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Needling

It’s late last night and I’m fading to black as the Patriots are lighting it up in Houston. Commentator Chris Collingsworth calls to my consciousness as he comments concerning concussions. Concussions are now in the discussions concerning contact sports. Former participants are reporting the negative effects of head traumas and the brains of deceased players have been found to have significant damage. PBS, popular press and a soon to be released movie are bringing to light that which had been in darkness. Collingsworth relates that Houston’s quarterback, Brian Hoyer, had been with the Patriots and under Tom Brady’s wing while bench sitting through his first three years in the NFL. Currently, as the Texans’ starting QB this season, he got off to a rough start and then had a concussion. He received Acupuncture treatments for his head trauma, missed only one game and has played very well since his quick recovery. It is the first time that I know of in which this time and cross populations tested common Asian healing art has been mentioned on a televised sporting event. I am pleasantly surprised by the free advertizing, but a bit miffed by the commentators’ giggles about it. I am aware that advertisers have huge control over the scripts of mass media and that the drug companies dominate the commercial landscape. However, I assumed a former player-turned commentator would be hip to common modern athletic healing tricks.
 
It’s been a long time since my R.N. grandma referred to my Chiropractic treatments as “Choirpractic”, my mom called my brother’s Acupuncture practice, “Aquapuncture”, Dave Cowens (70’s Celtics) had to fly his Chiropractor (at his expense) on road trips, my first Chiro referred to himself as a “secret” healer for the Patriots, Emmitt Smith of the Cowboys advising all rookies to get a good Chiropractor, Robert Parish, Cam Neely and other Garden pros seeing my fellow Taiji and Acupuncturist buddy, Josh Grant, for regular treatments and the healing “alternatives” that I use were considered quackery by Docs. For goodness sakes, spinal adjustments (a foundational aspect of Chiropractic) are referred to in ancient Yoga texts. Utzi, the thousands of years-old frozen man found in Europe a couple of decades ago, had Acupuncture points tattooed on his body that accurately mapped his digestive malady treatment recipe. That Westerner’s medicine predates Eastern Acupuncture by at least a thousand years! Yoga, Taiji and Meditation are a significant part of the American pie. So, how come the mainstream masses are kept in the dark, akin to a concussion, about healing that the elite and athletes use to treat ailments as well as to prevent or reduce problems and maybe even aid in the production of peak performances?
 
My dad would point out “punch drunk” men to his three rough and tumble sons and advise us to minimize getting hit. Hoyer may be out with another concussion and Acupuncture and Chiro could become common for cranial concerns. Glad I realized that I did not like getting hit and stayed with the low-impact sports and Martial Arts. One of the great aspects of athletics is that if something is found to work, it is adopted, adapted and accepted as soon as possible. As a case in point, I recall my son, Cory, having a break through basketball game about ten years ago. Afterwards, one of the parents asked him about it. He immediately replied, “My dad gave me a Shiatsu (Acupuncture massage) treatment before the game”. The parent, with no knowledge of Shiatsu, said, “Tell him to treat you prior to every game”. And when I have had trauma, I’ve got to Acu and Chiro quick.