Why I Combine Eastern Medicine with Sports Medicine
Practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is not just my job, it's my life's passion! I'm excited to share that I've decided to start a Sportland Acupuncture blog. I'm hoping to post articles about TCM, herbs, western supplements, nutrition, sports and training, as well as my personal experiences being both a TCM practitioner and a patient.
When I started studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) I had no idea it was going to lead me down the path to sports medicine. My interest in TCM began when I was recovering from a really bad kidney infection. I should also mention that I had experienced years of painful and frustrating reproductive health symptoms prior to that. In fact, most of the women in my family have a condition called endometriosis and have had full hysterectomies. I suffered from the symptoms but had never treated it.
At age of 24 I developed a kidney infection that was so bad I was admitted to the hospital. After being released, I was incredibly fatigued for months and began seeing an acupuncturist to help with recovery. She diagnosed me with blood deficiency and LR blood stagnation. (I will write more on this in a later blog post.) She began treating me for both the kidney infection, as well as my long history with painful menses, irregular periods and PMS.
I saw my practitioner two times a week for a month and started taking a Chinese herb called Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis). After the first week, I already felt noticeably stronger. My next menses was nearly pain-free. I couldn't believe it! I saw her the following month, once a week and continued to see improvements. The month after that I went every other week and my menses for the following five years were nearly pain-free and regular. As a side effect, my terrible digestion had gotten much better and I was having fewer sleepless nights. Needless to say, I was a convert.
My decision to study TCM was based on this experience. I wanted to help more women like me and prevent other women from needless surgeries. I feel so incredibly lucky to have attended the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM). OCOM does a fabulous job of integrating western and eastern medicine in its education.
When I began studying at OCOM I also began my journey as an athlete. I had started playing roller derby the year before and began taking it seriously and thinking of myself as an athlete. My studies and my sport began to merge. Studying muscle insertion action and innervation helped me to see how my body functioned and helped me train to be a better athlete. I began to see how structural changes can come from overuse in training and also how to help correct them. TCM diagnoses helped me to understand the different reasons athletes can be fatigued and plateau in their training.
Since graduating from OCOM I have become a certified personal trainer. My goals are to help athletes get stronger, train, perform and recover, combining personal training and TCM. I now understand how treating the whole constitution can help athletes train, perform, and recover.
Over the last 5 years I have treated and trained a ton of athletes. It's empowering to see how the thoughtful combination of TCM and training can propel someone to the next level and help them to reach their athletic goals.
I hope you enjoy the Sportland Acupuncture blog! If you have any questions you would like me to address on the blog feel free to drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org