P4 Ep. 26: Whitfield Reaves

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In this Episode…

Chad Bong interviews a founder of modern sports acupuncture, Whitfield Reaves, L.Ac., OMD


Whitfield Reaves is a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of oriental medicine. Reaves is regarded as a pioneer of sports acupuncture in the United States. He is the author of The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries & Pain. Whitfield the director and teacher of The Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program. In his discussion with Chad, Whitfield talks about his journey into sports acupuncture, reflections on the mentor/mentee relationship, his thoughts on the growing sports acupuncture community, and more!


Chad Bong & Lhasa OMS Webinar: Highly Responsive, but Often Overlooked Injuries: Corachobrachialis (May 7th 7:30pm)

Whitfield Reaves’ Website

Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program

The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries & Pain


Show Notes

Whitfield’s updates since his last podcast appearance (2:56)

Consolidating teaching the Acupuncture Sportsmedicine Apprenticeship Program (3:44)

ST 38 for frozen shoulder (8:34)

Occam’s Razor Philosophy (aka keeping treatments simple) (9:34)

Writing the Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain (13:00)

A brief history of Reave’s Sports Acupuncture genealogy (14:31)

Janet Travell’s impact on treatment style (23:05)

Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program (25:22)

Reflections on Mentor/Mentee relationship (31:04)

On choosing who to mentor (34:25)

Thoughts on trends in sports acupuncture (37:41)

Issues with Reductionism/Over-specification (43:40)

Whit’s perspective of the question: “How does acupuncture work?” (46:32)

Needling connective tissue (55:33)

Benefits of referring out (1:01:43)

“Point Density” technique for orthopedic/sports acupuncture precision (1:04:28)

What “skills” should a practitioner arrive when starting the Apprenticeship Program (1:11:22)

Whit’s hobbies during COVID-19 (1:13:43)