"Douglas has been indispensable ..."
Douglas has been indispensable in helping several of our top national-caliber
middle and distance runners overcome chronic running-related injuries,
and achieve results far beyond what we thought possible. The way he works
with athletes is comprehensive and creates lasting positive changes in
their bio-mechanics, body awareness and mental attitude.
Former University of Colorado Woman's Cross Country and Track Coach
"Unfixable" knee pain to NO pain! (excerpt – read whole letter)
... I showed up ready for some stretching and bending and moving on his therapy table. But we didn't do that. I thought maybe he'd have me run. We didn't do that either. I simply took off my shoes, and walked up and down the hallway of his office while he watched. He nodded like he had seen this many times before. Then, he pulled out a video camera to show me what he saw. When we watched the video together he was pointing out things like a "dropped shoulder" and "tilted pelvis." He pointed out 6 or 7 things that he seemed to see clearly. I still had no idea what he was talking about. But this still seemed better than surgery. I decided to come back.
The next few times I visited, we kept walking. Still no running. No water jogging. No balance ball work or wobble boards. No resistance bands or foam rollers. All we did was walk. And talk a lot. And things started to click. I could start to feel the things he was talking about in the video. I could feel a difference in my walk after making the oh-so-slight adjustments he suggested. A few weeks of this, and we moved along to running.
NO JOKE, after 2+ years of pain and facing a "no choice" surgery, I was running without pain for miles at a time. It wasn't "less pain", it was "no pain." I threw out my orthotics (at Douglas's request), and started to ramp up my mileage. After a few months, I jumped back into a marathon training program under Douglas's direction. I ran my first marathon in 3:30. I ran some faster before getting the bug to run longer distances. Last summer, I ran my first 50K (32mile) race. I finished 5th in my division.
... (continue reading Troy's whole letter)
—Troy Lerner, Denver, CO
“Ready to quit running altogether”
When I first came to Douglas, I was ready to quit running altogether. I had been experiencing pain in my left knee during runs for a few months. The pain started out dull, and got sharper the farther I ran, such that I would have to stop and walk home. At first, this happened after running about 3 or 4 miles, but it got so bad I could hardly make it a mile on some days. I tried to stretch, use a foam roller, and strengthen the muscles around my knee. I tried massage, taking time off, ignoring the pain, and running less frequently. Nothing seemed to work, and I was starting to believe that I just wasn’t cut out to be a runner.
I saw Douglas at a talk he gave and I decided that if anyone could help me, he could. At first, I thought, “no one needs to teach you how to run, you just run.” But, I realized very quickly that Douglas had a lot to teach me about how to run. When I started seeing him, Douglas used physical therapy and video taping to help me correct my posture and learn how to move my body more efficiently. Now, I am constantly aware of how my body is moving, and I can make corrections to improve my form when any aches start to creep in. Even when I’m not running, I am aware of how I am holding my body and where I am storing tension. My posture has improved, and I don’t experience as many routine aches and pains from sitting at a desk all day.
After the pain went away, I continued working with Douglas as my coach. Seeing Douglas routinely helps me to maintain my focus. He has provided many insights into everything from form and physical motion to attitude and purpose. I have found a new joy in running. Douglas has helped me move from running to maintain my weight into running as a daily practice that I look forward to. Thanks for all of your help and wisdom, Douglas!
“…close to giving up on the sport all together”
When I began working with Douglas, after my first season of competing in triathlon, I was suffering from multiple running-related injuries and close to giving up on the sport all together. The body awareness and relaxation techniques Douglas taught me have helped me improve my form, increase my speed, and enjoy running.
Douglas is incredibly perceptive regarding body mechanics and is able to give me seemingly small adjustments that make an enormous difference in the ease of my running form and my ability to call up more speed. He incorporates unique imagery and visualizations that help me understand how efficient, effortless running should feel. And being able to see myself in motion on video is a powerful reinforcement of what I'm learning.
With Douglas's help, I have decreased my easy, aerobic pace by more than 90 seconds per mile, and my tempo pace by nearly 2 minutes per mile while remaining injury free. Most of all, I really find running to be a joy rather than a chore, and look forward to continually improving into the future.
Competitive cyclist and runner
I've always suspected that I didn't run particularly well… as a competitive cyclist since '89 and a ski racer before that, I used way too much muscle in my running. As a recent convert to triathlon, I pretty much ignored the inefficiency. Why not, I have a good-sized engine anyway, right? But in early fall 2008 I pulled something in a hip flexor, and it never healed up. I spent 6 months training over the top of the pain, taking ibuprofen when it was bad and ignoring it when it was not so bad, and wondering why it wouldn't go away. After a big race in March 2009 I backed off, and resolved to figure out what was going on and get it fixed.
Several trips to BCSM served to confirm there was nothing 'diagnostically' wrong with my hip area. However, the root of the problem was that I didn't move correctly … and traditional PT focusing on strengthening/stretching the offended muscles wasn't fixing the problem.
