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Acupuncture for Athletes

Types of TreatmentTreatment ModalitiesHerbal SupplementsThe Natural Choice The Practitioner – Gallery


Acupuncture4Athletes - TriAcupuncture: Acupuncture for Performance Athletes

Aloha Acupuncture is implementing new treatment protocols designed for athletes to:
- speed recovery by addressing an individual's root imbalance (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine)
- relieve pain, increase mobility
- reduce inflammation and enhance tissue repair.

The imbalance identified is based on one's constitution and lifestyle.  Therefore, treatment is tailored to the individual.


How Can Acupuncture Affect Athletic Performance?

- Enhance performance by promoting neurological and cardiovascular balance and reduce injury
- Improve overall health by promoting quality sleep, improving energy and digestion, and reducing stress

Treatment protocols fit the needs of the athlete from a simple 30 minute Wellness & Recovery session to a full body holistic Performance Acupuncture session.  New recipients are required to begin with an assessment (except Wellness & Recovery).


The TCM Difference

Acupuncture is one type of treatment used by practitioners of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Practitioners of TCM, when treating patients, consider the whole person, not just one isolated symptom as the myriad of symptoms experienced reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment focuses on a chief complaint, the whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Response to any form of treatment is unique to your body – individual results will vary.

Many people observe a range of benefits from acupuncture treatment. Some frequent observations/comment are:

- increased energy
- improved focus and clarity of mind
- enhanced feeling of well being
- relief from stress and anxiety

The effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pain, however, is so acclaimed, the US Military is now training their doctors in this practice of Battlefield Acupuncture for use in combat and frontline hospitals.

Types of Treatment

Initial Assessment (30 minutes)

This initial session is required for all acupuncture treatments to identify patterns of disharmony for the performance athlete.  This will allow the practitioner to design a protocol for a specific the health concern as well as the root cause according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Performance Acupuncture (60 minutes)

This session is a private acupuncture session which includes a minimum of three modalities: ear acupuncture, body acupuncture, cupping, soft tissue manipulation. 

Spot Relief (30 minutes)

This session includes two modalities, cupping and acupuncture for a specific region of the body (shoulder, neck, back, gluteals, calves). 

Wellness & Recovery (30 minutes)

This is a simple acupuncture session desigedn to promote recovery, reduce stress, fatigue, and reduce pain.

Herbal Consultation (30 minutes)

This session includes an assessment and recommendation for herbal formulas for a variety of conditions (headache, pain, insomnia, inflammation, digestive, women’s health, men’s health).  Herbal formulas are gentle yet effective on the body.

Treatment Modalities

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is the form of acupuncture in which most practitioners are trained, and therefore most widely practiced. Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. This process stimulates movement of energy within the body, allowing natural healing to take place.   For an athlete, acupuncture is administered to promote healing, reduce heat and inflammation and restore neurological and cardiovascular balance.


Battlefield Acupuncture

Battlefield Acupuncture is a simple treatment used for acute pain.  Gold ASP needles are applied to points in the ear.  Needles are inserted in the points in one or both ears until pain has reduced in intensity.  Needles are retained in the ear for 1-3 days.



Cupping in a non-needling modality to increase blood flow and promote healing in muscle tissues.  Glass cups are placed on specific acupuncture points and are retained or moved to promote capillary refill and reduce pain.


Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular, or ear acupuncture, targets points on the outer ear, using either needles or herbal seeds to help relieve the complaint. Each acupoint on the ear, when treated, triggers electrical impulses, from the ear, via the brain, to the specific area of the body that is being treated.


Trigger Point Acupuncture/Acupressure

Trigger point acupuncture/acupressure is a form of acupuncture that targets tight or knotted muscles, also known as trigger points or “ashi points”. The practitioner uses touch to locate muscular tightness, then inserts an ultra-thin, single-use acupuncture needle into the suspect muscle and gently probes. This produces localized involuntary twitching, which fatigues the tight muscle and reduces tightness.


Tui-na Medical Massage

Tui-na medical massage techniques are applied to acupuncture points to move qi and blood, and increase range of motion.


Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements Recommended for Athletes

Combined with regular acupuncture treatments, herbal formulas address the root cause of illness with fewer or no side effects.   Ask for an herbal consultation with your practitioner.

Aloha Acupuncture is proud to recommend Evergreen herbal formulas.  Learn more about Evergreen herbal formulas..


Herbal Analgesic

Herbal Analgesic is formulated to relieve severe pain throughout the body.  The herbs have shown exceptional analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect for the treatment of aches and pains, swelling, inflammation and external injuries.



Traumanex is formulated for both internal and external injuries, such as broken bones, bone fractures, sport injuries, bruises, contusions, sprains, etc.  It can be used to enhance recovery and prevent scarring.  This is an excellent formula to activate qi and blood circulation, remove qi and blood stagnation, relieve pain and facilitate healing by regenerating bone and soft tissues.  The herbs have a anti-spasmotic function to relieve muscle spasms and cramps, anti-inflammatory action to reduce inflammation and swelling and hemostatic effect to stop bleeding.


