Sports Medicine & Athletic Enhancement

How can Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine & Nutritional support your Sport & fitness lifestyle?

Diet, exercise, training and cross training are a part of your life.  Every day you strive to stay healthy, become more healthy, as well as, train and engage in your given sport or athletic activity to the best of your ability.   No matter the season, you don’t want to miss a moment of active lifestyle opportunity and or training for your specific sport.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can support and improve your overall fitness levels,  address and support the healing process for common athletic injuries, as well as, enhance athletic performance.

  • Pain Management – Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can manage pain experienced from overuse &/or injury.  However, it also can potentially address and support the underlying cause of your pain to begin the healing process.  We directly address muscle and connective tissue utilizing Acupuncture (Motor Point Therapy & Trigger Point Therapy) combined with an Asian body work called “Tui Na”, to release and address tight, sore, injured connective and muscle tissue. 
  • Injury Recovery – Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine (Internal & External/topical) speeds the healing of injured muscles & connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments and even bone!  Powerful Chinese liniments are made from Chinese Medicinals (herbs & minerals) which help to heal the injured area at it’s core, and reduce and relieve pain and swelling. Combining western medical orthopedic evaluation with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is essential.  To understand the etiology of injuries, we utilize Western Orthopedic assessments such as, Range of Motion, Manual Muscle Testing, and “stress” and “compression” tests to different ligaments and joints.  This helps to not only reveal the site of injury, but also to help differentiate an injury from similar presenting conditions.  Integrating these two medical systems increases the likelihood that the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment is directed to the primary lesion.
  • Injury Prevention – Kinesthetic & orthopedic assessment combined with Acupuncture treatment can help prevent potential injuries, which can occur due to muscular imbalances.  Utilizing the use of Western Orthopedic assessments as mentioned above, helps to identify any areas of weakness or strain before they become chronic, and susceptible to injury. This approach allows us to treat, nourish and strengthen those areas in order to prevent future injury.
  • Athletic & Performance Enhancement – Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine can improve athletic performance in regards to the following: Increasing speed in the lower extremities for athletes, such as runners and cyclists; Benefiting and increasing Cardiovascular capacity; Improving power and endurance in both the upper and lower extremities; Improving and increasing body coordination for sports that involve jumping, throwing & multi-directional movements, such as: skiing, football, swimming, gymnastics, rock climbing, basketball, lacrosse, soccer/kicking and dancing.
    • If you are training for a specific athletic event, or are a recreational athelete wanting to enjoy your sport to the utmost of your ability, we utilize very specific acupuncture protocols developed by the world renown acupuncture sports medicine expert, Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac, whom Gina has had the honor of directly studying under, personally learning these specific Sport and Athletic Enhancing acupuncture protocols, as well as, continuing to work under and study with Dr. Reaves.
    • These specific Sport and Athletic Enhancing acupuncture protocols might be of benefit, suppport and enhancement to both your training and/or time of competition, as well as, increasing and enhancing your ability to perform your given sport. The protocols involve the application of Traditional Chinese & Korean acupuncture techniques, as well as, motor point and trigger point therapy via acupuncture, coupled with the knowledge of anatomy, orthopedics and sports medicine.  Some athletes find these treatments to offer “significant” support and enhancement to their performance . For an article recently written for The American College of Sports Medicine, by Dr. Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac, please Click HERE.  You can find this article on page 4.
  • Joint & Cartilage Health – Degenerative Joint Conditions and Arthritis often responds well to acupuncture, although treatment may take a bit longer, meaning, the treatments required to decrease and manage the pain, may be more frequent and scheduled closer together, especially at the onset of treatment. Both the knee and the hip are two very common sites of osteoarthritis & joint deterioration and inflammation.  Both are well-treated by the acupuncture techniques used in our clinic. However, smaller joints (ie: in the hand & wrist) may aslo respond well to acupuncture.  By treating the surrounding soft tissues and fascia, increasing micro-circulation at or near the joint, addressing other structural issues and potential muscular imbalances, as well as, addressing any potential internal &/or metabolic disorders, patients with arthritis or degenerative joint conditions usually experience relief at some level.
