Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks


Acupuncture Keeps Athletes Off the Bench


April 2, 2003

Brian Carter
The Pulse of Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture Keeps Athletes Off the Bench

On March 18th, 2003 the New Jersey Star Ledger reported how a high scoring New York Knicks player traveled out of his way to get acupuncture between games. According to the March 24, 2003 Washington Post, a Chinese ice-skater treated her sprained ankle with just ice and acupuncture. A March 17, 2003 London Times article chronicled the growing relationship between an Oriental Medicine school and a professional soccer team.

The 2003 NCAA Sweet Sixteen has been, as usual, marred by injuries. Keith Bogans’ ankle sprain, Brandin Knight’s chronic knee problems, T.J. Ford’s high ankle sprain, Halston Lane’s torn calf, and Hollis Price's groin injury limited both their participation and performances in these important games. What might the competition have been like if some of the best players weren’t hindered by slow healing?

Sports acupuncturist Matt Callison, L.Ac., who traveled with the Minnesota Vikings during the 2001 playoffs and now treats many of the San Diego Chargers players, says, “There is much that acupuncture can do for sports injuries, especially combined with western therapy. Acupuncture can quickly relieve pain and inflammation, and move blood stagnation (i.e., release osmotic pressure) away from the injury. This, in turn, creates a more efficient healing environment.”

Besides the additional therapies of acupuncture and external herbal formulations, Chinese medicine provides a more personalized perspective. Dr. Ronda Wimmer, PhD, LAc, points out that, “in many sports medicine and athletic training environments, protocol treatments are used across the board. These treatments focus on the symptoms rather than problem origins.”

Callison adds, “There are differences between east and west as far as treating and managing an acute injury. In the east, the focus is upon both the athlete and the injury while, in the west, it’s just the injury segment. TCM fills in the gaps by addressing the individual in order to maximize their healing potential. In the rehabilitation phase, the protocol is further modified to retrain the athlete for their particular sport.”

Licensure that ensures competency in acupuncture and Chinese herbs is regulated nationally by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (http://www.nccaom.org/ or 703-548-9004).

In California, both herbal and acupuncture competency are tested before an acupuncture license is awarded. See the California Acupuncture Board at http://www.acupuncture.ca.gov/index.html or 916-263-2680.



All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.
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