Acupuncture and Sports Medicine

Drake MTB Team

Acupuncture is known for its ability to reduce pain and swelling and is a perfect complement to any athletic routine.   From weekend warriors to professional athletes in training, acupuncture and herbal therapy offers active people a holistic, safe method for preventative care, enhanced athletic performance and injury rehabilitation

Receiving regular acupuncture treatments during athletic training or increased physical activity can be beneficial in many ways.   Some acupuncture points are located at trigger points in the muscles and these painful areas get relief when they are massaged or needled.  Other important points are at motor points, where the nerve innervates the muscle, and others at significant anatomical sites like the nerve-rich areas of tendons and their attachment to the bones.  Needling acupuncture points at the various sites of the muscles and tendons can prevent injuries by improving blood flow and circulation to the area. 

Acupuncture and herbal therapy can also improve athletic performance and endurance.  Specific points on the body and ears are used to stimulate larger areas of the body, such as legs, arms and torso, improving energy and blood flow in these areas- thus enhancing mobility, strength and recovery.  Herbal adaptogens and tonics can also be prescribed that will help you increase your endurance and concentrationMany elite athletes and sports teams are now attributing their success to having acupuncturists as a part of their team.   In a study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 20 male cyclists underwent three tests per week riding a stationary bike for 20 kilometers as fast as possible, some receiving regular acupuncture, some not.  The men receiving the acupuncture treatments not only had higher RPE scores compared to the other tests, they completed their cycling tests at a higher acceleration than those not receiving acupuncture.

I specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries such as spinal disc injuries, knee, neck, and hip pain, shoulder injuries, shin splits, plantar fascitis, tennis elbow, and muscle tension headaches and have successfully treated patients of all ages, including teenagers and young children. Acupuncture needle stimulation increases micro-circulation in the body, increasing blood flow to tissues that are injured. This can reduce healing time dramatically.  Acupuncture also has been shown to increase white blood cells to bolster the immune system and it can balance neurotransmitters- giving many patients a post treatment “high" or a sense of calm.  Additionally, I will prescribe safe herbal medicine and homeopathic remedies if I feel they will assist your healing process.

I received specialized training in Acupuncture and Sports Medicine during my four year clinical training and I also apprenticed for several years with some of the world's premier sports acupuncturists and physical therapists who treat US Olympic runners and the Denver Broncos.  I worked at an integrative medical clinic in Vail, Colorado as part of a team of physical and exercise therapists, chiropractors, neurologists, and other health providers, treating hundreds of patients-- including professional athletes and even a few celebrities. 

As you might have guessed, I have always been an athlete myself - an avid cyclist, skier, rock-climber, surfer and tennis player and I also help coach a local high school mountain bike team.   I've injured nearly everything possible on my own body throughout my active years and I have the experience, empathy and skills to help you recover from your own sports injuries, enhance your athletic performance, and also create sound training programs that incorporate rest, recovery and optimal nutrition.   I look forward to helping you thrive in and out of the game!