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TESTIMONIALS:  Increasing Athletic Performance
detailed reports - Pt 1 of 4

by Lou Gross, School Certified Master Postural Integrator
25 years successful experience
About Lou - Professional Bio
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Olympians, College Coaches, 10K & Marathon Runners

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"Fast" Scanning of the Testimonials:  Read bold black and red.
"Faster" Scanning:  Read just
red and underlines.
Red points out the major benefits the athlete was enthusiastic about!

Mike Powell, WORLD RECORD HOLDER Long Jump
(many 2-hr and 4-hr sessions)
Significant Athletic Performance Improvement

          Lou makes my body work the way it's supposed to work.  The Structural Integration Bodywork treatments allow me to do what I do, easier, and more fluently.  And when I really have to work hard or dig deep, I'll be able to go further.
          After each session my flexibility, range of motion, speed and balance are all better.  When I get to the warm-up, that's when I realize how much more I have.  My range of motion is so increased that it takes me some workouts to get it integrated with my strength and technique.  And when that happens my overall performance gets even better.
          After the third session, I had the best workout I ever had in my life and jumped 28-2, almost two feet longer than last years best in a workout. Even when I'm tight, I've jumped 27-6.  The looser I am, the easier it is to get out there.  I had the speed and strength before, but the flexibility I've gotten from the treatments allows me to utilize it.
          I also don't have to work at control as much; now it just happens, and I only have to work on the areas that need work.  My overall body positioning is also better, and the way I walk and stand is better.   I added the bodywork after I had already been getting Myo-matic electrical stimulation in physical therapy.  I've noticed that the two treatments are mutually supportive; after bodywork the Myo-matic seems to be more effective and vice-versa.  Lou's bodywork sessions are very relaxing and afterward, just walking around, they make you feel great.  It's good "stuff."
         Specifically, when I first came for treatment, I had low back pain. After 4-5 hours of bodywork, it was gone. 
           I also used to have trouble stretching.  After just the first session I noticed it felt good to stretch instead of just fighting it.

Christina Cahill (Nee Boxer), Nike International, England,
 800M: 1980 Semi-finalist, 1500M: Finalist: 1984-6th, 1988-4th
Commonwealth Games, 1500M:
1982 Gold Medalist, 1990 Silver Medalist
3 sessions: 1/2 hr on legs after a race, 4-1/2 hrs
(3 hrs on legs), 3-1/2 hrs (2 hrs on legs)
Significant Athletic Performance & Pain Removal Improvement

