Saturday, February 28, 2015

Acupuncture and why I use it.

  It is no secret I have had a lot of injuries over the years.  My current injury prevention and treatment plan is my most successful and I have been running basically injury free for the last 16 months or so. (full discloser I jinxed myself and after writing this my right plantar facia tightened up and I had to take a day off for it) My system has three basic arms.  I do yoga to prevent injuries and keep my body limber, balanced and strong.  I do specific exercise to target my problem areas, specifically my thoracic spine to fix my posture and eliminate my coordination problems and finally when something hurts and it shouldn't and to help with opening up the thoracic spine I get acupuncture done.  I'll eventually write about all of these but today I'll focus on the acupuncture first because generally if someone is reading a blog about injuries it means they are injured and are looking for treatment and not prevention.

  I have tried everything over the years and each modality of treatment has its advantages but I have consistently been shocked by how quickly and completely acupuncture can fix a problem.  In the year or so after my back surgery I would fairly regularly 'throw my back out.'  Basically I would get spasms in the muscle and for days I could do very little and even breathing was painful.  Other treatments would help but it was slow.  Melissa suggested acupuncture.  I was skeptical to say the least but I'm always open to trying anything.  I make my judgements based on results.

  I struggled into the office and dealt with the awkwardness of having someone stick you full of needles.  After a bit more than an hour I was told I was done and I got up.  I was 95% better!  I couldn't believe it.  I said this to Tricia, the acupuncturist, she was disappointed and put me back on the table and applied more needles.  Ten minutes later I was 100% better.  No pain, no tightness, no weakness.  I was floored.

  This same experience has been repeated now many many times.  I now also go to acupuncture to help improve my posture and thoracic spine control and strength to continue to get past my coordination problems.  This process is slower but still very helpful.

  I still see Tricia Beretz, She was the first person I went to because at the time she was the only certified sports acupuncturist in Massachusetts.  I'm not sure if she is still the only one but there certainly aren't many and she has always done such a good job I haven't felt any need or desire to branch out.  Obviously this info is of no use to you if you are living outside eastern Massachusetts as I know many of you are but for those who are closer maybe I can shorten your search.

  For those who don't live near me start with a google search for certified and licensed practitioners.  I would avoid physical therapists doing dry needling.  They receive far less training and my personal experience with it was not only disappointing in terms of results but actually quite painful.  Also they have a rather high rate of injury in comparison to traditional acupuncture.  I am aware some people have had great success with dry needling, Josh McDougal has used it as a corner stone to his comeback to running, so I'm sure some of them are doing a very good job.  I just had a bad experience myself, have read a few horror stories and am concerned about the lack of training in comparison to what acupuncturists get.


MooMoo Math said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MooMoo Math said...

Old Coach here
Love to hear you are still at it. I loved your old blog, and still talk about your blog all the time on my old geezer long runs. Sounds like you are trying to marathon again. Did you ever teach? Do you do clinics or speak? I run three races, teach middle school,founded and coach a large middle school program, and my best friends all coach top high school cross country teams,and all three of my children love running and the sport of XC. If you need an excuse to come to Atlanta maybe we can talk. Great to hear you are healthy. You had some dark times.

Nate Jenkins said...

I currently teach 7th grade math. I sometimes get a chance to speak at camps or clinics but not nearly as often. That's a lot on your plate! Keep it up and Thanks!

SJ said...

Great write up on your injury prevention routine, specifically acupuncture, I'm thinking of giving it a try for some issues. Also, I noticed you kept your sweater on for the treatment, is that normal;)

Ramona Walters said...

It’s great to know that you’re open to alternative solutions when it comes to your physical health. Anyway, acupuncture does have a lot of perks, and it’s great that you’ve experienced its marvels first hand. Thanks for sharing, Nate!

Ramona Walters @ OMNI Clinic

Pacific Wellness said...

Acupuncture Toronto is not covered by Medicare. If you are Medicare eligible and want to have acupuncture, you can certainly do so. However, Medicare will not cover the cost of the treatment and you can anticipate paying the entire expense out of your pocket.

diego78 said...

It’s really an informative post!! Your personal experience will definitely help others. Even I was suffering from back pain but acupuncture lorne park really help me to fix my problem. Acupuncture is fast and helpful method to fix problems permanently.

Emmett Fletcher said...

It’s good to see that you feel much better and more relaxed after the session. It shows how much these kinds of treatments affected you positively. If you continue doing acupuncture sessions, it would make you feel 200% better, or even more! It’s also great that you tried alternative medicine, as some would even be scared to try it out.

Emmett Fletcher @ CK Physiotherapy

Shanell Custer said...

I've been thinking about having acupuncture treatment for my bad back but need convincing it's got a chance of working. Your blog has given me that hope! It's amazing you've had such invasive surgery yet tiny needles can help like nothing else. I'll make sure I pick a certified therapist and avoid dry needling techniques when I finally seek treatment.

Shanell Custer @ Sage Health and Wellness