Football Season is underway and did you know many top players keep themselves at peak performance with acupuncture?
This recent article quotes one of my instructors, Matt Callison, LAc—an internationally recognized expert in acupuncture & cupping for sports medicine, on the benefits of acupuncture and cupping not just for injury recovery, but for prevention as well. His style of acupuncture is heavily influenced by a deep understanding of trigger points and muscle physiology.
I attempted to produce a complete list of teams who use acupuncture, but after talking to some of the acupuncturists who work with these elite athletes, many consider acupuncture to be their “secret weapon” and don’t advertise who they work with for fear of another team or player “luring” them away!
One of these fabulous acupuncturists is Lisa Ripi who manages a grueling schedule to care for players on 4 different teams! She uses Japanese-style acupuncture which is similar to what I was trained in. Dan Domingues, LAc is another one of those gems—he shares his role as the team acupuncturist for the Buffalo Bills.
Cupping is often a big part of these treatments—even National Geographic took notice in 2018 when James Harrison (then with the New England Patriots) shared his use of cupping and acupuncture. So odds are, your favorite teams probably have acupuncture and cupping in their arsenal as tools to recover quickly and be ready for the next game!
Did you know our own Robert Cecil, LAc has extensive training in Master Tung points (great for recovery from injury), and cupping (fabulous for both recovery from muscle strain and other injuries)? In fact, just one session of cupping can increase the range of motion of the treated muscle groups in athletes—and alongside other techniques, can greatly reduce recovery time after an injury.
Acupuncture and cupping in combination with Frequency Specific Microcurrent treatments can target specific types of injured tissue to speed healing. So, regardless of if you are out on the field or cheering on your favorite players—remember we can help improve your performance!
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Frequency specific microcurrent, or FSM, is a very gentle electrical stimulation modality developed by Carol McMakin, a Washington State chiropractor utilizing specific frequencies and microcurrent to change the state of injured or diseased tissues, which effectively treats a variety of physical and emotional conditions. It does so by using specific frequencies and a type of electrical current called microcurrent. Microcurrent is one millionth of an amp, an amount so minute our nerves are unable to feel it. Additionally, microcurrent has been found to increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the molecule which serves as the major source of energy for all chemical reactions up to 500%. This is extremely beneficial because injured or dysfunctional cells require increased level of ATP to return to normal and to restore their function to normal. This is in comparison to the thousandth of an amp delivered by a TENS unit which has been found to decrease ATP production.
What is FSM?
The frequency specific aspect refers to the use of pairs of specific frequencies relating to conditions and tissues. Conditions such as inflammation, congestion, increasing vitality etc., and tissues such as nerves, bone, tendons, etc. all have a specific frequencies which are then paired according to the type of dysfunction and/or damage in the tissues. For example, if a nerve is inflamed, the frequency for inflammation will be paired with the frequency for nerves which neutralizes the inflammation in the nerve.
Mechanism of Action
How FSM works is not exactly understood, however, it is thought that one mechanism is through its ability to increase ATP production which is something desperately needed during recovery. Another model is the way in which the frequencies alter cellular signaling. When a cell is damaged through injury, disease, or environmental factors, its ability to function normally is compromised due to DNA damage. The frequencies alter the cellular signaling thus altering DNA transcription and normalizing cellular functioning.
What FSM Treats
FSM can treat a variety of physical and emotional complaints. Examples are fibromyalgia, weight loss, concussion, PTSD, depression, stress, and much more. Nerve pain which is extremely difficult to treat with mainstream medicine is easily and affectively treated with FSM.
What is a Treatment Like?
Unlike traditional electrical stimulation or TENS, which has a biting, stinging sensation, FSM is painless. Due to the current being at a level which is below the nerves ability to feel it, nothing is felt. Patients often feel very relaxed and some even fall asleep.
FSM + Acupuncture = Better Results
While FSM and acupuncture are excellent stand-alone treatments when combined I have found it to further increase the effectiveness of each modality. It is believed this is due to acupuncture and FSM’s abilty to modulate and regulate the body’s natural electrical system.
FSM Patient Success Stories:
Shoulder Replacement Avoided!
A patient came into Raja Wellness who was scheduled for total shoulder replacement. The reason for the surgery was pain and extremely limited and painful range of motion. She wanted to avoid surgery for multiple reasons with the biggest being she is only in her mid-50s, especially considering that most joint replacements will need to be re-done within 10-15 years. She received treatment with acupuncture and FSM 2 times a week for 5 weeks, to increase circulation, promote tissue healing, and decrease scarring and adhesions. This resulted in her regaining 95% of her range of motion and is pain free.
Professional Athlete Returns to the Field Amazingly Fast with Acupuncture and FSM
Over the summer, a professional athlete came to Raja Wellness with a torn thigh muscle - an injury he sustained during a game. His leg was quite swollen and severely bruised. So much, that in parts the leg had a blackish-purplish hue. Walking was extremely difficult; he could barely tolerate bearing weight on the injured leg. He also said that moving was very painful especially getting in and out of a car almost impossible for him to do. Even though the injury was quite severe in three weeks with a total of six treatments, this athlete returned to the field and won MVP for the first game of his return. Pretty amazing, yet this is the power of acupuncture and frequency specific microcurrent (FSM). Each of his treatments consisted of acupuncture and FSM to promote increased circulation and tissue healing. After the first treatment, the bruising decreased by 75%. After the second treatment the patient was able to resume light exercise. By the third his gait had normalized without a limp and he was able to get in and out of a car with ease. After the sixth treatment he returned to play as if nothing had ever happened winning the game’s MVP after three weeks of being sidelined.