6 Olympians Who Ache For Acupuncture

The Olympics always unite groups of people. Regardless of national affiliation, we cheer for our favorite athletes going for the gold, silver, or bronze medal while we sit comfortably on our sofas at home (most likely even lying down). Based on the commercials, we would all assume these elite athletes get their training at Subway, McDonalds, and Amex. Clearly, we know this is just ridiculous and it takes years of intense dedication and training to even have a chance to compete in the Olympics. But did you ever wonder how they keep their bodies in peak physical condition not only while training, but also during their events.

Perhaps you already know that acupuncture is a popular medical modality used for injury rehabilitation, pain prevention, and overall physical maintenance. It should not be a surprise then that acupuncture is being used in the 2012 London Olympics. Check out the list below to learn about 6 Olympic athletes who are using acupuncture during their time in London.

*2 of them are also licensed acupuncturists who find the time to practice medicine when not training for their Olympic glory.

1. McKayla Maroney, USA, Gymnastics

Getting Back on the Vault

Beloved gymnast McKayla Maroney broke her toe several times leading up to the big event. During Olympic training, she split the bone even further. Driven to perform, the Long Beach, Calif. native sought the help of acupuncture, electronic stimulation,  and lots of icing.

2. Jeremy Scott, USA, Pole Vaulter

No Pain, No Problem

Jeremy credits the integration of acupuncture into his wellness and maintenance routine for his ability to flourish at the Olympic trials. He will continue to utilize the practice to aid in the reduction of knee pain during competition.

3. Kim Yeon-Koung, South Korea, Women’s Volleyball

Accelerated Recovery Times

“I have had lots of physical therapy, which takes a long time to affect a cure, but Oriental therapy works faster. My pain halved after a day,” Kim said of her recovery program.

4. Nicole Rasor, USA, Archery Team

Mixing Business with Pleasure

What’s more notable than receiving acupuncture at the Olympics? Being an acupuncturist! Nicole Rasor, who kicked off her Olympic career on the 1984 diving team, re-joined the Americans in 2011 and 2012, this time as an archer. When she’s not training, Nicole is a licensed acupuncturist in Tucson, Ariz.

5. Amy Acuff, USA, High Jumper

Prevention and Maintenance

Another licensed acupuncturist, Amy maintains an acupuncture practice in Austin, Texas. She often credits the ancient Eastern modality for her “unusual longevity” in high jumping, which is otherwise considered an injury-prone sport.

6. Park Jung-geu, South Korea, Men’s Handball

Fewer Treatments Required

“I can tell that I am getting better after being treated about three times, while physical therapy requires long, consistent treatment,” says the handball master of acupuncture treatments.