Pacific College of Oriental Medicine massage students got a chance to practice their skills, not only on real patients, but on serious athletes dealing with sport related injury .
Eighteen members of the San Diego and Palomar Triathlon Teams received complementary massage sports injury treatment from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's Sports Tui Na class on Saturday, January 31. Massage is beneficial as a sports injury treatment and is a technique that has been used for hundreds of years.
Meiko Romo, a student in the class, helped organize the event. Until a year ago, Romo had been a member of the San Diego Triathlon Team, but quit to focus more on her studies at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine . She currently runs marathons and stays in touch with the members of the triathlon teams, so she sent out an e-mail request to see if any of the athletes would be interested in receiving free sports injury treatment from Pacific students of massage . San Diego athletes responded favorably.
"I thought the clinic would be a great idea because the class and I would have more chances to work on 'actual' athletes that may have injuries or need some good tonification work done on them," Romo said. "The athletes can train up to six or seven days a week, with a good three or four hours in some sessions."
According to Tracie Livermore, a holistic health practitioner and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine faculty member, the experience was well received by the athletes.
"Everyone that I worked on was happy when they left," Livermore said. "They seemed to really like the fact that they could tell me about their injury and I could directly address the problem in their first visit."
Romo agreed, saying, "I've had athletes e-mail me thanking me because of how rejuvenated they've felt from treatment from the students, or because their pain and achiness were much less after the treatment."
Romo knows firsthand how helpful Oriental medicine can be for sports injuries.
"Three years ago, I had a stress fracture in my left tibia from running and I didn't want to take pain medication for it," Romo said. "My fiancé's uncle, who is an acupuncturist in Arizona , recommended that I go see an acupuncturist. I couldn't believe how much less pain I was in, and I used no pain medication. I felt that I did recover quicker. I also went to treat my low back and knee achiness, and the acupuncture definitely benefited me in that; I don't have any knee achiness any longer. I have less low back pain and my stress fracture has not come back to haunt me."
According to Bill Helm, Chair of the Department of Body Therapy at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and instructor of the Sports Tui Na class, the athletes weren't the only ones who enjoyed the clinic.
"The part I enjoy the most when working with athletes is the excitement of their realization of new ways their body works after treatment," Helm said.
Livermore, who assists Helm in the class, also enjoyed the clinic experience.
"I am fairly new to this type of work, and enjoyed seeing people with actual athletic injuries other than my family or regular clients who may not have athletic-related injuries," Livermore said.