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Acupuncturists  Part of the Medical Team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

For the first time in Winter Olympic history Acupuncturists were welcomed into the Olympic Medical Team.  Sports Acupuncturists were made up of a Team of 6 therapists to help treat both Olympic and Paralympics athletes in Vancouver and Whistler Polyclinics. 
Dr. Chris Vallee DrTCM was one of the Therapists working at the clinic who worked hard to get Acupuncture part of the Olympic Games.  “This was a great experience from start to finish, our sports acupuncture group worked together with the VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee) as part of the Medical Managers Team to help educate the benefits or using Acupuncture for sports injuries.  From there we helped by treating athletes to help them to compete and perform at the best of the abilities.  This was truly one of the highlights of my career.  Working with the best of the best and enjoying the spirit of the Olympic Games” says Dr. Vallee. 






Sports Acupuncture:  Treating Injuries now and before they happen

            Acupuncture has been known as one of the oldest medicines in the world but over the last 10 years it is becoming one of the newest ways of helping athletes in North America recover and prevent from sports injuries.  By inserting very fine needles into specific areas in the body acupuncture can be used to help heal an athlete’s body.  This is done  naturally using the athletes own energy  due to their great physical conditioning making results seem magic as they can sometimes feel like they are healing over night.





If we think of a garden hose in the yard and how water runs through it to help to feed the lawn and plants with  water to help it grow.  We can also think of our arties in the body the same way as it brings good healthy blood to the organs and the muscles so are body works properly.  The same thought is there with thinking of how acupuncture works.  We have different pathways from head to toe that energy flows in our body so that energy is supplied to all areas of the body to help not only function normally but also to help heal when injured.  If we have a kink in the garden hose than no water will reach the plants to help hydrate them, the same theory is applied to acupuncture with blockages in the pathways not allowing energy to flow normally causing weakness or pain in the area of the blockage.   This is what happens when trauma affects the body.  An example is a hockey player being hit into the boards and injuring his shoulder.  The energy moving though the arm and shoulder is now blocked.  By using acupuncture we can unblock the pathways of energy promoting healing for the shoulder by creating a good flow of energy and blood supply to the area.


With acupuncture we think that when energy is flowing that is also means good circulation of blood is flowing in the area as well.   As athletes are continuing to train and eat well they are in great health.  For my practice this is why I love to treat athletes.  I have found in my 14 years of experience to see athletes respond the quickest with acupuncture as they have strong Qi (pronoced chee) being energy.  With working with one of my Olympic athletes I noticed how quick the recovery was for her after a knee operation compared to other patients I have treated for the same condition.  It was remarkable!  3 treatments were all that was needed for her to be back training.   This makes for a nice compliment for athletes who need to get back to training as quick as possible to help reach their athletic goals.


More and more we are seeing the benefits of acupuncture for treating trauma and injuries.  What we are also seeing more is how working with the body’s imbalances can also help to prevent injuries during both competition and training.   Think of those hard enduring training sessions at the beginning of the season to start the process of getting the body ready again for competition; the body is dehydrated so water is used to replenish the fluids, now the muscles are fatigued and sometimes articulate joints are inflamed, this is where acupuncture can be used to help to bring energy and blood to the area to help the body recover from training.  As acupuncture is also used to treat Stress it can be helpful to help to relax the body before training as it naturally releases serotonin into the system to create a comfortable feeling.  This will also be useful for anxiety before competition. 


The Sports Acupuncture Association of British Columbia was created 6 years ago to help to better the skills for acupuncturist in the treatment of high level athletes.  Currently we will be a part of the 2010 Olympics working with other healthcare professionals to offer our athletes the best options for their health.  As acupuncture is considered natural medicine it is a perfect complement to Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, and Massage therapy as it does not interfere with their treatments but helps to compliment their treatments.  For more information on Sports Acupuncture Association of BC or sports acupuncture in general please contact Dr. Chris Vallee DTCM at drvallee@telus.net.

Sports Acupuncture Pacific Sports article Volume 1

Acupuncture for Sports Injuries


As spring time is the time of year Canadians get ready to watch some playoff hockey I am reminded of those young hockey players who come to see me at the end of the season, playing through pain to help their team make it to the championship game.  As the 2nd season is over the healing season begins. 

I just had an athlete come to see me as he has returned home from playing junior hockey in Manitoba.  During the season he uses Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Physio Therapy, and acupuncture to keep him playing.  Now the season is over he is in to see me to finally try to work with his hip pain from a hit in the middle of the season that was reinjured in the playoffs.  He was hit from behind and had pain in his hip, low back, and some sciatic symptoms traveling down the leg to the knee.  Now as most athletes know playing through pain comes with the sport.  Now the season is over it is time for the body to heal and rid the body of pain.

After examining his back, hip area, Right leg; we found many tender spots and tight muscles.  What was causing the main problem was his Piriformis Muscle as it was very tight and causing pressure on the Sciatic Nerve. As the Piriformis muscle was tight it was also causing referral pain to the other muscles in the hip and into the low back.

This is where Acupuncture can be used very well.  Acupuncture is going to help to relax the muscles by working with what we call a motor point.  A motor point is a highly sensitive area of the muscle usually located in the belly of the muscle where the muscle spindles are.  When stimulated with the very fine acupuncture needles this helps to reset the muscles allowing it to relax and take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve reducing pain.  Acupuncture also helps to increase the flow of Qi (energy) in the local area to increase blood flow and to allow the injury to heal.   As the injury starts to heal the athlete can return to off season training so they are ready for next years season.

This is why I love to treat athletes so much as they respond to the acupuncture very well.   And because of their great physical condition, they can sometimes feel like they are healing over night - making the results seem like magic.

Sports Acupuncture Association of British Columbia
was created six years ago to advance the skills of acupuncturists in the treatment of high-level athletes.  We will be a part of the 2010 Olympics working with other healthcare professionals to offer our athletes the best options for their health.  As acupuncture is considered natural medicine it is a perfect complement to Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, and Massage therapy as it does not interfere with these treatments but helps to compliment them.  For more information on the Sports Acupuncture Association of BC,  or sports acupuncture in general, please contact Dr. Chris Vallee DTCM at drvallee@telus.net.