Cubs fan rubs Sox right way - by Fred Mitchell
Chicago Tribune - October 22, 2005
So what is the real secret behind the second-half
success of Sox right-hander Jose Contreras?
More confidence? Better control?
At least one major factor for the improved performance of Saturday
night's Game 1 World Series starter is a more relaxed, flexible
body resulting from extensive treatment from team massage therapist
Ah, there's the rub!
"I thank God every day because [Louis] works on me every
five days and it makes me feel loose," Contreras said through
an interpreter. "In Cuba I didn't have that. I haven't gotten
an injury. [Thank] God I gave that man a chance to massage
Louis, who has been administering neuromuscular massage therapy
on Contreras, also delves into acupuncture, deep-tissue massage
and other techniques. The White Sox are one of just three major-league
teams (the Dodgers and Yankees are the others) that employ a full-time
Contreras established career highs this season in victories (15),
starts (32), innings pitched (2042/3) and strikeouts (154). He
was 11-2 with a 2.96 earned-run average in his 15 second-half
starts, striking out 82 and walking 27.
"I want to be careful not to take too much credit," Louis said.
"But just keeping his tissue soft has been an important issue.
I certainly believe it has played a role in his success."
Louis, who has a clinic in Winnetka, also has worked extensively
with Frank Thomas and Scott Podsednik, as well as
occasionally with pitchers Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, Freddy
Garcia and Jon Garland.
"When you play in this game, there is a lot of soreness and pain,"
said Thomas, out with a broken left ankle. "John Louis is a good
guy and he has done a good job with us. It has been very important
for me as far as relaxation. I had never thought about massage
until the past couple of years. It adds a lot of flexibility and
Louis, 43, who grew up a Cubs fan in Palatine, said, "Now I have
had to swear my allegiance to the White Sox."
IT'S IN THE BAG - by
Chicago Sun-Times - November 22, 2005
Here's the rub on 'Massage Star'
There will be a local sports presence at tonight's American
Music Awards. Not an athlete, but rather an item in the celebrity
gift bags. "The Massage Star: is a device developed by John Louis,
the White Sox' massage therapist. "The Massage Star helps emulate
exactly what massage therapists do with their hands," said Louis,
founder and CEO of Acuforce. He also operates the Massage Therapy
Center in Winnetka. "The [11-ounce] weight allows individuals
to use the force needed to perform effective massages. Another
unique feature is the coating we use, which is soft and durable, making
it difficult to differentiate between the users' hands and the tool."
"It's a terrific devise,"
Sox trainer Herm Schneider said. "The Massage Star is my
favorite therapy product. It provides the weight necessary to
perform techniques I use most, muscle stripping and trigger-point
therapy, by targeting the exact points where treatment is necessary."
"I use it after workouts
to target problem areas of my body when my muscles get tight,"
Sox two-time MVP Frank Thomas said. "I don't leave home
No word on how the device is for massaging egos.
AROUND TOWN - by Fred Mitchell
Chicago Tribune - November 22, 2005
John Louis, massage therapist for the White Sox, created a device for relaxation
known as the Massage Star. It will be featured in the celebrity
gift bag at Tuesday's "American Music Awards." His
massage therapy was cited by Sox pitcher Jose Contreras as a major
contributing factor behind his magnificent second-half performances
during the World Series championship season. Louis' company
is based in Northfield, and the Massage Star is shown on the Web
Left to Right Rascal Flatts Band Members - Gary LeVox, Jay
DeMarcus & Joe Don Rooney holding their Massage Stars
at the American Music Awards November 22, 2005
above American Idol Judge,
Randy Jackson, holding his brand new Massage Star.