Every athlete knows the pain – physical and mental – of an injury or ailment that puts you out of your sport or your daily activities! Integrative Therapies can be very useful treatments for many common sports injuries such as sprains, strains, tendonitis, partial ligament and tendon tears, stress fractures, bruises, chronic inflammation, joint pain or swelling, and many other injuries, as well! Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from a sports injury or musculoskeletal pain, either as stand-alone therapies or in combination with one another. When it comes to holistic medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
Therapeutic Massage – which incorporates Swedish massage, myofascial release, deep tissue, and sports massage techniques – works to reduce muscle tension and pain, improve circulation, and increase range of motion to treat a wide array of physical pain and injuries. Massage can warm and loosen tense muscles, break down scar tissue and adhesions, reduce inflammation, flush out swelling in joints, and allow for a faster recovery time.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce tension and pain, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your treatments will be tailored to your specific injury or site of pain. Usually, your acupuncturist will insert needles both locally into the site of pain and distally (farther away from the pain site) to achieve the best results. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as cupping and gua sha manual therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce muscle tension and pain, calm the nervous system, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue healing.
Cupping is a manual therapy technique from Chinese Medicine that uses special cups to create suction over some of the large muscle areas. Cupping helps to create space and movement in the layers of fascia, or connective tissue, that get stuck together over time. It also increases blood flow, reduces muscle tension, and draws toxins out of the tissues. We include cupping in acupuncture sessions when appropriate or offer stand-alone cupping sessions. Cupping works best on large muscle areas such as the upper and lower back.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine works on the same principles as acupuncture – but the herbs work from the inside-out, whereas acupuncture works from the outside-in. Herbs can be prescribed to be taken internally in the form of pills, teas, tinctures, or powders, working on reducing inflammation and pain. Herbs can also be prescribed to be applied topically, in the form of liniments, patches, herbal soaks, or balms. Topical applications for musculoskeletal injuries focus on alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting tissue healing, and softening adhesions or areas of tension. Herbal consults can be included in acupuncture sessions when appropriate.
Integrative Physical Therapy
Integrative Physical Therapy is a unique approach to orthopedic physical therapy, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of neuromuscular dysfunction, issues, and injury. After a thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will come up with an individualized treatment plan that utilizes corrective exercise, manual therapy techniques, and a wide array of holistic modalities. Physical therapy can help identify the underlying cause of your injury, as most likely there were imbalances prior to the injury that made the body more susceptible. Cumulative sessions will reduce pain and inflammation, increase mobility, aid in tissue healing, and improve function.
In addition to these services, we may also recommend diet and lifestyle modifications to further support you on your journey. We also have a large referral network and may refer out to other specialists as necessary.