Product aims to perfect posture

You don't have to tell chiropractor Tim Brown about the benefits of good posture.

The company started by Brown — a Newport Beach native who has been heavily involved in the sports medicine industry by helping, healing and training top athletes — has come out with a posture-correcting shirt for men and women that's nabbing the attention of bigtime pro athletes, actors and musicians.

IntelliSkin LLC offers six types of posture-enhancing products: the Eve Shirt for women, LC-1 Reactivator Shorts, Foundation Shirt for men, Foundation Posturecue Tank for men, Foundation Posturecue Sports Bra and the Posturecue V-Tee for men to wear under suits and business attire.

The Newport Beach-based company sells its products for $85 to $175 via the company's website,, as well as in the offices of some 600 orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors and specialty trainers.

Athletes, ranging from pro surfer Kelly Slater and beach volleyball pro Misty May-Treanor to baseball player Greg Dobbs and NBA champ Derek Fisher, stand by IntelliSkin products, believing they have enhanced their performances and minimized injuries.

The products have also garnered attention from big institutions. UC Irvine has done a study with its male volleyball players using the shirts.

The company's website quotes orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Shepard, who works with UCI athletes, saying: "After the first year, for the first time in recent program history, no incidence of shoulder injury was recorded with the athletes from the men's volleyball team who wore their IntelliSkin shirts for practice, training and recovery."

Dr. James Andrews, another orthopedic surgeon, has also conducted a study, this time with baseball players. He will soon release his findings.

Such recognition is a big feat for the product and for Brown, himself the victim of various injuries during his days of football, volleyball and surfing.

"I was spending a lot of time in the training room, back in the day when hot packs and tape, and even sometimes pills, were used to treat an injury," he said. "If it was your shoulder, they focused on that."

His injuries fueled his quest for more knowledge and for better healing practices that would address athletes' needs and injuries.

But it took years and a few career paths before Brown pieced his first mockup — made from a wetsuit — in 1990. It was for a professional surfer at the time, who, Brown said, never gave it back.

IntelliSkin acts like an undershirt, sports bra or even a regular shirt; they literally remind the wearer to keep good posture. The products force the wearer to pull his or her shoulders back, making it uncomfortable to stay in bad posture because the shoulders would be tight or hunched.

"Unique patent pending design stimulates the nerve endings in your skin to achieve a predictable neuromuscular response, which stimulates muscles that are overused and tight to relax and lengthen while weak, underused muscles are stimulated to tone and support you in the way nature intended," IntelliSkin's website says about its products.

The shirts' and shorts' designs were derived from functional athletic taping, something Brown was a bit of a leader in and even taught to others. Functional athletic taping is placing strips of tape on specific spots around an injury. The pieces tell the thousands of nerve endings in the skin to help support the body around the injury, to override it and help it heal.

That was the beginning idea of IntelliSkin. Brown used rashguards, wetsuits or other materials to give a support similar to the taping, whether it was for a shoulder, knee or ankle injury.

More products will be coming in the next few years, including pants, socks, knee sleeves and elbow sleeves, said Brown, who also is the medical director for the Assn. of Surfing Professionals tour.

All the products will continue to use the unique fabric, about twice the amount of Lycra than most other garments, so that the products merge with the nooks and crannies of skin as well as provide comfort, cushion and breathability. The products also use "fabrifoam," a type of material often used on children with autism or cerebral palsy because it soothes the nerve endings that create pain.

"My goal is to take IntelliSkin worldwide, and help to reverse the posture pandemic that's spread throughout the world," Brown said.

IntelliSkin products are designed in the U.S., but may be outsourced to China later down the road. The company's revenue is up 475% from 2010 to 2011, according to Brown.

For now, Brown is sticking with his near-future goal: changing a person's posture one person at a time.

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