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Athletic Performance

Precision and Performance: Jenny Nieters, DACM, at Tight End University

TEU 2024
TEU 2024

Tight End University (TEU), an elite offseason training camp for NFL tight ends, has become a cornerstone for players aiming to hone their skills and gain a competitive edge. Offering athletes access to a premier team of recovery professionals, TEU is a sanctuary for athletes seeking excellence. For the third consecutive year, Dr. Jenny Nieters was honored to participate, providing support to the athletes.

The Intersection of Traditional and Modern Sports Medicine

Dr. Jenny Nieters, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) is known for her innovative application of traditional acupuncture techniques tailored to the unique needs of athletes.

Athletes benefit significantly from acupuncture in a variety of ways.


1. Vasodilation

Acupuncture can stimulate the release of nitric oxide (NO) and other vasodilatory substances, which relax the smooth muscles of blood vessels. This relaxation leads to vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, allowing increased blood flow through the capillaries and enhancing overall microcirculation.

2. Neurovascular Modulation

Acupuncture needles inserted into specific points can stimulate nerve endings and initiate a cascade of neurovascular responses. This stimulation activates the autonomic nervous system, particularly the parasympathetic branch, which promotes vasodilation and improves blood flow to targeted areas.

3. Local Inflammatory Response

The insertion of acupuncture needles causes a minor, controlled inflammatory response at the site of needling. This localized inflammation results in the release of various chemical mediators, including histamines and prostaglandins, which increase capillary permeability and improve blood flow to the affected area.

4. Endorphin Release

Acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins and other neuropeptides, which have systemic effects, including the modulation of blood flow. Endorphins can influence cardiovascular function and enhance the microcirculation by improving the efficiency of blood flow through the microvascular network.

5. Reduction of Blood Viscosity

Acupuncture may help reduce blood viscosity, making it easier for blood to flow through small vessels. This reduction in viscosity is partly due to the improved balance of autonomic nervous system functions and the reduction of stress hormones, which can affect blood consistency.

6. Enhanced Cellular Metabolism

Improved microcirculation leads to better oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues, enhancing cellular metabolism and energy production. Acupuncture supports this process by optimizing the body’s physiological functions and promoting a more efficient exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at the cellular level.

Practical Implications for Athletes

For athletes, enhanced microcirculation means better muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, and faster healing of injuries. By improving blood flow to the muscles and other tissues, acupuncture helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen while removing metabolic waste products, thereby supporting optimal performance and quicker recovery times.

Scientific Evidence

Several studies have supported the idea that acupuncture improves microcirculation. For instance, research has shown that acupuncture increases skin and muscle blood flow, as evidenced by thermographic imaging and laser Doppler flowmetry. These studies demonstrate that acupuncture can have a measurable impact on blood flow dynamics, validating traditional claims with modern scientific methods.

Here are some references to studies that support the idea that acupuncture improves microcirculation, showing increased skin and muscle blood flow through thermographic imaging and laser Doppler flowmetry: continue reading »

Enhancing Athlete Performance at the Super Bowl: The Role of Acupuncture

Dr. Jenny Nieters at Super Bowl LVIII
Dr. Jenny Nieters at Super Bowl LVIII
As the Super Bowl captivates the nation with its thrilling displays of athleticism and strategic prowess, a quieter yet increasingly influential player has emerged in the realm of sports performance: acupuncture. In February 2024, Dr. Jenny Nieters had the privilege of supporting NFL athletes at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, NV, bringing her expertise in sports acupuncture to the game day preparation. Her approach, blending traditional Chinese medicine with modern sports science, proved invaluable in optimizing the performance and well-being of athletes preparing for this pinnacle event.


Key Contributions

Dr. Nieters played a role in several aspects of athlete preparation:

1. Integrated Team Approach: Dr. Nieters collaborated closely with the team’s medical staff and trainers to seamlessly integrate acupuncture into the athletes’ overall health and performance strategies. Recognizing herself as a small part of a larger support network, she ensured that acupuncture complemented other treatments and training methods, enhancing the athletes’ readiness both physically and mentally.

2. Personalized Treatment Plans: Ahead of the Super Bowl, Dr. Nieters developed customized acupuncture plans tailored to each athlete’s specific needs. These targeted treatments addressed concerns such as muscle tension, joint mobility, stress management, and energy optimization, thereby preparing athletes to perform at their peak.

3. Enhancing Recovery: With the rigorous demands and tight schedules of Super Bowl preparation, Dr. Nieters’ acupuncture played a role in ensuring athletes could recuperate optimally between practices and perform at their best on game day.

4. Stress Management: Beyond physical benefits, acupuncture can help athletes manage the mental challenges of high-stakes competition. By reducing pre-game jitters, anxiety, and stress, her treatments fostered relaxation and mental clarity, enabling players to maintain focus throughout the intense Super Bowl environment.

5. Injury Prevention: Acupuncture’s holistic approach also contributed to injury prevention by improving circulation and enhancing overall resilience. This proactive care aimed to minimize injury risks during the demanding Super Bowl season. In sports there is a saying that the best ability, is availability.

Impact and Legacy

Dr. Nieters’ involvement marked a significant milestone in recognizing acupuncture as a valuable asset in elite sports preparation. While her team, the San Francisco 49ers, did not secure a victory, Dr. Nieters expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to their journey. Her experience underscores the growing integration of holistic therapies like acupuncture into mainstream sports medicine, promising continued advancements in athlete performance and well-being.

Dr. Jenny Nieters’ contributions at the Super Bowl exemplifies how acupuncture, rooted in ancient tradition yet adapted for modern sports demands, is reshaping the landscape of athletic excellence. As its benefits become increasingly evident, acupuncture stands poised to play an even greater role in enhancing the performance and resilience of athletes worldwide.

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