What Jiu-Jitsu and Delos Therapy Have Taught Me About Muscle Health

What Jiu-Jitsu and Delos Therapy Have Taught Me About Muscle Health

November 1, 2017|By Marc Pytlewicz|No Comments »

*author Marc Pytlewicz featured in photo

 

Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Having been in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world for the past few years, I have seen what happens to fighters when they continue to train, but don’t take care of their bodies. They take a beating every day and are always sore or dealing with some nagging pain. They’re training the same drills day after day in the hopes that, when they need it most, their bodies can just react instead of having to think. What many athletes don’t consider is that their daily repetition often leads to the muscles’ inability to return to a relaxed state and they stay chronically tight if they are not treated properly.

Words often used to describe ideal muscles are strong, agile or flexible, but rarely do we hear of athletes seeking muscles that are soft and pliable. At Delos, we believe that restructuring a muscle to a soft, pliable state will lead to increased strength, flexibility, agility and ultimately performance.

What do I mean by pliable? When in a relaxed state, our muscles should be soft and spongy to the touch. Muscles should only feel hard when they are flexed. However, when muscles are hard in a relaxed state, that means the fibers in the muscles are so contracted that they are tight and immobile. Immobility to a fighter of any kind, whether it be in the UFC or in the local Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Three things that my coach Luiz Claudio always tells his Jiu-Jitsu students are:

1. We must create ability to control breathing and heart rate

2. We must be able to control the body to flow like water with the least resistance, and to maintain a certain athleticism and flexibility, which will help perform without getting tired

3. Training and technique must be fluid

Without those first two points, technique and training cannot be performed at their best. When muscle fibers lose the ability to move, or “fire”, they cannot be recruited during the optimal technical movements we perform in matches, which will take away from our power when we need it most.   

At Delos, we believe that when muscle fibers are chronically contracted, the most effective way to loosen them is to force those fibers apart with direct, systematic pressure. Delos therapists use pressure that is controlled, organized, multi-dimensional and structured around what the therapist feels while palpating the muscle. With some consistency, contracted fibers begin to break apart, leading to restored physiological function in the muscle. The muscle essentially gets restructured to a soft, pliable state – it is healthy again. A healthy muscle, when called upon to do an action, can then function with close to 100 percent capacity. So the next time you’re in the gym and you’ve either reached a plateau with your training or experience any pain or stiffness, feel the muscles that you’re trying to impact. If they feel hard in a relaxed state, it’s time to give us a call.

Delos Spotlight: Angelica Mork

Delos Spotlight: Angelica Mork

October 17, 2017|By admin|1 Comment »

 

Delos Therapy has some amazing clients with extraordinary stories and we want to take the time to share their success with our therapy. Meet Angelica, a school nurse suffering from severe hip pain. Read her interview to find out her amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

AM: I heard about Delos through the grapevine – a friend of mine who had heard from a friend of hers. Both are current Delos patients who’ve had great success and thought I too would benefit from therapy.

What issues brought you to Delos?

AM: The short answer is tendonitis of the left hip. The extended version, you’ll need to take a seat for. I have had two surgeries a few years ago to fix the bursitis in my right hip/glute. I had been getting injections in both hips, but those wore off quickly so surgery was my supposed answer. After “fixing” my right hip with surgery, I started having pain in the left. I was struggling to walk. The stairs were unbearable and the most difficult thing was getting in and out of the car. I’d have to pause each time to let my body adjust to being upright again and after a few steps. I’d get a shooting pain that caused me to limp. It got to the point where I couldn’t put my shoes and socks on without pain.

What types of treatments did you try before coming to Delos?

AM: Before coming to Delos, I tried it all – several doctor visits, numerous pain medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, injections, water therapy, yoga, MRI’s (which only showed my bursitis getting worse) and some fancy machine that was supposed to break up scar tissue. A friend asked me to take a Zumba class with her – are you kidding? I could barely walk. That’s when she recommended I try Delos Therapy.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

AM: My first two appointments at Delos I’d lie there and watch the clock, willing time to go faster. My hip was in bad shape and pretty sensitive to the therapy. I wasn’t sure if the therapy was going to work. By the third session, I noticed I no longer cringed at the stairs. My husband asked me how I was feeling after a few sessions and couldn’t believe my response was “great!”. I am actually getting out of pain. I’ve had it for so long that I didn’t realize the effect it was having on me. Since starting Delos, my bursitis and tendonitis are completely gone. I walked in to my most recent session celebrating that I put socks and shoes on completely pain free. Pain changes you and to be out of it is an amazing feeling.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t tried Delos Therapy?

