Assisting Injury Recovery with Acupuncture

John's Xray

It was just one year ago that my fiance, John, seriously injured himself while snowboarding. It was Valentine’s Day and we were having a great time on the slopes until he decided to take an overzealous jump and landed on his left arm. He ended up with a compound fracture of both his radius and ulnar that required immediate surgery which left him with metal plates in his arm, decreased range of motion, and a considerable amount of numbness and tingling in the areas of incision all the way to his finger tips. It was a scary time for me and an even scarier time for my sports loving guy who feared he would never be able to play ball again. I assured him that once his wounds were healed we would begin to work on the large scars left behind from his surgery and increase circulation in his left wrist and arm.

At first I used mostly three methods: cupping – which helps to break up stagnant blood and increase circulation at the site of the injury, “surround the dragon” – an acupuncture technique where needles are inserted around the scars to help break up the tissue and promote healing, and light circulatory massage. These methods were helpful and after treatment he would always find that his wrist was looser and there was less pain. He was even able to play in a summer softball game. Unfortunately we found little to no improvement with the numbness and tingling in his fingers. His surgeon said we shouldn’t be so discouraged as it was possible that it would never return. Thanks, Doc…that’s very reassuring. I continued to treat his arm, he made sure he did his exercises daily, and we kept a positive attitude.

Then I attended a seminar on Dr. Richard Tan’s balance method for sports injury and trauma. I had taken one of Dr. Tan’s seminars before and wanted a refresher course. The balance method uses points distal from the point of injury rather than at the site. The next day, I got my wounded soldier on the treatment table in order to put what I had learned into action. I needled points on the leg, ankle and foot on the opposite side of the injury. To John’s surprise, not soon after I inserted the first few needles, he suddenly regained feeling in his little finger and knuckle. This was the first time since the accident that this happened and I’m happy to report that the numbness in that area has not returned. He still needs more treatments, but at least our hope is restored and he filled out his spring softball registration form today!

If you are recovering from a sports injury or have persistent pain and would like to find out how acupuncture can help, contact Earth and Air Wellness to schedule an appointment in Walnut Creek.

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About Laura Metzdorff, LAc

Laura is a California state licensed acupuncturist originally from Long Island, NY. After graduating from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor's in English Literature, Laura found herself wanting to do more than her degree had to offer. She knew she wanted to work with people, but wasn't sure what avenue to take. A friend in Oregon introduced her to herbal medicine and shortly after a Long Island friend recommended acupuncture. So began the path to her true calling. Laura started her graduate education at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City. After her third year there, Laura decided to explore life on the West Coast and moved to California to finish her studies at Pacific's San Diego campus where she obtained a Master's in Traditional Oriental Medicine. During school, Laura assisted at North Shore Acupuncture in Encinitas, CA. She then spent two years assisting and practicing at The Healing Sanctuary in Tustin, CA. In December of 2010, she moved to Northern California and co-founded Earth and Air Wellness, Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine. Laura has always believed that there is more to health than what we've been taught and she has made it her mission to help others gain back power over their health. Her true passion is education. She believes that the first step towards wellness is knowledge and she strives to inspire others and share with them the tools to cultivate wellness.
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