Hirad NajafBagy, DC knew he wanted a career that combined his love for physical health and exercise. When he learned that Northwestern Health Sciences University was offering a program that combined the two, he moved from the Washington, DC area to Minnesota to attend.

His training and education in integrative sports medicine at NWHSU later prepared him for the later start of United Wellness & Sports Rehab in Northern Virginia. He started building a roster of professional sports team clients and started with the DC United soccer team. These days he’s covering a veritable who’s who of athletes hailing from the Washington Nationals, Washington Football Team, and Washington Capitals. NajafBagy has also worked as a chiropractor for soccer world championships, as well as all-star baseball and soccer games.

“I keep pinching myself when I’m on the side of the soccer field or when I’m presented with a World Series trophy and ring,” says NajafBagy, who runs three clinic locations with several northwest-trained sports medicine chiropractors. “I am so happy to believe that I am making a difference not only for the athletes but also for the teams. It is really amazing. “

Teamwork makes the dream come true

The NWHSU offers integrative sports medicine programs that prepare graduates to work with athletes from beginners to professionals. The training prepares students for a wide range of career paths in a variety of settings, such as: B. opening up sports-oriented practices, working as a team chiropractor and working with youth leagues in the area of ​​injury prevention.

The University’s Human Performance Center is the center of integrative sports training for students. Athlete patients choose from massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic therapies – or all of the above – to heal an injury or improve their performance. It’s an effective facility where students learn a team approach to care and benefit patients from it, says Andy Klein, DC, director of the Human Performance Center.

The Minnesota Vixen women’s soccer team, the Minnesota Freeze Australian Rules Football Club, college and high school athletes and elite competitors in disc golf and Brazilian jiu jitsu.

“By the time they graduate, they’ll have a much better understanding of working with athletes because of their more advanced training,” says Klein. “The elective work gives you practical experience and a higher level of comfort.”

(Acupuncture) Points for the Minnesota Vikings

Hilary Patzer, doctor of Chinese medicine and licensed acupuncturist, had not planned to concentrate her practice, JADA Studios, on the treatment of athletes. However, a few years after graduating from NWHSU, this endurance athlete had a realization: She is uniquely suited to helping athletes of all skill levels stay healthy – mind and body – and maximize their performance.

The aim was to further train Patzer in sports acupuncture. Then she shifted her clinical focus to sports medicine and orthopedic acupuncture, says Patzer, who has competed internationally in cross-country skiing, Ironman triathlons and marathons.

It wasn’t long before JADA Studios became the Minnesota Vikings acupuncturist. Patzer and her team also look after other professional, elite, college, and high school athletes, as well as orthopedists and pain sufferers. When Patzer was a student, NWHSU didn’t have an integrative sports medicine career, but its programs gave it a solid foundation on which to build her specialty, she says.

“My favorite pastime is helping people feel better and improve their quality of life,” says Patzer. “Acupuncture is a drug that focuses on the whole person and heals and balances the whole person. It is not a drug that links a problem in the hopes that the disease will go away. It treats the disease in such a way that the person is truly transformed and their function is returned. “

For NajafBagy, NWHSU training prepared him in areas such as functional anatomy and extremities to help the entire athlete with injury, prevention and strength building. He believes the university prepared him to show professional athletes and teams what sports-minded chiropractors can do for their wellbeing and performance.

“There is a wide variety of curricula and knowledgeable teachers to guide you through the curriculum so you can add lots of tools to your toolbox,” says NajafBagy. “Then you can shape yourself in the direction you want to go – not just for sport, but for any type of exercise.”

Northwestern Health Sciences University, located in Bloomington, is a pioneer in integrative education in natural health care, offering degrees in chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, massage therapy, medical assistance, medical laboratory programs, post-bac / pre-health, radiation therapy , and BS degree. The Bloomington Clinic is open to the public and offers chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, massage therapy, naturopathy, and cupping.

Additional content from Northwestern Health Sciences University.

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