powerful travel version, which was also signed up immediately to Neiman Marcus nationwide, Bloomingdales select national locations, Harrods London, Selfridges London and Manchester, Harvey Nichols/BEAUTYMART, London and Colette Paris. The body buffers main benefits for beauty/wellness include helping to dramatically diminish the appearance of cellulite, exfoliate, rejuvenate and smooth the skin, increase lymphatic drainage, circulation and collagen function as well as decreasing edema, water retention/swelling.
- Named Winner/ Neiman Marcus Beauty Awards/Tools & Gadgets 2011 and 2012 and inducted into the Neiman Marcus Hall of Fame 2013
- Named “Best Anti-Cellulite Technology” Harrods, London.
In 2012 we launched a Fit version of both bodybuffers dedicated to the fitness world which have gained a huge fan base amongst Elite athletes, Spartan obstacle course racers, CrossFit athletes, Triathlon and Marathon participants who use the bodybuffer for deep tissue muscle massage pre and post exercise, resulting in increased performance and speedier recovery from D.O.M.S. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). BelleCore bodybuffers have also found a home in the Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and Sports Injury/ Recovery markets.
BelleCore products are CE Certified, FDA registered and listed Class 1 510(K) exempt devices that can also be found at top spas and wellness centers across the USA and select international locations.
I founded and fund C&N, a baseball training camp for under privileged children in the Dominican Republic.