Delos Spotlight: Mary Kate Guidici

Delos Spotlight: Mary Kate Guidici

June 24, 2016|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 Mary Kate, once a level ten gymnast, who came to Delos with debilitating body spasms and pain. Read her interview to find out her amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

MK: I was searching for any therapy in the Chicagoland area that specialized in chronic pain and Delos Therapy popped up on my computer. I emailed them for more information and was excited to learn about a treatment option I had not tried before.

What issues brought you to Delos?

MK: I was a level ten gymnast training 30 hours a week. One injury changed my life. After my fifth ankle surgery five years ago I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type 2 (nerve damage) in my left ankle. After a year of being diagnosed it spread throughout my entire left side.

I also have severe full body muscle spasms that put me into a wheelchair and multiple splints to keep my muscles from contracting. The slightest vibration, wind blow, switch of a light, or high pitched sound would cause excruciating pain and spams, sometimes causing me to lose consciousness.

I was a level 8-10 with pain and my skin was burning with ulcers (felt like someone poured burning acid on my legs). Everything hurt, even the slightest touch. I had chronic swelling in my arm and ankle that limited my range of motion.

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

MK: Before coming to Delos, I had tried basically everything imaginable for pain: local anesthetic injections, lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks, stellate ganglion nerve blocks, a lot of different narcotics and muscle relaxants (I tried 26 different types), inpatient rehabilitation programs, outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, aqua therapy and Calmar therapy.

I gained function with IV magnesium two times a week (up to 6g/week) and acupuncture, but my pain stayed the same and I would still have major setbacks with the muscle spasms and swelling.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

MK: WOW!!!! I can’t really put it into words. After one week of Delos Therapy, Eric found the exact point where my spasms start and the exact spot that immediately stops the spasms – I guess you could say I have and activation and deactivation button on my body! As you can imagine, this gave me my life back! I now attend class, drive, go out in public and not be afraid of ending up in an ambulance and in the ER. I am cutting down the amount of IV magnesium I get dramatically and I am eliminating half the supplements and treatments I receive weekly! Nobody has been able to even touch my ankle in two years without me going into full spasm. Now, with the point, I can get my ankle worked on. My range of motion is incredible and I can finally walk down the stairs the right, easy, pain free way! My swelling is completely gone and the skin ulcers have healed since my pain level is going down! This treatment has truly been my miracle and I now know that remission is in my near future! Taking the wheelchair out of my car has been a true blessing! I can now live a “normal” life!

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

MK: If you want a treatment that gets to the root cause of your pain and doesn’t put a band aid over the symptoms Delos Therapy is where you should be! It gave me my life back and if you truly want to be pain free this is your answer!

Tell us something unique about you.

MK: My laugh is very unique…it is an inside out laugh and sounds like a seal.

 

4 Common Myths About Muscle Health

4 Common Myths About Muscle Health

March 28, 2016|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

 

When people think of muscle health, they typically refer to strength, conditioning, flexibility and endurance – things accomplished in a gym or yoga studio. As a former professional athlete and current pain specialist, there is a missing component to determine if a muscle is healthy or has proper function

 

Myth #1:         A muscle should be hard.

Muscles should always be soft, uniform and consistent. The only time a muscle should be hard is when it is in a contracted state (i.e. when it is actively flexed). If you feel the muscle fibers of a highly developed body builder, you’ll notice that the muscle will actually feel soft. When the bodybuilder flexes, the muscle will actually feel very hard and dense. This is a normal, healthy state of a muscle.

When a muscle is hard in a relaxed state, that means the muscle fibers have gone into a chronically contracted state and are incapable of relaxing. A muscle in this state will hurt and feel stiff because of the strain it puts on joints and the lack of pliability within the tight muscle fibers.

 

Myth #2:         Stretching will decrease muscle tightness.

When tight muscles feel stiff, people have the urge to stretch, not realizing that conventional or dynamic stretching only stretches apart the healthy fibers – the fibers that are capable of elongating – but not those fibers that are hard and in a constantly tight state.

In my experience, the only way to loosen up these particular, tight fibers is using direct systematic pressure, which forces those fibers apart at the location of the pressure. As an example, think of a knot tied in the middle of a rubber band and the ends of the rubber band being pulled apart. Every part of the rubber band is stretching, except for the knot. This would be the equivalent of conventional stretching which pulls at the ends of the muscle. What I’m referring to is direct, perpendicular pressure into the knot itself and breaking it apart. Furthermore, muscle fibers are three-dimensional, which means pressure needs to be applied at multiple angles and deep into the tissue, forcing the separation of every fiber.

 

Myth #3:         Foam rolling or deep-tissue massage loosens up muscle tissue.

When I talk about applying direct pressure into a muscle, most people think of foam rolling or massage. While these techniques feel good, they actually do very little to loosen up tight tissue. My clinical observation among patients that have utilized foam rolling or massage to get rid of their tightness is that the muscle still feels hard and maintains symptoms of pain and stiffness.

The reason these techniques are ineffective is because they merely move across the superficial surface of the muscle. They don’t penetrate deep into the tightness and don’t hold the fibers in a stretched position long enough to have lasting, effective impact.

 

Myth #4:         No pain or stiffness equals no problem.

Repetitive motion and sustained contractions cause muscles to get tight over time. People spend years exercising and using their muscles while sitting at a desk, and then one day, it seems as if an injury or pain just happens. There is a certain threshold of tightness needed to have any symptoms of pain and stiffness. Being below this threshold gives the perception that there is no problem accumulating.

As the fibers continue to tighten due to use, an injury or pain appears to spontaneously occur, when in reality, there are years or even decades of tightness that has been developing within the muscle.

