Delos 101 – The Student Therapist Perspective

Delos 101 – The Student Therapist Perspective

April 21, 2015|By Steve Key|No Comments »

In 2014, I was a manual therapist and an amateur tri-athlete, and I was still on a frustrating quest to find a long-term resolution to physical pain and dysfunction for my clients, as well as myself. The techniques I had acquired provided temporary management of pain and restriction, but I saw clients giving up. They weren’t finding substantial resolution to their problems, and I had begun to believe that, as a therapist, I couldn’t do more to help.

Fortunately, that summer, I contacted Lia Rousset who was a close friend from school. She had been working at Delos, which was in the midst of tremendous growth. Lia knew how seriously I approach my work so she suggested that I join the Delos team. Lia, a former Olympic athlete and a brilliant therapist at the Lincoln Park Delos location, worked on my calf for 15 minutes. I was sold.

After passing scrutiny by the founders Eric and Mimi, I began intensive months of training, which turned out to be the most illuminating and motivating months of my career. Another new hire and I trained together. Building upon our prior education and work experience, we found that like many of the most beautiful and effective things in life, Delos therapy is quite simple. Still, it requires the sort of sensitivity, attentiveness and refined technique that makes people who are the best in their field appear to perform effortlessly.

I also found that working in an environment focused on pain and dysfunction can also lead to tremendous joy and optimism. This fact seems to come from the rich sense of empathy that has been cultivated at Delos, the confidence that what we do works, and the appreciation of seeing results.

After some time working at Delos, I’ve encountered athletes who are training for some of the most grueling events on Earth, to professionals whose challenges are conquered from behind their desks. I’ve worked on parents who simply want to enjoy time with their kids and folks who want to hold on to their solid golf swing deep into retirement. The bottom line is that the specific goal is less important than the fact that they are committed to that goal and we are helping them fulfill it.

Like any serious pursuit, working at Delos is a process of perpetual refinement. Every day we strive to improve our clients’ ability to thrive. And every day we go home knowing that we’re consistently involved in real and dramatic physical change in the physical realities of our clients’ lives – a change that is allowing them to live unencumbered by the pain and restrictions which they could have considered “the inevitability of life”. I’ve come a long way as a therapist and I finally found the solution to my quest.

Delos Therapy Keeps CrossFit Athletes Healthy, High-Level Performers

Delos Therapy Keeps CrossFit Athletes Healthy, High-Level Performers

January 22, 2015|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

CrossFit athletes push their bodies to the limit. Quick explosive movements inspired by Olympic lifting, power lifting and gymnastics are coached to blast calories through timed, high-intensity workouts aimed at maximizing cardiovascular conditioning and physical strength.  Customized programming (WOD or Workout of the Day) is applied to magnify each individual’s confidence and performance in a fun, high-energy atmosphere that fuels the “I can accomplish anything” attitude.  As a former personal trainer, I know how tough these athletes are.  At Delos, we love our CrossFit clients because of their commitment to pushing their physical boundaries, but we also recognize that our therapy is critical in ensuring that such endeavors can continue and even help with performance.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that “73.5% of CrossFit participants had sustained an injury that had prevented them from working, training or competing.” While intense sports and physical activities always come with some risks of injury, what we can learn from this data is not only that there is a significant number of athletes who are suffering when they would prefer to continue their CrossFit workouts, but also that there is room for improvement in terms of injury prevention by achieving optimal muscular health. At Delos, we are able to effectively address both concerns with our therapy.

Many CrossFit participants understand the risks involved, but believe that the benefits of muscular, neural and cardiovascular conditioning are far greater, not to mention the gratification of reaching milestones and belonging to a community of like-minded individuals.  The passion for the sport sometimes leads individuals to “push through” the pain or to take some time off and recover, neither of which enables them continue enjoying the process.  What we often see is that our CrossFit clients either reach a point where the pain is unbearable or resume their WODs after some rest and end up disappointed to see the symptoms re-emerge.

