I mentioned in last week’s recap that I have been going to Delos Therapy for a few weeks. I first heard about this from Rachel, an instructor at my yoga studio, who said that she had chronic tightness in her upper back and finally had relief after trying Delos. I was intrigued because I’ve had on-going twinges in my calf and hamstring/glute that never seem to get worse, but even with rest, ART and massage, don’t seem to get better either.
Rachel gave me a brochure and suggested that I at least check out the free 25-minute initial session. I tucked the brochure away and didn’t think much about it for several months. Then one Sunday morning a few weeks ago, after I woke up with a tight left calf again, I decided to give them a call. I had my first appointment with Conor that same day and it was incredibly painful (no sugar coating here). He spent most of the time on my left calf and found areas that were so tight, I couldn’t bear even very, very light pressure. But after just that first session, I could already feel the calf starting to loosen up. I bought a package of 25-minute sessions and made an appointment to see Conor again the next day.
I woke up the day after the second session and, no exaggeration, for the first time in 6 months, didn’t have tightness in my calf. It was amazing! But what I quickly learned is that once you loosen the tissue and start activating certain muscles, new muscles “wake-up” and begin to work differently. The result was the tightness (and associated pain) migrated up my leg and I started having the pain in my butt. Conor spent the next few sessions working on just my glute until it loosened up. And now, in the last few sessions, we have worked on both legs and just general running tightness.
The sessions are now MUCH less painful. It is actually more of a hurts-so-good feeling and I spend less time yoga-breathing and drooling all over the table than I did in the first few appointments. And on my last several runs, my legs have feel better than they have in a really, really long time.
So what is this magical therapy? It’s actually pretty simple. It is just direct pressure applied to many points along the entire muscle forcing the fascia to release and relax. The difference between Delos and massage (or ART) is that Delos Therapists press on very specific points along the muscle at specific angles. The points and angles are based on which muscles and muscle groups are causing the problem and the therapists are well trained in how the muscles groups interact and depend on each other. Easy peasy…no needles, no voodoo, just simple bio-mechanics and understanding of how the body works.
I didn’t realize until I started doing research to write this post that Delos Therapy is actually only in Chicago right now. It was developed in the 1980’s by Kenny Owens, a former champion Table Tennis player, who was seeking a way to relieve shoulder problems caused by his sport. Kenny then trained his son Eric in the therapy and the team seems to be growing fairly quickly and bringing on new therapists regularly. Delos Wellness has two locations in Chicago, one in the David Barton gym in River North and one at Southport and Clybourn in Lincoln Park (2105 N. Southport).
If you live in Chicago, or even if you are coming in town for a race or vacation, I highly recommend checking them out. Like I said, I had relief in my calf after only two 25-minute sessions.
I was not compensated in any way for this post. I went to Delos on my own and bought a package, so trust me when I say…it works. I will also add that Conor (and the other therapist I have seen, Lia) both commented that my body seems to respond rather quickly to the therapy and they have noticed very quick changes in a short-time. Maaaaaybe they are just trying to make me feel good, but maybe relief wouldn’t be so rapid for everyone?