 

Final Thoughts

The purpose of this article is draw attention to very commonly made assumptions about muscle health that don’t address the full picture of what is happening in the body. I urge you to notice as you engage in your daily activities what I’ve outlined here.  Your muscles should be soft if they are healthy. When you notice some parts of the muscle that feel hard to the touch while in a relaxed state, try stretching these muscles and see if they loosen up.

What you’ll find is that conventional stretching is useful for existing healthy fibers, but it will do nothing for tight, hard fibers. The best way to address these particular fibers, which cause pain and stiffness, is with direct, organized pressure.  When the tissue loosens up by the use of pressure, you will notice that the muscles feel softer, more flexible, and you will have more strength, and better growth and function of the muscle. Focus on your muscle health now to avoid future issues and consider that exercise and stretching are only part of the solution.

Muscles Need Maintenance Too

Muscles Need Maintenance Too

February 9, 2016|By Julie Deignan|No Comments »

 

We schedule routine check-ups for our oral and general medical health, so why not our muscular system? Muscles often aren’t assessed and treated professionally until they become symptomatic. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe many of us are attempting to design our own muscular maintenance programs, but they’re often ineffective.

After over two decades working in the rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar spa industry, I know people are searching for ways to treat muscular discomfort. I also know that a typical massage often doesn’t generate the desired results from either my or my client’s perspective. I don’t want to say I’ve been wasting my time practicing massage all these years, but I will admit I have often been frustrated at the end of a treatment when the client and I both know the problem area has had minimal change and relief. I now know the gliding techniques used in most massage styles are the reason for these limited results

There is an alternative, however, and it’s Delos Therapy: an effective and efficient pressure technique to assess and treat the soft tissues of our bodies. Whether the culprit is repetitive use from activities of daily living or an actual injury, Delos delivers consistent, therapeutic results. Tight, contracted muscles are not only uncomfortable (due to compression of the vessels and nerves that pass through that tissue and the congestion and irritation that follow), but they are also functionally impaired. Once it is chronically contracted, muscle is less extensible, so range of motion is diminished. We feel that strength is limited as well since the muscle fibers that are already contracted would be unavailable to do work.

We typically treat clients after symptoms have begun, but once relief and function is restored, we always recommend customized maintenance. I propose that if we assess and treat our muscles regularly, the way we do other body systems, symptoms could be prevented and function optimized. Believe me, as a working mom, I know well the tendency to prioritize my own health and wellness last. However, I also know that when I’m feeling great physically it translates into every area of my life.

Culturally we seem to be rediscovering the interconnection of Body-Mind-Spirit. The wellness of each facilitates the others. As Aristotle pointed out, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” If excellent health is one of our goals, then let’s add effective muscle maintenance to our list of healthy habits. Sante!

A Newcomer’s Perspective

A Newcomer’s Perspective

October 16, 2015|By Danielle Witt|No Comments »

 

When you are new to something, it can be difficult to jump in whole-heartedly. You can research, read reviews, check social media and blogs till your head spins but you may not be convinced. This was the case for me with Delos Therapy. I started working for Delos as the Office Manager at the beginning of September. Before coming for my interview, I didn’t even know Delos existed. Upon receiving an invitation to interview, I did as much research as I could. Blogs, news articles, social media, Yelp reviews… you name it I read it. While all outlets had stunning reviews, I was still unsure of what I might be getting myself into. Even post interview, in which it was clearly explained to me exactly what Delos does and what they are about, I was still not fully onboard with their concept. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I truly understood what Delos is all about.

I was sitting in our Lincoln Park office one quiet Saturday morning and as one loyal client was leaving her session, a brand new one sat on the couch awaiting her first. The exchange started simple: the new client asked the veteran what she thought of the therapy. With complete conviction the veteran stated that Delos has changed her life. She didn’t know where she would be without Delos. Usually this kind of conversation would have the skeptic in me wondering how much we had paid her. However, by now I had spent significant time in two of our three offices and heard the exact same thing from every client that has come through our doors. Her sincerity and gratitude was equal to that of someone who’s life was saved. Her words were simple yet so powerful. She had both the new client and me on board and then some in just a few sentences.

To our clients, Delos is doing the seemingly impossible: we are giving people their lives back. After seeing us, people can do things that they had once written off for good. This veteran client’s words made me feel amazing. I am beyond excited to have joined a team that is truly making a difference in this world.

Why Frequency is Important

Why Frequency is Important

September 29, 2015|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

To elicit change within a muscle, frequent administration of a stimulus is required in order to maintain or build upon a previous stimulus. For example, if the goal is for the muscle to increase in size, resistance training needs to be applied to the muscle so that it responds with growth and development. Weight training breaks down a muscle.  Over a period of 48 hours, the muscle is rebuilt and results in increased capacity to deal with resistance in the future. Furthermore, to maintain a specific level of fitness or muscle size, ongoing training is required on a regular basis. If training is stopped, muscles will atrophy and conditioning will decrease. Most people know this when it comes to their time in the gym.

It’s no different if the goal is to achieve healthy, loose (and elastic) muscles. We believe that chronically contracted muscles cause pain and stiffness, and the optimal way to relieve this condition is to stretch the muscle tissue with systematic and precise pressure, which is what we do at Delos. Muscles respond very quickly to pressure, meaning that they stretch apart and loosen.  However, they also fight to stay in a tight or contracted state if that is the state that they had been in the longest. Just like working out on a regular basis, frequent application of therapy is essential to break apart the tightness, restructure the muscle to a looser anatomical state and prevent the retightening process.

What we see clinically is that muscle tissue retightens in about 48 hours after being stretched apart with pressure. Once a muscle is loose, the frequency can be decreased to maintain the current state of the muscle. In summary, to cause any type of long-term change within a muscle, the work and stimulus applied to it must be continuous.

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