Shared by Taylor Findlay
Taylor Findlay is no stranger to the top of tri-level podiums, having earned herself gold at many competitions for her commitment and success in both jiu-jitsu and weightlifting. As with many professional athletes, her dedication to the sport has not come without its fair share of aches and injuries. In this entry, Taylor shares her experience with body healing modalities such as acupuncture, cupping, electrotherapy, and various types of massages, which have, when used in combinations, have helped her to achieve and notice considerable improvements to her body and overall healing process. Acupuncture has been shown to have many healing benefits such as for pain, gut issues and even supporting cancer treatments.
Thank you, Taylor, for sharing your personal experience!
I’ve had 2 types of acupuncture. One was for injury and the other was for detoxing/pressure points.
I’ve had acupuncture where a sports doctor puts needles in the injured area which I’ve had done for my lower back. In these treatments, I was told I needed a few visits. With my lower back, I had 3 treatments where the therapist placed around 15 or more needles in my lower back/hip area and left them in for about 5 minutes. Then she’d come back to twist them and put them a bit deeper and let them sit. She said when she first put a few of them in, the muscles were tight and that the needles would help release the tension in those areas so she could deepen them to hit the deeper muscles. I found this method didn’t do much for me so I stopped going after 3 treatments.
Acupuncture with Deep Tissue Massage
When I had acupuncture done in my shoulder blade area, it consisted of a combination of treatments. The sports masseuse used acupuncture and a deep tissue massage together. He said the acupuncture could help release tense spots and he could further massage to relax and “reset” the muscles. This treatment I found way more helpful in releasing the tightness and pain experienced with this injury. After the first treatment I felt major differences. He gave me some rehab exercises as homework, and I returned the following week. My injury was way better, but I still went back to make sure I kept it that way.
I also had acupuncture with my chiropractor who believes acupuncture is the baseline to treating any injury. He uses acupuncture in different ways. The first way is where he puts the needles in the injured areas and clips on an electrode which sends currents to the needle. This helps to get to the deeper muscles and gives them a pulsing treatment to help release them. The next way he does acupuncture is by placing a needle in the area as a machine gives concentrated vibration to the needle. When he puts the machine onto the needle, it makes the muscle flex until he takes the machine off the needle. Then he places the needle in other areas around it and repeats. He used these methods in conjunction with a deep tissue massage, Graston Technique, PNF stretching, and a massage gun. I found his treatments to be extremely helpful and consisted of the right combination of different methods. The main injury I saw him for was my ACL which I found made huge improvements. He also explained that using needles would help get the flow of fluid build up in the knee to be able to release. This made a noticeable difference. Then he used the needles to help release tight muscles that support the knee since they were compensating to keep stability in my knee (since my ACL wasn’t fully functioning). This was the best treatment of acupuncture that I have ever received.
Acupuncture for Detoxing/Pressure Points
The time I had acupuncture for detoxing was an unreal experience. I saw an osteopath who used acupuncture to release the pressure points that he said would release the toxins that were stuck in certain areas of the body. He did an assessment to see which areas seemed blocked up and placed the needles in their pressure points to release the blockage. I had smaller needles in my hand, wrist, ankle and in areas I thought were so random to detox such as my liver, kidneys, etc. When he put the needles in, maybe a minute after I felt the detox process. I started really sweating out that my clothes were all wet from the sweat. For me at that time it took A LOT for me to start sweating. I started feeling cold (it was summer so it was warm and I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts), and started to get tunnel vision and was seeing stars. I was freaking out a bit because I felt like I was going to pass out… I had never done a detox kinda treatment like that before. For the fact that I also hated needles, this all had me in a bit of a panic. I told him I didn’t feel well and what I was feeling. He said I looked a bit pale but that was good because the treatment was working. Afterwards, he took the needles out and gave me juice to drink while I sat there to make sure all was good. After leaving, I felt lighter and less bloated and dense.
Overall, I love acupuncture and find that the way my chiropractor used it on me was most effective. Using acupuncture with other methods is what was key to making progress with my injuries. Just having the needles be inserted into the area and left alone didn’t make any real difference for me.
With cupping, I’ve had it done with different methods of other treatments. It was always used with other modalities. Overall, I think that cupping on its own would not be an effective treatment for me. They say that it helps bring the blood to the surface and pulls out toxins, so in really bad areas cupping leaves a bruised looking mark. For me, I’ve never had the deep red marks after treatments. In response to that I was told that those areas treated weren’t that bad in terms of it having toxins.
Cupping with Thai Massage
I’ve had cupping done with a Thai massage. I find a Thai massage to be very helpful if I feel overall tightness and my body feels wrecked. So on top of how I normally feel after a treatment, I didn’t feel any different with cupping. I only tried it once and my Thai masseuse didn’t continue to use it afterwards for me since we discussed that there was no real difference.
Cupping with Deep Tissue Massage
I’ve had cupping with a deep tissue massage which again showed me no real difference aside from the deep tissue release with that same treatment. During these treatments, he would use cupping and explained that it pulls the fascia off the muscle to help let it untangle and “breathe”. He has also done cupping where massage oil is placed on the area he wants to treat, then he slides the cup along the area to help pull the fascia apart. He used this on my TFL/IT band area since that’s more so a long tendon attached to the muscle and it would always get very tight. I felt this had more of an impact for me since I felt a bit sore afterwards, like it really did target that area.
Cupping with Acupuncture
I’ve also had cupping done with acupuncture that had stimulants on the needle. This was with my chiropractor who believes acupuncture is the foundation and key to an effective treatment. He would do his acupuncture treatment first, massage a bit to release tense areas, then use cupping to further help with the tighter areas. Again, I found each of these treatments very helpful for the injuries or overall tightness I was going in for. The cupping in junction with other modalities of treatment is what made the session effective. If I were to just have cupping on its own, I don’t believe it would give me great results in resolving my issue.
When I’d see my sports therapist, he’d use gel pads to send electrical currents to the area. Depending on the injury, he had different types and sizes of pads that he would apply to the area and program the pattern sequence of the currents to treat the area. He would also adjust the strength of the currents and intensify the level as the treatment went on. When the muscles are tight and locked up, they are more sensitive and can’t handle a high current. But as they start to release, I was able to handle a higher current. After this was done, he used a machine that lasers any inflammation to help reduce it. After this, he would do an ice massage to the area and then put a cooling cream on to help keep the muscle relax so that the healing could continue. I found his treatments to be helpful.
I feel that I know my body very well. So when I’m injured, it depends what the injury is that determines who I will go see to get treatment. If my body just overall feels wrecked from a hard training, I will go see my Thai masseuse. That type of massage is what helps to relax and loosen the tightness. If I am injured like when I did my ACL, my chiropractor who uses different methods is what helps me best. If my muscle is kind of spazzing, then I go to my sports therapist to help on that. I’ve noticed and realized that what’s best for me is a combination of methods that really help and have shown me major improvements.
Congratulations on all your achievements, Taylor!
Have you had an experience with acupuncture or any other forms of healing modalities?
Share in the comments below!
This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.