WAC Magazine

June/July 2013

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/132513

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Page 26 of 75

" 6 hoLiSTic diScipLiNES YoU ShoULd kNoW Patients who seek holistic healing are proactive about their health. That means creating a personalized plan that empowers recovery and yields the best results." » Acupuncture "It's important to recognize that an injury is a blow to both body and mind," naturopathic doctor Paul Dompé says. "We depend on physical activity not only to keep our bodies fit but also to keep our minds healthy. The naturopathic medical approach is to use the least invasive and most effective therapies to support the whole person in the process of healing." Taking charge of the recovery process and setting attainable goals along the way can help mitigate the adverse psychological effects of injury. "The sense of control seems to be critical," Dr. Dompé says. Many patients dip a proverbial toe into holistic medicine and widen their scope as their healing begins and continues. Feeling, in this case, is believing. LookIng deeper WAC members who train in the Coed Fitness Center on the 4th Floor have likely seen physical therapist Stuart Eivers helping patients get stronger. Stuart works with a similar mindset as Dr. Dompé. When he firsts meets a patient, Stuart looks at how their overall body is functioning from a physical standpoint. He also tries to allay patient fears— often the result of an injury itself—that cause them to avoid certain activities and even strengthening exercises. Stuart and colleague Emily Durban help members manage all types of orthopedic conditions involving spinal and extremity joints, including sprains and strains, fractures, joint dysfunctions, herniated discs, and ligament tears. Meanwhile, Sara uses mild direct pressure to ease pain and discomfort. Rolfing, she explains, relieves myofascial stress and improves performance in daily activities. She also makes a point to inform patients about other practices that could help. An athlete with a knee injury, for example, may not realize that during the healing process they have a greater need for nutrition. "Micronutrients and antioxidants give your body what it needs to be healthy," WAC Nutritionist Shana Hopkins says. "People forget the impact of food. We eat three times a day, so every meal has an impact." Moreover, food allergies sometimes lie at the root of aches and pains confused as injury. Holistic consideration of symptoms can reveal something patients and doctors may otherwise miss. emotIonaL effects Although many of us have accepted our aches and pains as normal, it doesn't have to be that way. Massage therapist Larra Dutton prides herself on helping WAC members listen to their bodies. "When you touch someone, you touch his or her entire nervous system," Larra says. "It's like a quiet ripple through water. It may take time to reach other aspects of their being, but it is registered everywhere." On the flip side, a downward spiral can ensue when the psychological stress caused by injury ends up hindering physical healing. A key part of Dr. Dompé's approach involves education. "I find patients respond well to learning about the injury and what it takes to get better," he says. Human beings are like fine works of art, adds Larra. "You can't take in the splendor of a masterpiece by looking only at one corner. You miss the beauty if you narrow your vision. And you have the potential to miss the healing as well." Releases chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. This can change the experience of pain or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones via the endocrine system. » Massage therapy Improves the body's recovery time from hard workouts by simulating circulation and releasing tension and stress. » Naturopathy Trigger-point therapy and neural therapy alleviate pain, restore range of motion, control inflammation, promote lymphatic drainage, and stimulate healing. » Nutrition Helps promote tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and boost energy by identifying and supporting the body's dietary needs. » Physical therapy Recovers muscle balance, strength, normal movement function, and range of motion. » Biofeedback Promotes relaxation in the nervous system and muscles and reduces pain. Biofeedback teaches us the skills to tune in and control the body's response associated with injury. Amy Schumacher, WAC Personal Trainer and writer, can be reached at aschumacher@wac.net. JUNE / JULY 2013 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 27

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