“My chiropractor kept me injury free during marathon training!” I have heard this quite a bit lately. So many of my running friends swear by their chiropractors, and my husband swears by his to keep him migraine free.
Me, on the other hand? I have yet to visit a chiropractor! But…I am most likely going to start seeing a chiropractor during marathon training. After hearing about the wide array of benefits, why not?
Of course, I had to research sports chiropractors myself. I was very curious as to what they do and how they work. That’s where this week’s interview, Dr. Jason Thomsen, comes into play. Jason is not only a licensed chiropractor in the state of Florida, but he is also a sub 3 marathoner. If anyone knows a thing or two about running and chiropractic care, it’s him!
Jason started running when he was in sixth grade. His school participated in “Mile Mondays” during gym class. Eventually, he started running local road races and gradually increased his speed. Running performance didn’t always come easy for Jason, though: “I joined the cross country team and was one of the smallest and the slowest on the team. In fact, when I finished my freshman year, my coach said that I didn’t turn any heads but that I had potential.” Before he graduated four years later, however, he set six distance running school records, competed in five state championships, and competed in four national track meets.
Jason now runs a variety of distances and has set some impressive PRS:
- 1 mile: 4:30
- 2 mile: 9:58
- 5K: 16:05
- 10K: 33:53
- 15K: 51:47
- Half marathon: 1:12:55
- Marathon: 2:59:45
Aside from working on his own running and working as a chiropractor, he is also a high school cross country coach, husband, entrepreneur, and dad to two (and you thought YOU were busy…).
Speaking of that chiropractor thing, Jason grew up around the practice as his father is also a chiropractor. He actually had a rather common misconception about the practice: “I actually grew up around chiropractic but didn’t want anything to do with it until I realized there was more to it than just ‘cracking bones.'” Eventually, Jason became interested in the field and went on to graduate with a B.S. from Brigham Young University followed by a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College (located in FL). PS: With honors.
One of my favorite parts about these interviews is learning how experts have used their knowledge to inform their running, train better, and train smarter. His B.S. in Exercise Science has clearly helped him understand the functions and movements of the human body, but his DC definitely furthered his knowledge: “…I further ingrained the concepts of how the entire human body is one big intertwined system and when one thing is wrong, it can set off a chain reaction of other things. As chiropractors, we focus on finding those areas of ‘subluxation’ and restoring them back to normal whether that is through adjustments, soft tissue work, or other therapies.”
One of the reasons I haven’t seen a chiropractor EVER is because I never thought to visit one unless something was “wrong.” I was curious about the benefits to runners-in-training, and my typical thinking is, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I learned differently when I interviewed Jason, and he says that chiropractic care is an excellent form of preventative care: “Chiropractic care is a simple, healthy and non-invasive way to heal the body. [It] doesn’t require pills; it doesn’t require cutting you open, and it’s safe.” As runners, we know that our bodies become worn down and worn out during intense training cycles. According to Jason, this is where chiropractors can help: They can restore balance in the body and therefore balance.
While Jason notes that chiropractic care is becoming more mainstream for athletes, there are still skeptics out there. I asked him how he handles skeptics, and his advice is to speak to patients who have been helped by chiropractors and be careful with YouTube! “I have found a lot of the time skeptics just don’t know what exactly a chiropractor does. There are way too many videos online that show [people performing] violent or [unprofessional] adjustments just for the sake of getting views. That’s not what chiropractic is.” In Jason’s words – chiropractors do so much more than adjust each patient’s neck. He has adjusted feet for several, and they typically leave feeling great.
Jason is clearly invested in helping athletes, and any chiropractor who feels confident working with the athletic population is fit to do so. However, he cautions potential patients to be on the lookout for if their chiropractor has additional experience or certification in working with athletes. Jason has treated numerous runners and was also a chiropractor for Bethune-Cookman University.
It was so interesting to get to know Jason, his running career, and his journey to becoming a licensed chiropractor! There’s more, though: Jason is also the creator of Race Day Discount where runners can find discounts on their local races, and he also helps race directors with their social media management and marketing.
Learn more about Jason and follow him here:
Thanks for interviewing, Jason!
Peace. Love. Running.
XOXO – Court