Olympic Athletes use Chinese Medicine as they earn medals



If you’ve turned on your T.V. in the past couple of weeks, then there’s no doubt that you have seen snow, athletes, and medals. The Sochi Olympics are in full force and Olympians are some of the most elite athletes in the world.

Of course, these athletes stay in tiptop shape through intense training and strict diets, but some of them have found an extra edge—-they use East Asian medicine to maintain their health and stamina. Whether a slopestyle competitor from Canada or a high jumper from London, Olympians turn to holistic medicine to achieve an ideal level of fitness.

Take a look at this list of five Olympic athletes (past and present) who choose acupuncture to go for the gold:

Mark Mcmorris-

Mcmorris is this year’s slopestyle bronze medalist. In the weeks leading up to Sochi, he broke a rib at the X-games. In an attempt to alleviate his pain, Mcmorris began receiving acupuncture treatments. Through a steady regime of acupuncture, pool training, gym training, and massages, he was able to recuperate and get to a point where only hard landings caused him discomfort.

Dee Dee Trotter-

Trotter competed in the 2012 Olympics and walked away with a bronze medal for the 400-meter run. A true believer in acupuncture, she brought her hometown acupuncturist along with her while competing for an Olympic medal.

Yin Jian-

In 2008, Jian won China’s first Olympic sailing gold medal. As a competitive windsurfer, she has experienced a number of injuries that have affected her waist, shoulder, legs and feet. Every night after racing in the Olympic games, Jian would have acupuncture and massage treatments for muscle tension and strains.

Amy Acuff-

The London Olympics marked Acuff’s fifth year as a USA high jump competitor in the Olympics. Not only is she a talented athlete, she is also a licensed acupuncturist in Austin, Texas. Acuff credits acupuncture for helping her with injury prevention and recovery.

Daniel Kowalski -

Having received gold, silver, and bronze medals in swimming, Kowalski is an acupuncture enthusiast. He says acupuncture has worked magic on his body, sleep habits, and overall well-being. Hear about his experience in his own words: Kowalski explains the integration of Chinese medicine into his athletic regimen in one of his own videos.

Acupuncture and athletes go together like peas and carrots!


Posted on March 6, 2014 .

Acupuncture, Infertility, and IVF

Infertility is something with which many couples struggle.  Acupuncture is a safe and natural way to work with your body and naturally restore its fertile capabilities.  You often can do acupuncture, as a male or female to correct imbalances that are keeping you from conceiving. In addition to helping you conceive, acupuncture will give you the added benefit of a healthier baby and a healthier body overall for you.  While you are pregnant, you can use acupuncture to keep improving your health, alleviate back pain or digestive issues, control stress, and to help the baby develop at its most optimal.  There are certain, unique points used each month that help the baby develop as it goes through each stage.  

If you still decide to use Western Medicine for fertility, you can and should do acupuncture before, during, and after the pregnancy.  By doing this you can treat the underlying cause of the infertility, balance any undesirable side effects of the Western treatments, and ensure the best success rates.  Acupuncture treatments can improve success rates of IVF by up to 40%.  Why would you not use it?  

Recently,  IVF success rates have increased from 25% in 2002 to over 60% in 2014 with the advancement of IVF technology and chromosomal screening.   So, now you may be asking yourself whether you still need to do acupuncture; and does Acupuncture still bring value to couples struggling with infertility when IVF clinics are claiming success rates as high as 80% now? The answer is yes!  Yes we can help those who cannot afford IVF or where IVF has failed repeatedly and donor egg is not an option for them.  We can also play a role for infertility conditons such as PCOS, endometriosis, male factor, blocked tubes, recurrent pregnancy loss, unexplained infertility and advanced maternal age.  If none of the above apply to you, yes, we still can bring lots of value to the treatment room, especially when it comes to preconception care regardless if you are trying naturally or with IVF.

Most couples are focusing just on getting pregnant.   Acupuncturists are focusing on you having a healthy child.   IVF can do very little for egg and sperm quality or implantation issues. But Chinese medicine can help the sperm and egg reach their fertility potential. There is a lot the we acupuncturists can offer to optimize Jing (essence) and the health of your unborn child and future generations through preconception care.

Posted on February 21, 2014 .

Is the 2nd Heart of your body healthy?

Did you know that you have more than one heart-like pump in your body?  You do!  Of course you have the regular heart located in the chest.  It is a powerful pump that circulates the blood out to the body.  That blood comes back to the heart through the veins; but sometimes it has a long way to travel back, or gravity is working against it.  For example, when you are standing, how does the blood get back up to the heart from your feet?  That is where your 2nd heart takes over. Your skeletal/muscular pump, or soleus muscle acts as the lower body’s powerful heart-like pump to push that blood back upwards to the real heart against gravity.  It keeps the blood from pooling in your lower body, feet and toes.  The soleus is one of the calf muscles and lies just deep to the gastrocnemius.  The soleus’ other anatomical function is to plantar flex the foot, or increase the angle between the foot and the leg (as when you point your toes).

If the soleus is tight, it can’t flex or pump with as much force.  This means that blood isn’t pushed as powerfully back upwards.  Therefore, the heart has to do the job on its own and work harder to keep the blood circulating. This is why it is recommended to lie flat when you sleep or with your feet elevated higher than the heart.  Then gravity can help the flow of blood get back up to the upper body.    But that isn’t enough.  You also need to make sure your soleus or 2nd heart  is healthy and functioning optimally.   A tight soleus muscle can lead to swelling, edema, high blood pressure, plantar fasciitis, varicosities, and can trigger low back pain. 

So how can you make sure that you are easing the load on your heart, and efficiently circulating the blood around the body? Easy!  By making sure that your soleus is not overly tight.  You can do this in three ways:  stretching, massage, and acupuncture.

Stretch your soleus to keep it supple and flexible.  Keep that 2nd heart pumping blood back up to the heart as efficiently as possible.  (see below)

Massage your soleus.  Concentrate on the posteriolateral (back and outside) portion of your calf. Press deeply as the muscle lies deep to the gastrocnemius muscle i.e. underneath it. 

Acupuncture can also release a tight soleus.  Not only will it help the soleus, but acupuncture will also move the circulation and energy throughout the entire body.  It also harmonize all the muscles, tendons and organs so that they can more optimally work together.  

Ideally you alternate among all three therapies.  It is easy to stretch a few times daily (I do it while I am standing in line), and once a week go for acupuncture or do self-massage.

Light Stretch

Start with an easier stretch that will loosen up your soleus muscles. Stand facing a wall with both hands on it. Extend your left leg behind you with your toe pointing toward the wall. Your right foot should be closer to the wall with your toe pointing straight as well. Bend your back knee, and keep your back heel pressed into the ground. Lean into the wall, stretching your left soleus muscle. Repeat the stretch with your other leg.

Medium Stretch

Move on to a slightly deeper stretch. Still facing the wall, keep both hands on the wall for balance. Place the ball of your left foot against the wall with your heel on the ground. Keep your right foot slightly behind your left with the toe pointing toward the wall. Bend your left knee as you press your knee and upper body closer to the wall. To deepen this stretch, move your left heel closer to the wall so the ball of your left foot is higher on the wall. Repeat the stretch with your other leg.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soleus_muscle, Grey’s Anatomy, www.naturalbabypros.com


Posted on January 14, 2013 .