          The main benefit is that two days after the first long session, I didn't have any problem with my left hamstring, which had been troubling me for nearly three weeks.  The treatment cured my hamstring condition, and it improved my overall condition as well.
          I had a short 1/2 hr session right after a race, on the track, and felt a lot looser.  And my muscles were feeling freer.  The usually tight hamstring felt good, but when I ran again I felt it still, so I came for a long session.
          After 3 hours on my legs, they felt so much freer.  The hamstrings had been causing me real problems.  For a few weeks, whenever I raised my leg, they'd felt tightened up, restricted in their movement and sore.  The muscles felt knotted up in the middle.  Now I don't feel that. And the muscles feel free to move as they should.
          I also feel more flex in my ankle.  My knees come up higher.  And I have more mobility in my stretch, in the whole hip area.  After the work on my torso, head and arms, my whole body feels good.   My back and shoulders feel looser.  In fact, when standing and walking, my whole body feels loose and more balanced.  And I don't feel stiff and rigid anywhere.
          I really didn't know I was stiff in some areas.  But now that I've had the bodywork I can feel it's a lot freer, even though I didn't know it was tight before.  You get used to how your body feels, that after training hard it gets tight.  And you often forget what it should feel like.
          The session was very enjoyableI feel it's a very complete and balanced treatment the way Lou does it.  You relax and the muscles can be treated better.  You also don't feel as if just one area's been isolated; the whole body's been treated.
          This "Structural Integration" kind of connective tissue manipulation session is educational as well.  Sometimes you feel tight or loose and you don't really know why.  In the session you become more aware of why something feels tight or loose.  And you learn which muscle groups affect others.  When you get tight somewhere, you often feel that the actual point of tightness is the problem, and you don't realize that it's being caused by tightness and a problem elsewhere.  Lou would work on one area and I'd feel it become looser somewhere else.
          I noticed improvements immediately.  Even just walking, I'd felt the hamstring tight for two weeks.  Right after the session, walking up an incline back to my car, I didn't feel it.  Recovery was better, too.  I'd had a hard track session the morning before the treatment and I'm usually stiff the next day after a hard workout; I can still feel it for 24-48 hours.  But this time, after additional runs the next day, I wasn't stiff and felt really good.  Also, if you have a bad problem like this hamstring, doing a hard workout makes it worse.  But this time, including the bodywork, I felt much better.
          On this first day after the Structural Integration treatment, the hamstring tightness was far better than it had been, with just a slight problem right above the knee when I ran.  Before, it was much stronger and had been a pull all the way down the thigh.  I rested the following day, and when I ran and stretched on the third
          This gave me confidence in the Grand Prix race the next day; I didn't have to worry that I'd injure it or have it tighten up on me, as I did when racing the week before.  I took 3rd with a time of 4:07.6, equaling my best start ever, three years earlier.  It was a very competitive race and the hamstring was fine.  In the following weeks I continued to race well and the legs were fine, even through the world championships two months later, and into the winter after that.
          I attribute my good start to the hard training I did this spring, that got me in such good shape.  But that same hard training also causes problems, like the hamstring getting so tight.  This Structural Integration Bodywork, the way Lou does it, let me train so well and still not have the tightness, in the hamstring and in the rest of my body.
          I could feel the second long Structural Integration Bodywork session went into much deeper muscles.  The immediate improvements were similar to before: generally feeling freer, and my body has more mobility.  The tightness in my calves improved and my feet flexed further.  In both sessions, as Lou did my torso, I felt my back lie flatter on the table and my rib cage and chest could expand much further when I took a deep breath.  I noticed the deep relaxation would be good for people under stress.  And when comparing before and after Polaroid photos, I could see that from each session, I was standing straighter, with less arch in my lower back.

Willie Banks, WORLD RECORD HOLDER, Triple Jump
3-TIME OLYMPIAN, Olympic Trials Finalist at age 36
(Three 3-hr sessions in 1992)

Significant Athletic Performance Mechanics
& Pain Removal Improvement

          As a world class athlete pushing the boundaries of man's capabilities, it is necessary to have expert help.  Lou's Structural Integration Bodywork has been extremely beneficial in achieving the goals that I have set for myself at age 36.
            I am beyond the age that most athletes in my event consider proper.  I attribute my longevity to the care I give to my health.  Lou's work is an integral part of that care and I am glad we were able to accomplish so much in the short amount of time we were allotted
          Specifically, 9 hours of treatment corrected pain, misalignment, and chronic tightness, and my overall flexibility has improved quite a bit.
          I'd had chronic Achilles tendon tightness and operations for tears on both anklesThe bodywork broke down the tightness in my calves and they now move fluidly.  Scar tissue had built up in the subdermal tissue and that got broken up.
          My thighs are now looser and lighter, and they move easier and faster.  And I've noticed I'm picking up speed in my training.  The treatment was key to breaking up and loosening the scar tissue under my buttocks at the top of the hamstrings.  I was doing cleans weight lifting 1-1/2 to 2 years ago and pulled too hard, so I tore my upper hamstring, and it was never the same.  Every time I did cleans, it would hurt.  Now, it feels a lot better.
          My torso feels looser and more flexible.  I'd had a point of pain in my low back on the right side and general tightness on the left side.  Both were removed.  I'd also had a misalignment; when I lifted my right leg it didn't come up straight but twisted outward after it was half way upThat, too, was corrected.
          Lou, if you ever need help with something that is within my expertise, please don't hesitate to ask.  You are a miracle worker!  Best of Luck!

