Married chiropractors Beverley Marr and Chris Sova have high hopes for their patented product, PurePosture, a custom-sized device that, when laid upon, aligns the spine using one’s own body weight and gravity.
“I’ve always had pain issues between my shoulder blades, from bending over patients, doing paperwork and so on,” Sova said. “Beverley would give me adjustments, but I would always stiffen up. I thought there was a real need to find something that helped promote greater flexibility in the spine, but there was really nothing out there.”
Sova took to the workshop in the basement of the couple’s Monroe home to experiment with various equipment, including tennis balls and yoga mats as well as 2 by 4s and wood wedges. The last turned out to be “solid but with enough resistance to do the trick,” he said.
Introducing the prototypes to patients at their Stamford Healthcare Associates office at 1177 High Ridge Road, the couple continued to fine-tune the device over a period of nearly five years. In the meantime, Marr had developed the trademarked “SOAR Method for Perfect Posture” — SOAR being a kind of portmanteau for their surnames — a sequential stretch and strengthening program aimed at increasing core strength and improving posture.
Serendipitously, improved posture was also being seen in patients using the board, she said, with the name PurePosture nearly suggesting itself.
“Flexibility is something that varies greatly,” Marr said. “You can be a very athletic 60-year-old with terrific posture, or a super-sedentary, inflexible 20-year-old.”
Once the device was patented in 2015, they began selling PurePosture boards to patients requesting one for home use. “It slowly started to become more and more popular,” Sova said.
PurePosture’s risers range from 1½ inches to ٣ ½ inches off the board, with the idea being that most patients start at the low end and work their way toward the high end as their flexibility and posture improve. “One size does not fit all,” Marr said.
Through selling PurePosture in their office and at health fairs, Marr and Sova were able to demonstrate that users could “increase” their height from one-half inch to 2½ inches after a brief session with the board, standing taller than they had been when first arriving.
Having sold boards “in the low hundreds,” Marr said, the couple began selling PurePosture nationwide on Aug. 15 via The Grommet, an online product launch platform whose criteria for acceptance are so strict that it reportedly accepts only about 3 percent of the approximately 2,500 products pitched weekly. (The site compares itself to ABC’s invention competition show “Shark Tank;” Marr said they’ve pitched PurePosture to the program but haven’t heard back yet.)
Among the criteria are that products be innovative, initially handcrafted and made in the U.S. — all of which the pair say they are proud to adhere to. Now manufactured via computerized woodworking machines in Norwalk and Danbury, which includes laser etching of its logo, the PurePosture is selling for $249.
“When we were in discussions with The Grommet, they mentioned they didn’t agree with our price,” Marr said. “Given how much time and effort we’d put into it, I was initially disappointed … but then they told us they thought the price should be higher!”
Sova is also planning to run clinical trials on the use of PurePosture in treatments for mild to moderate scoliosis. “When you bend one way, you rotate the other way, from a biomechanical standpoint,” he said. “This could be the first and only direct treatment of mild to moderate scoliosis, at least that we’re aware of.”
Such work is still years away, however. “We’re just starting to outline the proposal for a study,” Marr said.