    • Nutritional & Collagen Supplementation for Joint Health – Essential support for joint health and cartilage support, is the integration of collagen supplementation with your aupuncture, diet, excercise and training regime.  Healing Traditions Oriental Medicine and Wellness offers doctor formulated, science backed, premium collagen supplements that are highly bioavailable, providing the essential nutrients and protein building blocks needed to support and maintain healthy cartilage and joints.  To Learn More about the Collagen Supplements offered at Healing Traditions Oriental Medicine and Wellness, please Click Here.
  • Sleep – Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your energy levels and focus while engaging in your given athletic activity.  If you are not sleeping well, Chinese Medicine can help!
  • Digestion – Digestive issues disript the absorption of nutrients from your food, and directly affect your energy and performance. Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine combined with Dietary and nutritional therapy, are a direct and powerful approach to help correct digestive issues.
  • Diet, Nutrition & Supplementation – Eating healthy is a common goal, but eating right for your body, as well as, for the type of athletic activity you are engaging in is a completely different animal.  A Metabolic & Nutritional Assessment will examine and reveal any nutritional and/or metabolic imbalances your body may be experiencing, leading to unwanted symptoms.  Dietary and Nutritional counseling and supplement recommendations are discussed with the goal in mind to have you feeling and performing your best.
  • The Female Athlete:
    • Female athletes and recreational athletic women have special health needs.  Their active bodies are consuming nutrients, moving blood and flushing wastes differently than sedentary women.  Their metabolisms are acting & responding differently, and their dietary needs will differ as well.  Also, a “female athletic body” has a much different internal environment – with a distinct set of needs – versus that of a Male athlete.
    • As the female athlete becomes more fit, systems such as cardiovascular can run more optimally.  However, other systems can be negatively affected. As the body and it’s tissues are being put under more demanding, physical stressors, imbalances can begin to manifest.  These imbalances can affect sleep, menstrual cycle, appetite, reproductive systems, etc.
    • Reproductive and Menstrual Issues:
      • Training for athletic events, and working out regularly is a beautiful thing for the female body and mind.  It strengthens and prepares our bodies for increased athletic demand and performance. However, this demand can also create stress and imbalance in a women’s reproductive system, leading to issues such as: potentially irregular or absent menstrual cycles, painful menstrual cycles, trouble with body temperature regulation, and even infertility.  Chinese Medicine can help the athletic women regain balance in these areas through nourishing and balancing the vital female cycles, resulting in a strong and balanced woman!
  • Treatments:
    • Dr. Gina combines her knowledge of Chinese Medicine as it relates to Sports Medicine, Athletic Enhancement Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal disorders with her background in Kinesiology and Fitness training to provide a very well-rounded and balanced approach to her treatments serving Athletes & Weekend Warriors alike suffering from other Chronic musculoskeletal & orthopedic pain disorders in the Lakewood-South Denver Metro Area.
    • Treatments received will not only be made up of acupuncture (Traditional acupuncture, “Motor Point” acupuncture and “Trigger Point” acupuncture) and body work such as Tui Na & stretching, they will also include a full postural assessment, using orthopedic physical evaluations and orthopedic manual muscle testing in order to assess the integrity of the musculoskeletal system and determine any muscular imbalances or postural distortions that may be the underlying cause of one’s discomfort or decline in daily life and or athletic performance.
    • These assessments will also help to determine the strength or weakness of a particular muscle or muscle group which can give insight into what type and/or level of injury or condition we are dealing with.
    • In addition to the above assessments performed, stretching recommendations and strength and rehabilitation exercises will be shown and given to the patient to do at home.  This Western assessment & approach combined with the knowledge of Chinese Medical Diagnosis & Acupuncture will provide the patient with an extensive and well balanced overall assessment and treatment.
    • We also firmly believe in an integrated & cooperative healing community in which we will refer patients to other medical practitioners & therapists (Orthopedic physicians and or physical therapists, etc.) as their needs dictate.