Gordon Laine, Long Jump,
1988 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM alternate,
World's 5th Longest Jump in 1991,
1978 All-American Triple Jumper
(Many 2-3 hr sessions in 1991, 1992)

Significant Athletic Performance Mechanics
& Pain Removal Improvement

          When I first came for these Structural Integration Bodywork treatments I was very tight and my left pelvic area and lower back used to go out regularly.  I'd get pain in the left groin, knee and ankle, and would need a chiropractic adjustment after a hard workout to correct this.  I knew I'd tightened up in the past three years and knew that when I am more flexible with full range of motion I jump more effectively.  I also wanted to improve my technique, being smoother on takeoff and more coordinated in the air.
          So when I read Lou's material about removing accumulated tightness and realigning the muscles and bones, I thought this could be just what I was looking for, and it was.
           From just the first 3-hr session I had more flexibility, my leg stretch was longer and easier and my technique was better.  I also jumped farther than I thought I could, and my arm technique was working better.  My 275 lb bench press went up a lot easier, the first time I'd done it really clean.  Overall, I no longer had the negative pulls that kept me from executing the way I'm trying to.
          My recovery time was also better.  The warm-up had been wearing me out; this time I wasn't as fatigued.  And after my previous jumping workouts, I had been feeling "beat up," and didn't want to do anything for a couple of days. This time I didn't feel anywhere near as bad and I felt like I could jump again the next day.
          My lower back would also be tight for 2-3 days and I'd need a chiropractor to put my back and hip in.   I also wasn't as tight as usual and I didn't need a chiropractic adjustment.
          After the second Structural Integration session, I felt even better.  I no longer felt the block in the buttocks I always felt, nor the pulling in the hamstrings.
          Because I was so tight to begin with, I had four long sessions in the first two weeks, which gave me an initial edge.  As more and more of the deeper old tightnesses were removed, especially in my legs, I increased my workouts and began integrating the greater flexibility and range of motion into my strength and jumping motion.  My body became more capable to do what I was training it to do, without the old tight blocks in the structure.
          After my first month of treatments, I was unable to get more than an hour of bodywork over a 2 month period and felt really tight again.  But I was pleasantly surprised to see how much faster Lou could loosen it all than it took the first time.  I felt a lot improved again in one 2-1/2 hr session.

          Once we had some thorough initial loosening of the old tightnesses, my training partner, Mike Powell, and I haven't had to do as much weight workout but we still maintain the strength and power.  We even have more strength because we have power throughout the range of motion.  That's new to us.  Everything we're doing works our muscles, so we're getting strength because we have more to work with.

Lynda Tolbert, Nike International, 100 meter hurdles,
1988 & 1992 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM (1992 Finalist: 4th)

MT.SAC Relays 100m/h winner 1988, 1989, 1990
(2 hrs on legs, 1/2 hr on torso, at 1991 MT.SAC)
Significant Athletic Performance & Pain Removal Improvement

          This is such a great thing you're doingWe really do need more of this.  I've had chronic hamstring problems since high school.  And I'm just coming off a hamstring injury.  This really helps.  It pushes all that old stuff out, and the stuff from everyday training.
          After just 25 mins on the back of my right, injured leg, my buttocks and some pelvis, I got up and walked and it felt so much better.  After 1 1/2 hrs on both legs they felt lighter and longer.  Lifting my knees to chest, they come up 3"-4" higher than before we started the bodywork.
          Then, after 1/2 hr on my torso, I can raise my arms overhead without working to it.  My lower back is looser.  My breathing is deeper; it feels like my whole chest cavity is relaxed.  Getting off the table and immediately bending over, I could keep my knees locked and touch my palms flat to the floor, with room to spare.  Getting right off the table, with my legs cold in the outdoors like this, I wouldn't have been able to do that before.
          The next day before my event I felt great, and afterwards, when I warmed down and stretched, I felt better than I had felt after any race.  It's been a long time since I felt that way, too.

