The Pliability Gap

The Pliability Gap

March 13, 2018|By William Hernandez|No Comments »

The Arnold Sports Festival is an event that features 18,000 athletes in over 70 sports, showcases performance enhancing products and services, and attracts fans dedicated to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. The event was named after Arnold Schwarzenegger and it’s definitely a great, motivating experience.

I was instantly inspired to better myself, not only by becoming healthier, but also by growing professionally. The expo is full of people who continue to work harder and push the bar higher in their respective fields. My observation was that there isn’t an excuse not to strive for more.

My goal was to find out how many of these dedicated athletes are affected by tight muscle tissue and then to explain the benefits of having pliable muscles based on what I see as a Delos Therapist. What I found was that the elite bodybuilders didn’t have many problems with tension or tight tissues, and more surprisingly, this wasn’t because they were focused on recovery or self care to stay loose. They were doing almost nothing and didn’t have symptoms of tightness or pain that I regularly encounter.

On the other hand, the vast majority of amateur bodybuilders and athletes had a ton of tightness that restricted their mobility and performance. The group of tight individuals was dramatically larger than those who are on top of the performance charts. Although the genetic make-up of some of these individuals gave them an advantage, the most important factor was the efficiency of available muscle tissue. Those who were most pliable outperformed those who weren’t. Those who felt tightest needed to do more to maintain their muscles in order to reach higher levels. The pliability gap between those who are average and those who are great is very apparent.

After talking to many athletes it was clear that they hadn’t found the ideal solution to move beyond plateaus. Those who had pain, lacked range of motion and weren’t able to increase performance had tried similar methods to improve upon these shortcomings. The common answers to the question ‘what methods are you using to improve your performance?’ included foam rolling, using a lacrosse ball, massages, chiropractic, physical therapy, e-stem machines, ice baths, acupuncture, and trigger point therapy. In the end, all of these people needed something more. I was able to get them to understand why muscles need to be pliable and why Delos therapy, which stretches and softens their muscles with precise pressure, works so well.

The athletes who received therapy from me were amazed at how quickly the therapy worked and how much looser they felt. The excitement they expressed when they realized that this is what they have been looking for to solve their issues with pain and performance was overwhelming. Some started to tell their friends to try it out, others brought in their trainers so that I can explain to them what I was doing, and others wanted to know if I can travel to provide therapy. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to educate people about muscle pliability. I plan on doing it again next year.

Olympian Or Not, Pliability Is Key

Olympian Or Not, Pliability Is Key

February 12, 2018|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

I wonder how many elite athletes never made it to the Olympics this year due to injury. Imagine training for a moment that only comes every four years and getting injured right before that moment. Injuries due to overuse are very common before and during the Olympic games. The intense repetitive use of muscle tissue during training causes muscle fibers to become tight, rigid and less pliable over time, making them prone to injury. In looking at recent articles about Olympic athletes and recovery, what most physicians and trainers recommend that athletes do to try to keep muscles healthy is stretch, get massages, foam roll, rest, pay close attention to diet and hydration and many other things. While all these are important, one component of staying healthy that doesn’t get enough attention, if any, is achieving and maintaining muscle pliability. Even if this concept is top of mind, the way to get there with traditional options lacks effectiveness.

How come pliability isn’t at the forefront? If a muscle is not pliable, it’s more prone to exhaustion and injury. When we were kids, we could jump out of bed and participate in obscene amounts of physical activity without hurting the next day, but as we age, we feel like we need much more time to warm up and recover. Do you ever wonder why? The answer is pliability. Why does an athlete need much more warm-up and recovery later in his career? What makes some athletes less agile, less powerful, less flexible and less explosive? What makes an athlete slow down overtime, get injured and have to retire? We believe the answer to all of these questions is the lack of pliability.

To be able to tell if a muscle is unhealthy, all you have to do is touch it. Is it soft and pliable or is it hard and full of knots? When an athlete loses pliability, there is no amount of stretching, foam rolling or massaging that will recover it. We know this because everyone we see in our clinic stretches and foam rolls and their muscles still feel hard and rigid in areas that are hurting or slowing down their progress. Despite all their efforts, these athletes are much slower and less explosive, have less fine motor control and ultimately their performance is greatly diminished.

