We are so incredibly proud to announce that Aidan has been selected as the official acupuncturist and massage therapist for the USA Triathlon team as they train for their 2023 season!
This is such an amazing honor and opportunity but also means that Aidan will have limited availability during the months of June-September 2023. Aidan will be treating patients at Flow on Tuesdays and Fridays during this time, and spending the rest of his workdays up at their state-of-the-art training facility in Park City, Utah.
Aidan had some words to share about this opportunity, and we will be sharing more insights from his experiences throughout the season!
"I’ve been a competitive runner my entire life. I remember running in my first mile race when I was 9 years old, clocking a time of 6 minutes and 20 seconds at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR. My dad was working at Nike at the time, a big reason why I was so frequently surrounded by athletics in my upbringing. Back then, as a pretty fast young kid, I would dream (quite naively) of one day competing on the world's biggest stages like Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, and maybe even one day racing in the Olympic games.
As I grew, and even though I steadily improved and had a successful high school and collegiate career, my dreams of competing at this level were swiftly brought back to Earth as it became clear that the talent required to compete at this top level was astronomically more than what I possessed.
Fortunately, passions other than running have found me in my adulthood. Thanks to some running injuries sustained back in college I discovered my love for acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, so much so that I decided to obtain my master's degree in the practice and make it into a career. I’ve also found new ways to stay involved in the competitive world of sports that I love so much.
Fortunately for me, the state of Utah is full of extremely active people who are constantly asking a great deal of their bodies. Runners, bikers, swimmers, climbers, and more are constantly coming into Flow, usually hell-bent on getting back to playing the sport they love as soon as possible. And while I cannot emphasize the importance of taking proper time for rest and recovery enough, I also understand the emotionally driven need to get back out there as soon as possible.
I’ve always known acupuncture to have a unique way of helping people recover faster and come back stronger from injury. As a competitor and a practitioner, I can relate best to the patient who is seeking a quick and effective treatment, just so that they can continue to play.
Very recently I was presented with an opportunity that has brought back some of those old dreams of performing on the world stage. I found myself in contact with a group called Project Podium, an elite team of triathletes who are training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, as well as several other world triathlon events up until then.
Their training will consume pretty much all of their time as they run, bike, and swim countless miles all at an altitude above 7000 feet. Day after day these athletes will be putting in immense amounts of effort, constantly breaking themselves down with hopes of becoming stronger. They have asked me to join them a few days a week to work as their personal acupuncturist and bodyworker. I’m thrilled to say I've accepted the undertaking and can’t wait to get started.
Since accepting this opportunity, I have been feeling even more grateful than I thought possible. I am grateful to Flow for not only allowing me to continue working in this clinic that I love, but also grateful for them giving me the chance to grow into the practitioner that I am.
For anyone reading this who has ever been on my table, I am entirely grateful for you as well. Lastly, I feel grateful to be able to combine my passion for competitive sports with my passion for healing.
I now see that my childhood aspirations have seemed to come to fruition, but not in the way I would’ve expected. While I will not be the one competing for the medal, I will have a direct impact on several people who are. I can safely say that when one of these athletes achieves their dream and finds themself standing on that podium, it will be a moment of pure joy for their acupuncturist."
-Aidan Paulk, May 2023