Michael Graham, 400 & 800 meters, Santa Monica Track Club
4-YR ALL AMERICAN 400 meter Hurdles,
6-Time Big-8 Conference Champion,
1986 USA Jr Nat'l Champion
400 meter Hurdles 
(5-1/4 hrs in 2 sessions)
Significant Athletic Performance & Pain Removal Improvement

          The main reason I came for treatment was to correct groin pain that was significantly limiting my ability to run, and it helped a lot.
But what impressed me most in the first session is that I felt looser in places I didn't even think of or know were tight, like my toes and feet.  After Lou loosened them as well as my legs and pelvis, I realized they'd been tight.  They'd felt like one piece, but now they're loose and feel as if they're expanding.  I'm able to make different joint by joint movements I never noticed before, including being able to push off on my toes a lot freer.
          When I work out, I get tight all over.  Normally I have to stretch and warm up before I run.  After just the first hour of Bodywork on my legs, they felt loose, the way I like to feel after warm-up; I felt I could go right out and run without getting hurt.  And when Lou did just a little on my back, shoulders and neck, it all felt loose, it felt great.
          I can feel the differences between this Structural Integration Connective Tissue Manipulation Bodywork and massage.  Massage is like on the surface, this is deeper.  Lou is also more specific in what he's trying to accomplish, working on my body piece by piece, concentrating on each area, giving it special attention and then connecting all the areas together.
          Right after the session I no longer felt what had been the continuous groin pain.  And the next day I had a workout and was surprised at how fast I could go without my groin muscles hurting (maintaining 80%).  Before the Bodywork, I had to slow up.  This time I didn't feel any discomfort at all on the straight-aways and just felt it slightly on the turns.
          From the second session I could run faster and relax as I ran, something I knew about and now my body can do it.  When I started the bodywork, I couldn't run like this at all.  The groin pain was gone in lane 2 or wider, and I only felt it in lane 1 on the turns.  My buttocks were looser and my legs could come up higher, my arms and sides were more relaxed, freer and looser, and my shoulders were looser and had dropped lower.  I'm definitely getting a lot more oxygen as the paths for breathing are a lot clearer and I'm breathing deeper.

Gwen Loud, Long Jump, Keiser Track Club
3rd in U.S. at age 30, 1984 NCAA Champion
 US Olympic Trials Finalist 1980-1992
(Two sessions, 2-1/2 hrs and 4-hrs)
Significant Athletic Performance & Pain Removal Improvement

          I've been an athlete for 15 years and had a lot of people work on me.  This Structural Integration is the most unique kind of bodywork I've ever had.  It's different from massage and very innovative as well as very unique.
          From the first 2-1/2 hrs I had a deep relaxation and felt energized at the same time.  And I felt solid in my stance when I stood up.  I also got a lot from the concentration breathing exercises we did during the bodywork.  It brought me down into my body and it also relaxed me faster.
          After the second session I didn't feel as if I'd just had four hours of work on me (plus 2-1/2 hrs the day before).  Judging from the other kinds of bodywork I've had, I think I would have been dead or wiped out, and I wasn't at all.  We had combined more breath and energy concentration practice with this bodywork and instead of feeling wiped out I felt really focused and like I was ready to start workouts on schedule 1-1/2 days later.  I also felt more centered.
          Even without testing the results of the treatment in my workout I could feel immediate noticeable improvements.  My arms lifted up from my lower back rather than just straight up from my shoulders.  There was more fluid movement and I was more flexible in my shoulders. 
           My breathing was also deeper, all the way down to the bottom of my abdomen, whereas before it was shallow, only in the top part of my chest.
  I felt better, especially from the head to the pelvis.  I felt pretty solid standing, taller and very erect.  And my shoulders didn't feel like they'd slump forward.  The support feels like it's coming from the pelvis and middle of my body.  Feeling this lack of tension I thought my body wouldn't have been able to hold the stance like this, but it felt solid.

Increasing Athletic Performance
with Structural Integration Bodywork


 **   Significantly Increased Flexibility in a Very Short Time
 **   Especially Effective, and Immediate, Hamstring Lengthening
 **   Noticeably Improved Performance and Strength
**   Much Faster Recovery After Competition & Intense Workouts
 **   Fast Removal of Both Upper and Lower Back Pain
 **   Immediate Improvement of Injured Areas
             Due to Tightness
 **   Thorough and Deep Leg and Feet Loosening
and Lengthening
 **   Deep and Improved Warm-up Loosening

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Related Info:

Training-Experience of Master Postural Integrator Lou Gross

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