What we do at Delos is get rid of this rigidity with direct, precise pressure at all angles of a muscle to force the tight fibers to stretch apart. As the fibers stretch apart, the muscle becomes more pliable and usable. When muscles are pliable, a person can perform at any age and fitness level with the same capacity and energy as when they were children.

Delos Spotlight: Lisa Woodward

Delos Spotlight: Lisa Woodward

January 30, 2018|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 Lisa, an active individual suffering from chronic knee pain. Read her interview to find out her amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

LW: I discovered Delos when I started going to Shred415 in Hinsdale.

What issues brought you to Delos?

LW: I’d been struggling with constant knee pain for years. I decided to give Delos a try because at this point, I had nothing to lose.

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

LW: At first I tried to struggle through the knee pain, but it just wouldn’t go away. I woke up one day and could barely walk. I decided it was time to see an orthopedic. He told me I had patella tendinitis and referred me to his PT. I put the time in with PT and saw no results. I just decided to live with the pain that would flare up from time to time. Basically I was told to just swear off any kind of running and jumping. My knee even hurt while and after wearing heels. It also hurt just laying in bed. At this point, I was just living with chronic pain.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

LW: Since starting at Delos Therapy I can run again pain free. I never thought this would happen. I can now run 4-5 days a week and faster than ever! I have no more pain while sleeping, walking, running or wearing heels. My life has been changed!

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

LW: I would tell you to give it a try. I never thought I would see the results I have seen. I thought maybe it would help with the pain at night. Little did I know that my pain would completely go away. It was worth every single minute of time I had to take out of my busy day 3 times a week for 4 weeks to finally be pain free! I can’t believe the results!

Delos Spotlight: Michael Flowers

Delos Spotlight: Michael Flowers

December 18, 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 Michael, a sand volleyball player suffering from shoulder pain. Read his interview to find out his amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

MF: I learned about Delos through one of the therapists, Marc. I had been taking hot yoga classes at a studio and met him there. Marc told me all about a new therapy he was doing called Delos Therapy and recommended I come see him for my shoulder.

What issues brought you to Delos?

MF: The main issue I had was my right shoulder and secondary was my left calf. Both of these are classic injuries for sand volleyball players and most of the time they lead to surgery. My goal was to avoid this at all costs, but the pain was starting to affect my performance, especially during tournaments. Even if I pushed through the pain, it became a mental block. Instead of focusing on playing the game, I always had these issues on my mind and the constant worry ultimately pushed me to try Delos.

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

MF: Everything! Massage, chiropractor, yoga, foam rolling, lacrosse ball, ibuprofen…the list goes on. Each had their moments of temporary relief, but nothing gave me the lasting results I was searching for.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

MF: Delos has been amazing! Since starting therapy, I’ve gained longevity during play and my mental game has completely changed. Tournaments can last for hours and before Delos, my shoulder would give out by game three. Now, I’m making it into game six before I even think about it. My strength has improved too. I’m playing better overall because the fear of damaging my shoulder beyond repair is gone. I have the confidence to really use my body again and can put all my effort into each game. A long-term goal of mine is to become an AVP beach volleyball pro (maybe even Olympic level!) and Delos is what will keep my shoulder healthy to get there.

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

MF: I’ve talked to several athletes about my journey with Delos and I tell them all its 100 percent worth the investment. Delos isn’t like any of the other modalities I tried because my Delos therapist has found the source of my pain and is resolving it.  With athletes, time is money, and it’s imperative that we are able to use our bodies. Delos has a strict structure that is both time and cost conscious and the solution is effective. An added bonus is the staff. Several therapists are athletes or high-level performers, which helps them better understand the client’s needs. My recommendation – come to Delos before you waste effort elsewhere, or worse, have to resort to surgery.

Tell us something unique about you.

MF: As you may have guessed, I’m a sand volleyball player. In my time away from the sport, I’m a special education teacher and entrepreneur. Of course my company revolves around sand volleyball – Progression Volleyball Consulting. I love working with kids and helping them achieve their athletic and academic goals.

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.

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