Miki Higuchi M.T.C.M., L.Ac.
WHAT IS AN ULTRARUNNER
Today’s sport of ultrarunning involves any distance longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. My first step into trail running started back in 2004, with my first 50K ultramarathon in 2006. Since then I have gone on to complete over 70 races including 19 50K’s, 11 50-milers, 3 100K’s, and 2 100-milers, and counting. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to explore the great outdoors; and for someone who endured over a decade of chronic pain it became a fascinating look into the complexities and endurance abilities of the body during ultra distance events. I take full advantage of my knowledge of Chinese Medicine to make sure I am as healthy as possible during training, racing, and recovery. My personal history and experience with chronic pain, injury, prevention, recovery, and the collective knowledge of the patients I have treated over the years, is what I bring to the table when I see you as my patient.
MY ACUPUNCTURE EDUCATION
Upon graduating from an accredited University (Five Branches University) with over 3,000 hours of study, all acupuncturists are required to pass the California State Board Exam before practicing in the State of California. I also have a Certification in Sports Medicine from my alma mater, and advanced training in Tuina, the muscle and bone setting massage style of Chinese Medicine. I continually take education courses, participate in discussions, and stay aware of updates within my field. I love adding more tools to my belt when and where I see the opportunity. Because of what I do recreationally, who I see on my table, and the community that I am surrounded by, I am continually able to seek better ways to treat pain.
By the age of 30, I was wearing a tens (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) unit all day, everyday, to deal with severe low back pain. It was painful to sleep, to sit in a chair, to get up from a chair. Pretty much all of my everyday activities involved some level of pain. I remember being afraid to cross a street in case I had an unexpected spasm that froze me in my tracks. It was a gradual decline of 12 years that brought me to a low point, and daily life become very difficult to endure.
Up until then, modern medicine’s only solution for me was pain prescriptions, a one page exercise sheet, and physical therapy. Unfortunately, none of these changed or fixed my pain. Being uneducated in any other form of medicine, I didn’t know what else to do. Prescriptions went unfilled, I limited my social activities more and more, and I relied heavily on that tens unit to get me through each day. More years went by as my pain became gradually worse.
I am forever grateful to whomever it was who told me about acupuncture and said “try it”. All ll I knew at the time was that it was Chinese medicine. I was desperate and was willing to try anything. After religiously going to appointments for months, I remember having a “moment”. I was at home, going about my day, when it dawned on me that I didn’t hurt. At all. For me, being fully conscious of no pain in my body, at that moment in time, was mind blowing, life altering, metamorphic. Anyone experiencing chronic pain and those who have left that life behind can understand.
I was lucky to be close to one of the best acupuncture universities in California, took a huge leap of faith, and enrolled myself in 4 years of post graduate study. I haven’t looked back. To be able to share this incredible medicine with people in my community, family, friends, and even my pets, has been tremendously rewarding to me.
Today, I continue to keep my back health and general wellness in check with acupuncture, herbs, exercise, and anything else that I discover that points to better mental and physical well being. Curiosity and continuing education gives me access to ancient and new methods, techniques, ideas, and strategies to bring better outcomes for me and for all of my patients.
When not at the office, you can find me hanging out with my family (which includes more animals than I am comfortable admitting to), running trails, hanging with friends, and working in the garden.