ISDN can help all athletes, from so-called weekend warriors to dedicated professionals. It can enhance their physical performance, prevent common injuries, accelerate recovery from overtraining stress, promote rehabilitation after injury and surgeries, and prolong athletic careers by providing systemic maintenance.
ISDN achieves these goals not only because it reduces or cures the local injuries that commonly occur in sports but also because it emphasizes systemic balance and the restoration of physiologic homeostasis in both injured and healthy athletes. Optimal homeostasis ensures that the musculosk-eletal system is balanced and thus produces effective mechanical movement; physiologic integration of the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems; and a harmonious interaction between body and mind that can maximally support mechanical movement.
This is not a promise or a theoretical expectation but the result of my clinical experience, beginning in the 1960s. Especially since I began practicing in Colorado in 2000, I have come to better understand the physiologic mechanisms of dry needling as applied to athletes, systematically formulating my clinical procedure by working with both elite and weekend athletes and their coaches. Experience alone is not enough to justify such methods, but advances in evidence-based sports medicine have revealed much data that support my approach. This approach is successful because it effectively manages both chronic and acute stress in the athlete's musculoskeletal system. The term effectively is emphasized because athletes already have many techniques for minimizing chronic and acute stress, such as massage, physical therapy, warm-up stretching, and traditional acupuncture, and these techniques are effective, especially in young athletes whose physical adaptability is high. The majority of athletes, however, have passed their late 20s, and their musculoskeletal systems and other physiologic functions are changing. Chronic and acute stress slowly accumulate in the body, and physical deficiency gradually reveals itself. To restore physical capability, athletes need to restore homeostasis not only in local musculoskeletal structures such as a particular muscle group or joint, but also in the entire musculoskeletal system, and this must include balancing its physiologic and physical mechanics. Like all modalities in sports medicine, dry needling acupuncture or ISDN can be used by health care professionals to prevent and treat injuries, but in the context of sports, ISDN, as a nonspecific procedure, achieves these aims by reducing bodily stress and restoring and maintaining optimal homeostasis. With this homeo-stasis athletes can function better. They can better adjust to physical and psychologic challenges, and they can experience more rapid and more complete recovery from injuries.
The tenets of ISDN are to respect the human body and not interfere with it. It supports athletic activity in a natural way and never undermines the body with side effects.
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