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Essential oils, Marc Cuvelier's secret weapon, LOSC physiotherapist

Marc Cuvelier (R. Potocki / L'Équipe)

For ten years, Marc Cuvelier, the physiotherapist of Lille footballers, has been converting his wardrobe to essential oils. A revolution for everyone, pros and amateurs alike.

Romain Potocki, in Lille October 25, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Peu de clubs de Ligue 1 peuvent se targuer de compter un « druide » dans leurs rangs. C'est pourtant le surnom qu'a gagné Marc Cuvelier, kiné du LOSC depuis vingt-cinq ans. Son secret ? Les huiles essentielles. « Je les ai découvertes grâce aux joueurs. Certains étaient allés voir des naturopathes, ils sont revenus en me demandant : "Tu peux me masser avec ça ?" » Le kiné se documente compulsivement, vérifie que ces essences naturelles ne contiennent aucun produit dopant, puis bascule. Se forme à l'aromathérapie, à la médecine chinoise. Et finit par tester les huiles... sur ses proches et lui-même. Les résultats l'étonnent tant qu'en 2009, il saute le pas et propose aux joueurs cette nouvelle approche du soin.

"Hazard came back and said to me, 'What is that, what did you put on me ?! Because I have almost nothing left!' "

 At first skeptical, the pros quickly changed their minds. "It is another world, explains Cuvelier, something powerful, which does not exist elsewhere. From the moment you meet him, everything changes! Your perception, your food ... "Evidenced by a certain Eden Hazard, yet not a regular at the massage table at the time, but came to find the physiotherapist for a big bruise. “I gave her shiatsu points with my essential oils. The next day, he came back and said to me, "What is this, what you put in me ?! Because I have almost nothing left!" "

Eden Hazard on the shoulders of Marc Cuvelier in 2011. (DR)

Traumas of all kinds, breathing, tone, recovery, the oils give the physiotherapist answers to all the problems posed by professional players. But, above all, an essential factor when you have a match every three days, they allow him to speed up treatment: “You go twice as fast! At the recovery level, we save a lot of time. To the players who return to see him dumbfounded, Marc Cuvelier talks about plants. From black spruce, "a very powerful venous tonic, which will act on the blood, the lymph, help detoxify". Or wintergreen, "a natural anti-inflammatory, an oil that warms and relaxes". But also rosewood, cypress, niaouli, mint or basil, "a great digestive aid".

Franck Béria brought him his family

Over the years, the physiotherapist's palette has grown in tens of essences and the locker room ends up finding it normal. Franck Béria, defender during the double Championship-Coupe de France in 2011, never recovered. "He brought me his family, asked me for advice for his children ... People, when they are open, quickly realize that it works very well", continues Cuvelier.

Not all oils work with everyone, but everyone can find their own. So Marc Cuvelier's job, like that of all aromatherapists, is first of all to listen to, observe and determine the patient's morphotype - which Hippocrates, 2,500 years ago, called "moods". Linked to the body's fundamental fluids, they draw four groups: the blood, the lymphatics, the bilious and the nervous. To each its dominant and its minors. “Mike Maignan, like many goalies, is a lymphatic. They are big workers with limited initiative. But, at times, it is also bilious, the morphotype of leaders. "

Mike Maignan (Jérôme Prévost / L'Equipe)

The purpose of herbal treatment? Rebalance everyone's moods and “refocus” the player: “A lot of soccer players are bloody. Sometimes with great anger, yes, but they are also collectives, leaders, like Florent Balmont. Each mood has its own oils: wintergreen for the blood, rosewood for the nervous, cypress or citrus for the lymphatics - to name a few. There remains the Italian helicrise which, as its name does not indicate, comes from a flower that only grows in Corsica. “It is one of the rare magic oils: it works on everyone. It is ten times more effective than arnica! "

Do not talk to Marc Cuvelier about alternative medicine, he would laugh at you. "Just by the smell, you feel the strength of an essential oil. To reach everyone (except young children), aromatherapy must be taken seriously, with the help of a professional and especially with anticipation.

Marc Cuvelier in the LOSC locker room (Romain Potocki / L'Equipe)

« C'est comme celui qui se prépare à son premier marathon : s'il s'y met 15 minutes avant, il n'a aucune chance. Il faut changer de système, anticiper, laisser à l'huile le temps d'interagir avec le corps. » Sur la table de massage, Leo Jardim, le deuxième gardien du LOSC, se marre. « Il avait une énorme pizza sur la hanche et comme il plongeait encore dessus, ça ne s'arrêtait jamais. » L'hélicrise est passée par là, et en quelques massages la blessure a cicatrisé. On se prend à rêver : est-ce qu'il n'y aurait pas une huile pour soigner les défaites ? Marc Cuvelier sourit. « Non, parce qu'une défaite, c'est toujours collectif... »

publié le 25 octobre 2019