Studies on Acupuncture to Enhance Athletic Performance

  • Ear Acupuncture Enhances Athletic Recovery – Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(6):1131-8).
  • Akimoto, T., Nakahori, C., Aizawa K., (August, 2003). Acupuncture and the Response of Immunologic and Endocrine Markers During Competition. Medical Science in Sports and Exercise, 35, 1296-1302
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California. “Responses of Nitric Oxide-cGMP Release in Acupuncture Point to Electroacupuncture in Human Skin In Vivo Using Dermal Microdialysis.” In Microcirculation, 2009 May 26:1-10.
  • Pelham, T., Holt, L., Stalker, R., (2001). Acupuncture in Human Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 15(2) (pp 266-271)
  • Resourced from Article written by: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOMAcufinder
    • Studies have shown that acupuncture has measurable effects on the flow of blood to certain areas of the body, which could in turn boost athletic performance. One such study conducted at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine involved athletes running 5,000 meters, and afterwards sitting for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breath. The heart rates of the athletes who received the treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group. 
    • Another study published in the American Journal of Acupuncture measured the effects of acupuncture on anaerobic threshold and work capacity during exercise in healthy young males. Researchers found that individuals in the acupuncture treatment group had higher maximal exercise capacity and were able to perform higher workloads at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) than individuals in the placebo group. The individuals that received acupuncture also had lower heart rates.
    • A recent study published in the January, 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine examined the effects of acupuncture on cyclists. Twenty young (between 18 and 30 years of age) male cyclists underwent three tests per week, riding a stationary bike for 20 kilometers as fast as possible. The volunteers were divided into three groups that either received acupuncture, sham acupuncture or no acupuncture. Acupuncture points were chosen on the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine and administered immediately before cycling. Sham acupuncture was shallow needling of known acupoints. Not only did the study show that the group that received acupuncture had a higher RPE (Rates of Perceived Exertion) scores compared to the other tests. The men receiving the real acupuncture treatments completed their cycling tests at a higher acceleration than the others.

At Healing Traditions Integrated Wellness, we understand the athlete, because we are athletes ourselves.  Our standard services include Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine for: Sports related injuries, Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal Disorders & Pain, Women’s Health Issues & Fertility.

To learn more about the specific orthopedic, musculoskeletal and sports related injuries and conditions which benefit from and are treated by Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, please Click Here.

To learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help your athletic performance, recovery and overall health, please call us directly at 303-997-9414 to schedule your free 20 minute telephone consult.

Dr. Gina Mortellaro-Gomez, D.A.O.M., M.S.O.M., B.S., L.Ac., C.H., NCCAOM Dipl. O.M., FABORM

Dr. Gina is an avid athlete, and seasoned practitioner of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  Her B.S. in Kinesiology from University of Colorado, Boulder, began this whole journey of understanding and treating the functional body.  Gina continued her studies & earned her Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine from South West Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado, and her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) from Yo San University in Los Angeles, California specializing in Reproductive Medicine and OBGYN.

Dr. Gina has also studied and interned in China at top hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, and locally with several post graduate courses & apprenticeship programs including, a 6 month Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program with the world-renowned sports medicine acupuncture specialist, Dr. Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D.

  Currently, Dr. Gina continues to maintain a close working relationship with Dr. Reeves via helping and studying with ongoing apprenticeship groups & seminars. In addition to her apprenticeship with Dr. Whitfield Reeves, Gina also has a history as a Fitness and Personal trainer with background studies from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Dr. Gina is continually seeking ways to expand her knowledge within this field through self-education and attending acupuncture sport medicine/orthopedic and musculoskeletal courses and seminars taught by practitioners such as Matt Callison, M.S.O.M., and Dr. Whitfield Reeves, O.M.D.  

Dr. Gina combines her knowledge of Chinese Medicine as it relates to Sports Medicine, Athletic Enhancement and Musculoskeletal disorders with her background in Kinesiology and fitness training to provide a very well-rounded and balanced approach to her treatments serving Athletes, weekend warriors and those suffering from other Chronic orthopedic and musculoskeletal pain disorders in the South Denver-Lakewood Metro Area.