What Is BioSignature Modulation?

The methodology, offered at BFX Studio, examines relationships between fat storage and hormone imbalances.


BFX photo provided to bostonmagazine.com

Have you ever had your cheek fat measured? I have.

I wish it was just cheek fat. I also hopped on a 360-degree body scanner and had a pair of metal calipers taken to my knee, chin, stomach, hips, and seven other locations, all in a quest to better understand the practice of BioSignature Modulation.

According to the Poliquin Group, the organization that started BioSignature, it’s a methodology “based on the correlation between body fat storage and hormonal imbalances.” To find those correlations, a BioSignature practitioner measures and analyzes 12 body fat storage areas and examines the individual’s food diary and health habits. Then, he or she creates a nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle plan based on that data, taking into account things like gut health, macronutrient digestion, and inflammation.

“The measurements tell me what’s in balance and what isn’t in the body,” explains Jennifer Hanway, a BioSignature practitioner at BFX Studio. “For example, if somebody tends to carry weight underneath their [shoulder area] or on their hips, I know that they’re probably insulin sensitive, so that’s when I’d look at carbohydrates.”

BioSignature is relatively little-known among the general population, though it’s more popular for body builders and professional athletes. Studies about its efficacy are also scarce; much of the information about BioSignature comes from its founder, the Poliquin Group. Admittedly, I went into the appointment skeptical. But, then again, there’s got to be a reason my abs are the first thing to go whenever I stray from the gym for too long, while my thighs are spared. Why not hormones?

When Hanway—one of only a handful of BioSignature practitioners in Boston—talks about the program, it seems to make perfect sense. (She also tells me shortly into our meeting that I won’t have to give up carbs, which immediately makes me like her more.) “I’m not looking at it as, I need to shave two millimeters from your hamstring,” she says. “I’m looking at it as, how can I improve your general health, your well-being, how can I help you hit your training goals.”

Hanway only performed an initial assessment on me—no high level analysis—but even in that short time, she conjectured that excess cortisol, a stress hormone, was likely altering my body’s fat storage. From that guess, she was able to give me a handful of recommendations, including swapping a few days of weekly cardio for strength training, and eating small meals more frequently. Who knows if those recommendations will give me a six-pack, but, hey, they’re worth a shot.

And, Hanway says, BioSignature’s results can go beyond spot treatment.

“It’s really a holistic viewpoint of looking at everything. It’s very, very individualized to each client,” Hanway says. “For me, it’s just a great tool in my toolbox.”

$556 for four sessions at BFX Studio, 699 Boylston St., Boston, 617-918-7767, bfxstudio.com.