In the previous post, we discussed how an integrated treatment plan helped Carlos, a then 17-year-old high school pitcher with a 90-plus mile per hour fastball, recover from a herniated disc and bulging disc. Thanks to a combination of chiropractic care, nutrition, physical therapy, and the Cox Technic system for spinal decompression, Carlos is back on the mound for his senior season.
Another form of treatment in the Natural Healthcare Center shed that has become popular with athletes who push their bodies to the limit is acupuncture. From NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson to New York City Ballet dancers, more and more world-class athletes now view acupuncture as a critical part of their training and wellness programs.
Although the average person views acupuncture as a way to relieve pain, an athlete gains the greatest benefits during training – before an injury. Acupuncture can boost an athlete’s energy, improve overall performance, and help an athlete recover from a workout more quickly. Acupuncture can also reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase awareness and mental clarity.
Unfortunately, the best training in the world can’t prevent every injury. Acupuncture can accelerate the healing and recovery process by improving blood flow and circulation, reducing inflammation and swelling, relaxing muscles, relieving spasms, and stimulating the release of endorphins to reduce pain.
Athletes who incorporate acupuncture into their training regimen will often achieve better results with fewer injuries. The benefits of acupuncture are further enhanced when used in conjunction with other forms of sports medicine, including physical therapy, massage, stretching, chiropractic and nutrition.
Of course, no two athletes have the same needs. The physical and mental demands and injury risks of a 100-meter sprinter, a 300-pound offensive tackle, and a ballet dancer are very different. Two 100-meter sprinters could also have very different medical histories and mental and physical health issues.
This is why every acupuncture treatment should be customized for the individual, and the acupuncturist should work directly with the physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, nutritionist and other specialists to develop an integrated treatment program.
Every day, I talk about the need to balance all three components of the Triad of Health – the physical, psychological and nutritional – in order to feel better, function better and live longer. That’s exactly what practitioners of acupuncture have been doing for thousands of years.
The goal is to bring all of the body’s systems into balance by improving the flow of energy throughout the body. If one system is out of whack, others are affected. A qualified acupuncturist understands the relationships between these systems and how to keep them functioning at an optimal level.
We’re very fortunate to have Tim Sobo on the Natural Healthcare Center team. He holds three bachelor’s degrees from Penn State and a master’s degree in acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture. While coaching the taekwondo club team at Penn State, Tim discovered the healing power of acupuncture after tearing the meniscus in his right knee I three places.
In addition to being a licensed acupuncturist, Tim is a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, corrective exercise specialist, certified personal trainer, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine. Tim specializes in working as part of a team to help athletes maximize performance and minimize injury.
We understand that acupuncture is still somewhat of a mystery to a lot of people. If you or someone you know is an athlete, from high school baseball players to senior golfers to world-class competitors, contact us at Natural Healthcare Center. We’ll show you how acupuncture, as part of an integrated sports treatment program, can help athletes reach their full potential.