Human Performance Consultant Osteopath Fisher runs Formula Health, an integrated medical clinic based near Reading in Berkshire, serving a wide range of patients from newborns to the elderly. But it specializes in helping motorsport professionals achieve their health, fitness and cognitive goals – and outperform the competition in the process.
“They can have the most technologically advanced wing in the car from an aerodynamic perspective,” she says, “but if the person building these complex trackside structures is chronically sleep-deprived or struggling with acute pain, they’re not going to perform Best. Performance gains lie in reducing the risk of error by investing in individual health.”
Fisher initially worked as a personal trainer and in emergency medicine before studying osteopathy, psychology and nutritional therapy. Combining this multidisciplinary approach with the typically musculoskeletal aspect of osteopathy—manipulating joints and restoring soft tissue structures—has allowed Fisher to “take the term holistic to another level.”
“We consider all the different systems that play a role in your daily life, as well as athletic performance, from neurological and cognitive functioning to gut health and musculoskeletal conditioning,” explains Fisher, the F1 travel staff member on jet lag coaches management and nutrition alongside providing the traditional range of osteopathic treatments and movement rehabilitation.
Her first motorsport engagement was with Aston Martin in the World Endurance Championship before she was recommended to the Williams Formula 1 team by Bruno Senna and his trainer. There she was given a wide range of responsibilities to revolutionize pit stop analysis and pit crew training, transforming F1’s generally reactive model into a strategically planned, data-driven, refined process.
This process, says Fisher, was “a bit like Pandora’s box. We just opened the lid on the new era of this man-machine spectacle at the start of the extensive pit stop analysis you see today.”
Her work with Williams earned a world record for the fastest pit stop ever in 2016, and Fisher was subsequently poached to become a human performance consultant with a primary focus on F1 pit stops. Since Fisher joined the Alfa Romeo F1 team, her pit stops have been among the top two improved teams in the paddock, led by her direct work with the pit crew and directing internal equipment modifications.
Fisher’s wide-ranging responsibilities include helping Alfa Romeo improve its pit stop performance
Photo by: Florent Gooden – DPPI
“Being the driving force behind radically changing how a team approaches something critical to performance on track makes you proud when you see it come together,” she says. “And the results speak for themselves.”
From interpreting MRI scans and treating pit crew with acupuncture needles, to disassembling wheelguns and defining sensor placement for optimized pit stop analysis, Fisher’s role at Alfa goes far beyond that of a typical osteopath. But this unique combination, she says, is the logical result of her “diagnostic mindset.”
Accustomed to investigating the root cause of a patient’s symptoms and treating the problem, Fisher applies the same problem-solving process to various applications. “You just have to know every element inside and out,” she says.
“You can’t get more tailored than your own DNA. The best thing about this form of analysis is that we can guide our clients, regardless of their occupation or medical condition, to take preventive action before they develop potential health problems.” Gemma Fischer
The use of time-saving and efficient technology does not end with the pit stop equipment. In 2021, Fisher introduced nutrigenetic analysis to the entire Alfa team. This “groundbreaking” tool allows individuals to become better educated about their bodies and create bespoke, actionable plans of action tailored to their DNA.
The improved preparation and conditioning that results from this knowledge eliminates the need for trial-and-error dieting, shines the spotlight on chronic symptoms, and identifies genetic predispositions to a broad spectrum of vitamin deficiencies and potential medical conditions. Empowering individuals with these insights enables them to make transformative changes to their health and well-being.
Fisher explains, “Once you understand what’s going on in your body and why, you know what needs to be addressed. With the support of the Formula Health team via remote consultations, we can guide you on how to make the changes needed to meet your health and fitness goals.”
DNA test results are presented in an easy-to-use format within Formula Health’s app, with detailed explanations, recipe ideas and supplement suggestions provided in accordance with the person’s genetic requirements.
Formula Health’s app-based system allows team members to tailor their diet and exercise plans to the needs of their own DNA
Photo by: Florent Gooden – DPPI
“You can’t get more customized than your own DNA,” says Fisher. “The best thing about this form of analysis is that we can guide our clients, regardless of their occupation or medical condition, to take preventive action before they experience potential health problems or suffer an adverse impact on what “human performance” means to them. “
This use of analytics also allows Formula Health to “help more people, not just those who can visit us at our clinic or are limited to the elite world of F1,” explains Fisher. Genetic kits can be shipped worldwide, users simply download the app and register, collect a saliva sample and then mail it to Formula Health’s lab.
“If you choose the option for a follow-up consultation, we’ll then remotely walk you through a full medical history,” adds Fisher, “and walk you through your findings and personalized plan of action.”
Fisher is on a mission to increase access to proactive integrated health modalities as advances in medical technology allow us to be better informed about the impact of lifestyle choices and the opportunities such insights offer to guide daily performance regardless of to improve a person’s life stage or fitness level.
Formula Health has an extensive team of professionals in its clinic, which is visited by athletes, CEOs and entrepreneurs from all over the world who appreciate the company’s forward-thinking approach and comprehensive services. Why not contact Formula Health and see how they can help get your performance on track?
For a 10% discount on all DNA products, including the kit and advice pack, visit www.formulahealth.co.uk and use the code: AUTOSPORTDNA
Fisher has worked with Alfa Romeo for three years, but their services are available to all through their UK-based clinic near Reading
Photo by: Antonin Vincent