AM: At the very least, go for the consultation and hear what they have to say. I walked into Delos feeling like a science project. There were so many things wrong with me and no one had answers. At my first session, I made Eric review all my tests and MRIs and through it all he was confident that Delos Therapy was the solution. There was never any doubt that his team could fix me and they have. Meg is absolutely amazing. I’m incredibly grateful I found Delos when I did. Your first few sessions will be rough, but it is undoubtedly worth the time and effort.

Tell us something unique about you.

AM: I’m the grandmother of 2 amazing boys. Our family is full of boys, no girls allowed apparently.

Marathon Training and Plantar Fasciitis

Marathon Training and Plantar Fasciitis

September 16, 2017|By Rob Polk|No Comments »

It’s almost marathon time in Chicago and thousands of runners have been training all year with the hopes of crossing the finish line in October. Unfortunately, for some, pain will prevent them from reaching their goal. The consistent running that is required in the marathon-training program to build up to 26.2 miles can cause many muscular conditions just through the repetitive motions that muscles engage in during the run.

Stiffness, pain and discomfort of the heel and plantar (bottom) surface of the foot are often attributed to a condition called plantar fasciitis. For avid runners, walkers or fitness enthusiasts, this condition can cause a lot of frustration, especially when people are trying to pursue their goals or engage in activities that bring them joy. Our feet are an important part of our body. They bear our weight and keep us in motion.

Plantar fasciitis is an injury caused by repetitive use of the muscles and plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel through the plantar surface and arch of the foot. Over-tightening of the calf muscles can contribute to this condition as well.

There are several factors that increase the odds of plantar fasciitis, such as over-pronating feet, being overweight, having high arches, calf muscles that are tight, poor footwear or a previous injury. Another common cause is simply engaging in repetitive motions that cause tightening of the area, such as running and even walking. Common symptoms of this condition are a gradual onset of pain in the heel, pain radiating thru the bottom and arch of the foot, tenderness in the foot when stepping on the sole and/or heel.  Pain can range from being slightly uncomfortable to very painful, depending on the extent of the condition. Many people describe the condition as feeling as if needles are piercing through the bottom of the foot.

At Delos Therapy, we have had considerable success treating and eliminating plantar fasciitis, especially for our clients who are marathon runners. The reason our therapy is effective is because we focus on stretching the muscles and fascia in and around the area using precise pressure, which we believe is the most effective way to stretch bound-up tissue.

Often times people try stretching the area conventionally (or length-wise, by placing their foot at an angle and using a wall, for example, to try to lengthen the bottom of the foot). This type of stretching is very limited as it only impacts the healthy, elastic fibers that are capable of stretching. The fibers that are chronically contracted and tight do not respond to this method very well and need a more direct, multi-dimensional approach. Similarly, using a ball to roll over the tissue is too superficial and doesn’t actually get to the deep tightness from various angles that are knotted and hyper-contracted. Most people we see use conventional stretching and ball-rolling on a regular basis without sufficient relief, so something is obviously being missed.

Working through a treatment plan with us will re-structure the muscles of the foot and calf into a healthy and pliable muscular state, which will result in the relief of pain and stiffness.  Delos Therapy also can loosen these muscles as a preventative measure.  Our loosening technique enhances athletic performance by allowing the muscles of the feet and calves to be recruited so they can perform runs more efficiently and with less effort.

If you’re preparing for a race or struggling with this problem, continuing to be active will often exacerbate the issue if it isn’t addressed. When pain and discomfort become unbearable, they are the result of weeks, months and even years of repetitive motion that led to the chronic tightening of the plantar fascia. Resolving this issue takes some time, so we recommend immediate treatment. Our biggest pleasure is enabling runners to run the marathon when all odds were against them and they gave up hope. We’d hate to see anyone feel like they’ve wasted time training when we know that we can help.

Pain and the Mind-Body Connection

Pain and the Mind-Body Connection

September 8, 2017|By Meg Lamm|No Comments »

By Kate Patterson and Meg Lamm

 

Have you ever asked yourself, “What would I do if I no longer had headaches? What would I do if I wasn’t afraid of throwing out my back? What would I do if my shoulder didn’t hurt? What would I do if…..”