 

Eliminating pain caused by CrossFit WODs

Many aches and pains reported by CrossFit athletes are located in the lower back-hip region, followed by the shoulders and knees. Repeated movements and continuous contractions cause individual muscle fibers to reach a hyper-contracted state.  At Delos, we’ve found that the most effective way to break apart the hyper-contraction is to stretch the tissue with systematic pressure.  In our experience with clients, no amount of foam rolling, strengthening or conventional stretching suffices in removing their symptoms.  Once the tissue is loose, it allows for proper function.  A key point we emphasize to our CrossFit clients is that repetitive motion and stress on the body will resume the re-tightening process of muscles.  Therefore, a small amount of maintenance therapy to keep the fibers loose and functional goes a long way in keeping these athletes healthy as they continue their WODs.

 

Enhancing CrossFit Performance

Once pain and stiffness is eliminated, Delos Therapy has an impressive impact on an athlete’s performance.  If we consider tight muscle fibers as fibers that aren’t able to contract, that means that they are not available for use in any given exercise.  If any portion of an athlete’s muscle is not available for use, the limited function restricts an athlete’s strength, power, mobility, and explosiveness.  By loosening up these unavailable muscle fibers, Delos therapists essentially allow athletes to utilize a larger portion of each muscle during a WOD. The end result of using more muscle fibers is being stronger and faster – an improvement in performance.

In conclusion, we can say with certainty that Delos Therapy delivers loose muscles, which not only prevents pain, but also enhances athletic performance.  In the world of CrossFit, these are key elements of accomplishing personal goals and records.

Delos – Our Name and Values

Delos – Our Name and Values

December 29, 2014|By MimiB|No Comments »

 

 

 

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

 

At Delos Therapy, we believe that people should live their lives without pain.  Whether this means setting a personal record in your next marathon, being able to ice-skate with your kids, feeling comfortable all day at work or continuing your Saturday afternoon golf outings with your buddies, Delos exists to deliver muscles that are loose and healthy.

 

The island of Delos in ancient Greece was the birthplace of Apollo, the god of medicine and healing.  Many say modern medicine was born in Delos.  This is where the world’s most advanced physicians and scientists practiced.  In a way, it was the island of hope. In the 1970s, when Kenny Owens developed his unique technique to effectively address chronic pain, he called his therapy and company Delos.  Years later when Eric Owens and Mimi Bosika were creating the company in Chicago, it seemed fitting to keep the name.

 

In the area of chronic pain, modern medicine has yet to look closely at muscles and fascia in addressing the problem.  Taking this into account and considering the premise of our therapy, Delos Wellness is somewhat of a metaphorical island of healing in Chicago.

 

In our effort to establish ourselves as a modern clinic with an innovative approach to healing pain and muscle tightness, we have three core beliefs.

 

1. People can live without pain.  Sometimes people are so used to their current condition that they forget what it’s like not to hurt.  We are not here to manage pain or help people improve.  We are here to eliminate pain so that people can live the lives that they want to live.

 

2. The body needs maintenance.  We change the oil in our cars, we brush our teeth to avoid cavities, but we don’t always consider what it takes to keep our muscles healthy.  Once we eliminate our clients’ pain, we ask them to maintain their health for the long run with minimal ongoing therapy.  Again, we believe people should live the lives they want to live and we can help that do that by keeping them pain-free.

 

3. We will deliver extraordinary service.  Yes, we know – everyone says that.  At Delos, we really mean it. What that looks like at Delos is creating an environment full of energy. We’re always on time. We don’t cancel appointments. We keep in touch with our clients. We make our clients’ wellbeing our only priority.