Neck and Shoulder (Acute)

This formula is designed to treat acute neck and shoulder pain.  It contains herbs that have strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.


Back Support (Acute)

Back Support is formulated for acute low back pain cause by sport or traumatic injuries, strenuous exercise, repetitive movements or accidents.  It contains herbs that regulate qi and blood circulation, remove qi and blood stagnation and relieve pain.  This formula has a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxant function.


Arm Support (Acute)

Arm support is designed to treat disorders of the arms including shoulders, elbow, and wrists.  Disorders of the arms are usually characterized by swelling, inflammation, pain, decreased range of motion with movement difficulty, and in severe cases, atrophy of the muscles of soft tissues.  These conditions include periarthritis of the shoulder, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and general condition such as tendonitis, bursitis and arthritis.


Knee and Ankle (Acute)

Knee and ankle is designed to treat disorders of the knee and ankle characterized by swelling, inflammation and pain.  It contains herbs that activate qi and blood circulation, eliminate qi and blood stasis, clear heat and reduce swelling and inflammation.  This formula is most effective for knee disorders due to acute external or trauma injuries with swelling, inflammation and pain.  These types of acute physical injury often affect both the bones and the soft tissues.  Clinical applications of this formula include disorders of the bones (Bone fracture, dislocation, meniscus injury of the knees) and surrounding soft tissue damage (ACL, LCL, MCL, PCL).


Herbal Supplements Recommended for General Health and Wellness



Calm is a formula that has a wide variety of therapeutic actions but is most commonly used for treating stress and nerve-related disorders with such symptoms as irritability, bad temper, lower abdominal rigidity, difficulty and painful urination, increased menstrual flow or uterine bleeding.  Calm contains herbs that have a good effect in treating PMS.  



Immune + is an excellent formula to enhance immunity.  This formula contains herbs that consolidates the wei qi and dispels lingering pathogenic factors.  In addition, Immune + tonifies normal qi and strengthens the body. According to Chinese medicine, wei (defensive) qi is located at the exterior surface of the body and provides the initial protection against foreign or pathogenic factors.  When wei qi is strong, pathogenic factors cannot penetrate the body.  When it is weak, a wide variety of infections occur.  Therefore, prevention of infections relies on normal function of the wei qi.


Imperial Tonic

Imperial Tonic is one of the most comprehensive and most effective herbal formulas.  It contains herbs that tonify yin, yang, qi and blood.  It can be used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, post-surgical recovery, postpartum recovery, and many other conditions.  It can also be used in healthy individuals to increase mental and physical functions, improve academic and sports performances, enhance longevity and promote general wellness. 


Magnolia Clear Sinus

Magnolia Clear Sinus is a formulated to treat allergies, sinusitis or rhinitis.  Symptoms include stuffy nose with clear watery discharge, sneezing, loss of smell and headache.  The ingredients in this formula have been shown to constrict the blood vessels in the nose, stop nasal discharge and relieve sinus headaches.


The Natural Choice

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Most athletes continue training and competing while recovering from injuries, or managing fatigue and the aches and pains associated with their sport. Since acupuncture does not pose the health risks like those associated with elite or endurance athletes taking certain types of pain medications, acupuncture is clearly the safe and natural choice for athletes; treatments can continue through all phases of training and even before/after competition.


The Practitioner

Donna Kini-Bowen, AP

Donna is a Florida State Licensed Acupuncture Physician, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and Florida State Licensed Massage Therapist. In private practice for nine years, she brings her competitive athletic experience and knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine to her clients

A life-long athlete at heart, Donna was a competitive collegiate cross-country runner earning first place in the Women’s NAIA Cross-Country championship at Chaminade University of Honolulu. After graduating from college, she trained in Hawaii and California to compete in the Southwest Regional Reebok Mixed-pair Aerobic championships winning the gold with partner Gary McKoy. Since 1995, Donna took on the sport of triathlon where running came easy. She trained with Olympic swimmer Peter Hursty and Ironman champion Cliff Rigsby to compete in the Keauhou Kona Half Ironman and Tinman Triathlon.

When moving to Florida, Donna continued training and became a triathlon assistant coach for Tri-training women’s triathlon group. She worked closely with triathletes and runners assisting with injuries such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, sciatica, frozen shoulder syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow, neck, low back, knee and shoulder pain. Now a crossfit athlete and physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Donna has been treating athletes with acupuncture and herbal formulas to effectively reduce inflammation and pain, quicken recovery and enhance performance.

Donna personally understands the demands and sacrifices inherent in training and competition. Her background and training uniquely equip her to assist clients in any stage of their training, to help them optimize their efforts and reach their fitness and competitive goals.





© Copyright 2013, Donna Kini-Bowen, Acupuncture Physician, All rights reserved.