offpitch | 2016-04-29
Giuliano Poser - The doctor behind Lionel Messi's diet reveals his secrets
Mundo Deportivo met with the doctor in an exclusive interview where he discuss some of his methods and beliefs
Mundo Deportivo correspondent Aquiles Furlone met with Lionel Messi's famous doctor Giuliano Poser in Italy, you can read the full interview in Spanish here.
The doctor was responsible for revolutionizing Messi's life after an injury ridden year and many people are wondering how he thinks and what is his method.
First of all, he is surprised by a journalist asking objective questions.
“Most people get here with the idea of digging into nonsense and get information of my famous patients." and promptly says “you’re the second journalist ever to get in here out of the many that have tried.”
What is your method?
It is called applied kinesiology and consists in developing a study of the sportsman muscles’ strength, and from those results, establishing the treatment, which is specific for each person, but it’s always based in healthy alimentation.
What do you call “healthy alimentation”?
There’s a group of five dishes to which I like to refer as super gasoline: water, high quality olive oil, integral cereals, and fresh biological fruits and vegetables, that is, not contaminated with pesticides, herbicides and more, because those deal great damage to the body. Dried fruits and seeds are also good.
What should be avoided?
Sugar. It’s the worse there is for the muscles. The furthest you are from sugar, the better. Refined flours are also a big issue, basically because it is really hard to find a healthy, not contaminated wheat grain nowadays.
A little bit, yes, because it is needed in the muscles and the whole body.
What about meat?
In a fair amount. Way less than the Argentinians and Uruguayans tend to eat, because it’s really difficult for the body to digest it.
Besides a good alimentation, what does your method use?
It always varies from patient to patient. Some natural medicines, a little bit of homeopathy or kinesiology, for example, but the important part is to find the cause of the pain. If the patient has an ache in a determined part of his body, you don’t need to prescribe a pill to numb the pain, what you must do first is to find out why it hurts there. Keeping a positive vibe is also determinant, it has a lot to do.
I suppose that, in an environment like football, when you say this kind of stuff, many people look strangely at you…
It could be. There’s really a lot of ignorance in this matter, and many players have a hard time understanding it at first, but those that dare to try and starts noticing changes after three weeks, they usually don’t go back. It’s just opening your mind a bit. That’s why I have that quote hanging on my wall and I show it to everyone that goes in here (he points at a sticker where you read ‘human mind is like a parachute, it only works when it’s open’). It’s in this part where the patient’s trust is crucial, that’s why I’m so reserved. If I went out telling details about each player’s program to all the journalists that come near, I’d lose the trust they place in me, that’s why I won’t say anything specific of any player. Another big detail is the time that’s dedicated to every person. In order to give a good service, I must know the person in depth, and that’s not achievable in five minutes. I could get thousands of people a day in here and fill my pockets, but I only listen to one out of fifty that look for me and I still put the passion this job brings in front of everything else.
How much influence it had in your life to make it public that Messi is a patient of yours?
A lot. I’d say the Messi effect turned my life upside down, especially during the first three months, because the phone never stopped ringing and journalists appeared from all the corners of the world, who I didn’t see, of course. That’s affects anyone’s day-to-day, ever more for a person like me, living a very calm life, But, all around the world they’ve seen and they see Messi, and since then they can’t no longer doubt my method. It can be seen every week.
Did they doubt you a lot? By your explanation, it doesn’t look like something crazy or difficult to pull off…
It isn’t, but I’ve heard it all about my job. Truth is, people with a most open mind than normal understand it perfectly. I’m not asking them to have exotic foods, not at all, but if you look at it, most of the young ones today eat little of that and way too much of what hurts, like pizza, pastries and fast food.
Do genetics have something to do with injuries?
If a muscle is injured because of a hit or overstretching from a match action, there’s not much to do, but if the injury is not because of that and it happens in the same hemisphere of the body or the player gets injured indistinctly in a hemisphere as in the other, that would surely have something to do with the alimentation as a whole.
Does the medical staff of your patients contact you to exchange information, details and such?
Some have called me as soon as possible, and some never have, and I’m not going to say anything else on the subject because I’m not interested in rising up any controversies with anyone, so please, don’t ask for details…