• Sara Says: Stay Healthy {and Balanced} This Golf Season

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    If your Saturday mornings have been filled with the familiar sound of golf clubs clinking together as your man departs the house, then you know: spring has arrived and golf season has begun! But, with golf season comes an afternoon return accompanied by the inevitable stiff-hipped walk after 18 holes. This is a routine many come to know well. Since it is only the start of the season, we’re providing some insight on how to beat the golf swing stiffness this year {especially with the Master’s happening this week!}. Plus, some advice on how you can potentially improve your swing with acupuncture!

     

    The Modern Swing

    Jason Day {1st ranked in the world} has been suffering from a bulging disk during a recent tournament. Mind you, Jason Day is only 28 years old and is in incredible shape. Unfortunately, back, hip, knee, and shoulder injuries seem to be reoccurring on the PGA tour these days. Now, thanks to the “modern” swing,  golf pros follow strict workout routines and have beyond impressive core strength. Golfers like Jason Day, Rory Mcilroy, and Tiger Woods have changed the expectations of the golf physique {no more dad-bod on the reg, that’s for sure}, and let’s face it, these guys are ripped! But, why the change?

    Let’s get back to this “modern” swing — compared to the classic swing the major change is limited pelvic rotation, limited body movement, and hyperextension of the back. Golfers are no longer using their entire body {with a relatively neutral spine} or hips to hit that perfect shot. Instead, they are using core strength; coiling themselves in one direction and using resistance from their own body to initiate the downswing, followed by hyperextension of the lower back. Major ouch! Unfortunately, even though core strength/motion is typically applauded, nothing about this golf motion sounds promising to me. Just ask Tiger Wood’s surgeon; this golf legend has had a plethora over his career, and is only 40 years old. Most recently, he is sidelined with yet again another back injury.

    TigerWoods Swing

    ^ Tiger Woods swing analysis; gradually changing from the “Classic” swing to the “Modern” swing

    Dai Mai {aka the Belt Vessel}

    Whenever a patient comes to see me with hip pain, one-sided pain, or shoulder pain, I always consider Dai Mai. Dai Mai is also known as the “Belt Vessel.” Like a belt, the purpose of Dai Mai is to hold everything in place. When the Belt Vessel is compromised, we may lose some balance or flexibility. Ladies, think of a band holding your pony tail together; if there is a weak area in that band, your hair won’t feel tight or supported. With repetitive one sided motions {like the golf swing}, it is inevitable that Dai Mai may become affected from time to time. The bigger problem is once imbalanced, symptoms {and your golf swing} will gradually become worse over time. Say good-bye to pars — and hello to bogies!

    ^ Dai Mai {Belt Vessel}

    Curious to know if your Dai Mai is out of balance? Things to look for:

    • Low back and knee pain {especially associated with rotation}
    • Restricted movement to one side
    • Shoulder pain
    • Noticeable shortness of breath or even signs of asthma {repetitive one-sided rotation of the shoulders believe it or not can affect your lung health}
    • Urination frequency and/or urgency
    • Gynecological complications
    • Hip pain or general stiffness of the waist line

    In addition to noticing changes to your golf game, it is also important to pay attention to everyday motions. For instance, perhaps you are slouching more to one side while sitting at your desk, or maybe you lean frequently to one side while driving? Over time, you may even notice skin folds that are present on only one side of the waist line, or bilateral skin folds at the waist that are clearly not lined up {unbalanced}…all of which are clear cases of a Dai Mai imbalance.

    So how is acupuncture affective in these situations? Simple: on the musculoskeletal level, acupuncture is used in order to restore Dai Mai. It can bring balance, flexibility, and strength back to the waist line. Over time, patients notice less discomfort, pain, and/or stiffness in their hips, shoulders, and low back. Once balance is restored, your golf swing will progress as usual, and your handicap will return to normal….no sandbagging necessary!


    Written by:

    Sara Khosrowjerdi is a licensed acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Atelier in Hoboken. She received her Master's of Acupuncture with honors at Tri-State College of Acupuncture in NYC. Being Reiki Level 1 & 2 Certified, she also has a vast understanding of the Chakra system and the role it can play in the healing process. At Acupuncture Atelier, her primary practice focuses on the unique treatment styles of Kiiko Matsumoto, with whom she studied for three years. Using KM Acupuncture as a base, Sara always integrates and supports, using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture Physical Medicine, Reiki, and essential oils. She is the healthy living expert in our column, “Sara Says,” offering tips on staying zen, healthy, and happy in our fast-paced lives. When not working full time as an acupuncturist, Sara enjoys yoga, cooking and free style dancing.


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