Tension Headaches & How Conventional Treatments Fall Short

Tension Headaches & How Conventional Treatments Fall Short

November 21, 2014|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

According to the National Institute of Health Statistics, severe headache or migraine pain was the second most common pain complaint among chronic pain patients.(1) 

 

Most experts believe that the majority of headaches are muscle tension-type headaches.  According to Ryszard M. Pluta MD, PHD, “the cause for tension type headaches is still uncertain. These headaches are believed to be associated with the contraction of muscles in the neck and head affecting 69% of men and 88% of women everyday.  The triggers of tension-type headaches may include poor posture (such as from prolonged computer use or sleeping in an unusual position), smoking, fatigue, and stress.”(2)

Conventional treatments primarily include medication management. Pain relievers and muscle relaxers only mask the pain and relax the tissue that is able to relax. This management system only numbs the perception of pain while leaving the pain’s source unaffected.  Congested muscles in the neck (knots) are in a hyper-contracted state and won’t relax with drug intervention.

Conventional stretching includes pulling on the head, turning the neck side to side and dipping the chin down towards the chest. These static stretches ease tension and bring momentary relief from the healthy muscles, but fail to stretch the areas restricting movement and blood flow.  The muscles’ natural response to an excessive stretch is to shorten (contract) to protect from tearing, thus limiting the muscles’ stretch point.   The most effective and safest way to get lasting relief from a tension-type headache is to decrease the amount of tension in the muscles through systematic pressure intervention.

Stretching the muscle with pressure will alleviate the source of pain, remodel tight tissue that limits range of motion, and eliminate inflammation.  As a result, the tissue is restored to its natural anatomical state.  At Delos, we have seen numerous patients with tension-type headaches and encountered positive responses from our therapy.  In the presence of loose muscle fibers, there is no mechanical force pulling on the attachment point (where the muscle is attached to the skull), essentially reducing the tension-type headache.

Applying pressure to the muscles associated with a headache that is already pounding around the ears and behind eyes may sound counterintuitive, but it has changed the views of our clients on the other conventional treatments they have tried in the past.

 

1. http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

2. Andrasik, F. & Blanchard, E.B. Biofeedback treatment of muscle contraction headache. In Hatch, J.P., Fisher, J.G., Rugh, J.D., (eds.) Biofeedback: Studies in Clinical Efficacy. NY: Plenum Press, 1987.

Our Thoughts on Foam Rolling – Scratching the Surface of Effectiveness

Our Thoughts on Foam Rolling – Scratching the Surface of Effectiveness

November 6, 2014|By Eric Owens|No Comments »

If you have ever used a foam roller or a “runner’s stick” to loosen up a tight, inflamed muscle before or after exercise, then you know the process is painful.  Is the wincing we endure actually targeting the source of our pain or is it merely scratching the surface?

 

Throughout my personal training career I have used all kinds of tools on my clients after our sessions, but it was not until I became a Delos pain specialist that I realized that what I was trying to do for my clients as a trainer wasn’t very effective.  I know this because so many of my Delos clients are foam rolling on a regular basis and still suffer from pain and stiffness.

 

At Delos, we believe that the main reason foam rolling falls short is because it doesn’t hold pressure long enough to stretch muscle tissue and fascia apart. Rolling over tissue with a foam roller or other similar tools only scratches the surface when it comes to taking care of muscle pain and tightness.  Muscles and fascia are intertwined layers of tissue stacked and twisted amongst each other. The foam roller addresses the top layer of muscles.  It doesn’t fully break apart the hyper-contracted tissue that is causing symptoms of stiffness and pain by pinching on nerves and limiting blood flow to the area.

 

By treating only the superficial layers of an area, long lasting pain relief or reduced stiffness are limited. In addition, foam rolling is relatively random – sometimes delivering too much pressure and sometimes not enough, which leads to unpredictable and often insufficient results.  As a Delos therapist, I am trained to identify the congested tissue and find specific lines of tightness on a muscle to maximize the results in a systematic way. I focus on deep, controlled, sustained pressure when treating the muscle from all angles.  I am not only breaking up hyper-contracted muscle tissue and “knots,” but I treat the entire length of the muscle including the tendons. As a result, the entire muscle has restored function and health.

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