Local acupuncturist Chris Mansbridge has been invited to learn from the physiotherapists who helped Team USA bring a record-breaking 121 medals back from Rio.
They’ll be discussing new techniques in a therapy called “cupping.” Since the treatment’s circular marks were seen on Michael Phelps in the 2016 Olympics, cupping has hit the therapeutic mainstream.
From basketball to gymnastics, trainers are helping with muscle and joint pain by using suction cups to decrease the compression of the soft tissue.
Mansbridge explained how his relationship with local athletes and labourers was his ticket into the program.
“It wasn’t straight forward getting in. I had to prove myself as someone effective in treating sports injury. Fortunately I grew up training at Red Mountain until qualifying for the Freeskiing World Tour in 2000. I ended up travelling the world with professional ski athletes until I started to study acupuncture. I made sports medicine and pain my focus, taking on many local athletes as clients,” Mansbridge said.
“But the people who are the most challenging to treat are those who have to work hard for a living, which is what Castlegar is full of. A blue-collar worker can’t just sit out few games if he gets injured. They need to get back on their feet fast in order to pay the bills and provide for their family. They’re pro athletes whose game is keeping the mill running. Treating local tradesmen stepped up my sports medicine therapies even more than local hockey players or skiers.”
On June 16, Mansbridge will leave for Nike Headquarters in Portland to learn from the trainers of the most successful Olympic Team in history. He hopes to share what he learns when he gets back home.
“The treatments the Olympic Team is giving their athletes are very unique and this is a great opportunity to bring some of their secrets for success back home to the Kootenays,” he said.