Thursday, April 30, 2009

Discovering Discover Chiropractic

This from Team Velo Girls member, Jill Eyres:

Dr. Kam Leung of Discover Chiropractic in San Francisco hosted Team Velo Girls last night for an educational and fun evening. Dr. Leung practices both chiropractic and Active Release Technique (ART), which targets the tissues of the body. Using these complementary techniques, he said that “as long as it’s not broken or bleeding,” there are things he can do to help. For example, he estimated that 85% of headaches originate in the neck, which can be addressed through adjustment and ART. Even pregnant women can benefit – he said that breech births can be caused by misalignment of the pelvis that prevents babies from turning properly in utero.

Dr. Leung demonstrated ART on our teammate, Yari, who has had pain in various places along the right side of her body, including her knee and her back. He talked about the interconnections of the body, and how a problem with one part can cause problems in the connected parts as well. He started by working on her right ankle and calf, then moved up through the IT band and some other muscles and tendons that I’ve never heard of and/or have forgotten the names of (I think psoas was in there somewhere). For each area, the technique involved Dr. Leung applying pressure dynamically along the length of the muscles/tendons while moving them through their full range of motion. After Yari, Vanessa mentioned that she has had some problems with her hands associated with bike riding; Dr. Leung talked about how this was probably symptomatic of something going on higher up in the arm, in the forearm or just above the elbow.

One of the interesting things Dr. Leung talked about was how ART can be used to improve athletic performance by addressing adhesions and other conditions that prevent muscles from working to their full potential. He also talked about what athletes can do on our own to improve our health and performance. Stretching is important, particularly the day after a workout, in order to encourage muscles to recover and strengthen in a long position rather than in contraction. Dr. Leung demonstrated stretches for calves, quads, and hamstrings. Of course warming up properly before a workout is also important.

Thanks to Discover Chiropractic for a great evening and for supporting Team Velo Girls!

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