When an individual suffers from chronic pain, it can have a profound effect on daily life. While people in pain primarily experience physical limitations, it is important to note that they also encounter psychological effects such as fear, frustration and even depression. Because chronic pain is so pervasive, it can be extremely distracting and actually reduce one’s ability to concentrate and engage. Pain inhibits participation in enjoyable activities, negatively affects important personal relationships and proves to be a significant distraction in the workplace. Over time, these constant physical and mental struggles can drain energy and leave the person feeling discouraged and unmotivated in multiple aspects of his or her life.

The inability to engage in things such as playing with children, taking a fitness class,  participating in a company team building event or even simply getting restful sleep exacerbates feelings of helplessness and anxiety. The Journal of Pain Research reports that when one feels he or she is not able to partake in simple activities, there can be an associated fear of being negatively judged or labeled as weak. This can lead to a vicious cycle of shame, guilt and worthlessness, and may ultimately result in feelings of isolation and depression. Psychiatrist Michael Clark states that “nearly one third of patients with chronic pain also exhibit signs of depression.” Because depression and pain receptors share some of the same neurotransmitters and nerve pathways, muscle therapy has been found to be effective in supporting mental health and is often used in conjunction with other therapies for patients suffering from poor mental health (Washington Post).

So, how would a decrease in pain impact quality of life?  At Delos, we have seen that pain relief and ease of mobility accompany increased feelings of joy, freedom, connectedness and confidence in our clients. The surge in these feelings escalates the release of the FEEL GOOD chemicals naturally created within the body: endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine. The Huffington Post reports that when one experiences positive emotions, the brain begins to think in the way the body is feeling. A loop is then created, which links positive physiological messages to positive thoughts.

While we fully support clients seeking treatment from mental health professionals, we strive to continue making an impact in the physical realm. Consider a client of ours who came to us with debilitating back pain that was causing a strain in his relationship. He was irritated, couldn’t sleep, and took out his frustrations on his girlfriend. With treatment, we were able to eliminate his physical discomfort, but more importantly we were able to contribute to his mental well-being. In his case, pain relief had a profound impact on his quality of life, where he went from being on the brink of ending a relationship to actually being engaged in his relationship. He is now married to the woman who saw his progress from having feelings of despair to having a much happier life.

Based on what we have seen to be possible with our clients, we have to ask, why should anyone accept physical pain and mental anguish as the way things have to be forever? What does the message of “high shoulders, chronic pain, achy joints” indicate to our belief about ourselves? How do we operate if we settle on the idea that physical or mental discomfort and pain are everlasting?  Is this how we want to continue our story?

If we shift to the belief that a life free from pain is possible, what goals become attainable?  Who do we allow ourselves to become without such restrictions? How does this change the quality of our lives? Where do we see ourselves? What can we create? Where will we go? What will we achieve? There are endless possibilities.

Delos Spotlight: Jeff Libersher

Delos Spotlight: Jeff Libersher

August 22, 2017|By admin|No Comments »

 

Delos Therapy has some amazing clients with extraordinary stories and we want to take the time to share their success with our therapy. Meet Jeff, a musician suffering from extreme neck and back pain. Read his interview to find out his amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

JL: I heard about Delos through a friend of mine who was already a patient. She had great results at Delos and knew I was suffering from back issues so she suggested I see them as well.

What issues brought you to Delos?

JL: I was suffering from very severe, chronic neck and back pain.

What types of treatments did you try before coming to Delos?

JL: I tried several remedies before seeing Delos – massage, acupuncture, 4 different chiropractors, 2 different doctors and physical therapy. Nothing was helping and I was in severe pain; I needed to find a solution.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

JL: The improvement I’ve made since coming to Delos is astounding. I had tried so many options prior and yet I was still miserable. This past winter was the worst. There was not an hour during the day that I wasn’t in some degree of agony. I would wake up 3-4 times a night from the pain. Mornings were the worst. The pain affected and limited every aspect of my life. After starting my treatments with Delos, I quickly started having entire days that were pain free. Mornings went from miserable to manageable to completely pain free. I even sleep through the night! Any moments of discomfort are so rare and no longer debilitating.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t tried Delos Therapy?

JL: Delos has helped me immensely! They literally gave me my life back. I can even work out again! The therapy is effective and the staff is wonderful – extremely professional, empathetic and kind. If you are suffering from any sort of pain, Delos is your answer.

Tell us something unique about you.

JL: I’ve been a musician in an experimental art-rock band for 30 years and I’ve toured/played all over the world!

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