About then my wife said "why don't you go see Douglas?" She'd been derailed by an IT band problem a couple of years before, and he had helped her get back on her feet. Douglas was able to isolate and describe the bad habits my neuromuscular system had developed, and more importantly show me exercises and methods to begin to retrain my body to move efficiently. Running this way takes less effort for the same speed, and doesn't provoke all those old familiar compensations. Within a couple of weeks, the last of the old lingering pain was gone. Running feels great again, and I'm looking forward to building my training back up and finding out how much the clock thinks I've improved as a runner
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
To Douglas Wisoff,
I deeply appreciate all the help you have given me with my running and my posture. I feel that with your help and guidance, elements of my running form have improved and allow me to run with less effort, less potentially harmful strain, and overall faster. My race performances over the last couple of years reflect this. It is certainly a joy to run with greater ease and see the benefit of it in my race times.
Probably more importantly, the underlying help you have given my with my posture shows in my everyday life. While this improvement is most visible in my running, I believe that my overall posture improvement helps me through every day with a more relaxed, efficient way of moving. I believe this is likely healthier overall, and I believe that I am less likely to develop various chronic pains in the future due to this improvement.
Underlying your basic teaching, I appreciate the genuine approach you take toward the fundamental movement and energy involved in running. Your love of the basic mechanics of the art of running shows in your craft. I am grateful for you skill and willingness in sharing and teaching your wisdom.
Feel free to include my times. They have improved, and for a busy guy with a demanding career and a family they are respectable times.
• April, 2009 Boston Marathon: 2:55.33 (new personal best)
• May, 2009 Flat-out 5k: 18:20 (new personal best)
• May, 2009 Bolder Boulder: 38.59
• June, 2009 Steamboat 1/2 Marathon: 1:24.00 (1st Masters; 6th overall)
Stuart Geer, MD
My knees never gave me any trouble, even after marathons, until all of a sudden I was waking up in the middle of the night with achy knees. After a year of frustration, physical therapy, supplements, and a visit to an orthopedic surgeon I tried Douglas's approach.
After the first video session I felt I was a hopeless case but I practiced his techniques anyway. My first trail race after his clinic I noticed a difference and my knees did not hurt at night! A few weeks later Douglas's videotaped me again – I definitely look like a different runner. My knees are much better and the best part is that I am running again, consistently.
Health and Wellness
City of Boulder
“… pain free in two visits ...”
I have been pleasantly surprised at the results that I have seen in my running in only a short time of seeing Douglas. I came to Radiant Running for a knee injury that was not getting better. Having rested it for six weeks along with icing it and taking ibuprofen, I resumed running only for the pain to return. Douglas has taught me a whole new way to run by changing my form and teaching me to run relaxed, without holding tension. I saw immediate results after our initial visit and was pain free after only two visits. Thanks to Douglas, I have a bright running future ahead of me.
Before I saw Douglas for treatment of what seemed to be a never-ending case of plantar fasciitis, I was afraid I’d never run again. I’d tried the whole gamut from steroid injections and iontophoresis to trigger point massage and muscle activation physical therapy – all to no avail. Through working with Douglas I discovered that the things I’d tried didn’t work because they only treated my symptoms. By focusing on the right treatment modalities and working to improve my running form, Douglas has made it possible for me to run again. Now I’m running faster, farther and more efficiently than before – all without the misery of plantar fasciitis.
Bob recognizes running as a path to regain his health.
I started seeing Douglas after he made a brief presentation where I work. I had pain in my lower inside legs every time I ran, and two other therapists were not able to make a difference. Douglas took some videos to analyze my running form, did some muscle evaluation to determine strengths and weaknesses, and spent time doing an informal interview to learn more about what I'm doing now and what my goals are. He put me on a well-structured program of easy exercises and of slowly building up running time and speed. After six months, I was running pain-free. And I was able to jog the entire Bolder Boulder race without any leg pain. That was a major accomplishment."
Radiant Body Workshop:
“… I finally discovered my hips and their ability to give me my running form back.”
I have been running since I was 18 and have fallen victim to every running theory that has come around, which has led to the sad demise of my running form and sheer enjoyment of running. I have been working with Douglas over the last few years and was finally able to take his Radiant Body Workshop last year. The workshop took me out of my comfort zone, but I did the exercises and tried to keep a journal of my progress. With the final exercises — that I now refer to as my “empowering stance” — I finally discovered my hips and their ability to give me my running form back. Not only has running become less painful and more pleasurable, but the body awareness I gained through the workshop has improved my swimming and cycling in a way that truly excites me.
Radiant Body Class:
I am able to run pain free. The injury I have had for 3 years has subsided.
"I just wanted to thank you for your work with me during the
10 week Radiant Body Class. I have been running with an
injury for over 3 years and registered for the class because I
needed help. When I started the class I was running 3 times
a week for total of 10 miles. My runs were hard and painful.
As I ended the course with you, I ran 6 times during the
week for a total of 41 pain free miles. Working with Douglas
one on one in conjunction with incorporating the exercises
I learned in class, I am able to run pain free. The injury I
have had for 3 years has subsided. The awareness, the
body sensing, and the new distinctions I have about running
allows me to have a more powerful "running pain free"
conversation before, during, and after my runs. I'm looking
forward to my future runs!"
— Wayne Rush
Radiant Body Class:
"The principles I learned are widely applicable to all parts of my life ..."
I learned so much from the Radiant Body Class! This workshop taught me how to be aware of my body: how I hold tension, how my posture contributes to my movement, and how all of my parts can move together more freely. I also finally got a glimpse of how to really relax for the first time in my life – the class provided an environment where I could take in my surroundings without worrying about what I had to do next – I was able to just be.
Another thing I noticed right away was that the practices I was learning helped me to breathe easier. I am able to visualize space in my lungs such that I don’t have to use my inhaler for asthma during running anymore. What an amazing and freeing discovery!
Douglas and Janet create a space where it is OK to just be, and it is OK to ask whatever is on your mind. Their patience and pace provide a very welcoming environment, and encourage whatever level of participation you are comfortable with. We kept a journal during this course, and I found that it was a surprising way to capture the things I learned. I still refer to this journal, especially when I need a reminder.
Since the Radiant Body Class, I have been able to incorporate the practices and exercises I learned into my daily routine. I can actually feel my body telling me that I need to do one or another exercise, based on tension I have or even a mood I may be in. After running for 15 years to lose/maintain weight, now I actually want to run for the sake of the experience of running. I have moved from an “I have to do this” attitude to an “I want to do this” place.
The principles I learned are widely applicable to all parts of my life, not just running. With consistent practice, I can feel increased energy and greater awareness in all aspects of my life, from sitting at my desk at work to cooking vegetables in my kitchen. Thank you Douglas and Janet!
Radiant Body Class:
"Suddenly things I’d been struggling with for years with dancing fell into place ..."
The biggest benefit I saw from the Radiant Body workshop was how the corrections to my posture have improved my dancing. My dance instructor has always taught me to lead from my core, which is the region between my sternum and hips. Though I understood what she wanted, I could never integrate my body to achieve what she was describing. The simple exercises I learned in the Radiant Body workshop gave me the tools to adjust my posture and suddenly things I’d been struggling with for years with dancing fell into place. Dancing has became much easier and I finally feel that I’m moving from my core as my instructor has always coached.
— Hal Yoder 3/25/08
Radiant Body Class:
"These techniques and quiet exercises have all but eliminated my shoulder and neck pain ..."
Just wanted to send you a comment or two about the powerful effect the Radiant Body Classes that you and Janet conducted have had on my life. I really enjoyed learning new ways to body sense, that included taking time out of my day to relax using constructive rest, posturing with the head and neck alignment and proper body carriage. These techniques and quiet exercises have all but eliminated my shoulder and neck pain and most importantly, taught me how to identify situations and postures that may invite the reoccurrence of the pain. I would whole heartedly recommend this class to anyone. Happy Spring!
" ... my life habits have truly changed from the ground up!"
I just wanted to thank you for assisting me in
such a life changing way with my recovery. I never thought that a car
accident would help me to embark upon such a positive path regarding my
overall health, and I want to thank you for working with me on such an
integral, life changing level.
The exercises we have worked with to alleviate pain,
to develop strength and to enhance awareness of position and posture,
movement, diet and emotional/physical connections has given me a solid
sense of groundedness and control about my body which has made a tremendous
difference in my day-to-day life.
I feel that my life habits have truly changed from
the ground up!
Advertising Manager, Silver and Gold Records
"At 48 years old, my running is stronger than ever before ..."
I have been meaning to write to you for sometime.
I just wanted to say an extra special "thanks" for the changes
you have helped make to my running. It was 1996 that I first saw you for
"anterior tib" inflammation. I suffered with this off and on
for 15 years. Even though I had seen multiple physical and massage therapists,
if I ran, the inflammation would return. My running soon became composed
of three parts: one part aspirin, one part run and one part ice.
Well, as you are aware, after three months of working/running
with you, I was better able to focus my attention on my body. More importantly,
I was able to change the way I ran so that my running was more relaxed
and without pain and inflammation.
In September 1998, I was able to run my first marathon ever, Berlin in
3:15. I felt great the whole way. In May, this year, I ran the best Bloomsday
of my life (a 12k race which I have run 13 times since 1979). I also ran
my best Bolder Boulder.
Now at 48 years old, my running is stronger than
ever before, thanks to being able to train pain free. I wouldn't have
been able to do it without your initial help. Thanks again.
See you on the trails,