Angelica Kokkalis, Chinese Medicine
124 Westwood Dr.
W. Lafayette, IN 47906 United States
On Pins and Needles
At the World Cup in Madrid in September 2002, Ross opened with a throw of 183 feet. On the second throw, she dropped her right arm too much, came over too hard on her left leg and felt a “pop” in her right elbow. She made two more throws and finished fifth in the world.
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The 2002 Purdue graduate continued to train, but suspected that something was wrong. Doctors found that she had torn the ligament in her throwing arm.
“I thought, ‘This is not happening,’ ” she says.
In December 2002, surgeons mended her elbow with a ligament taken from her leg. When the bandages came off, her world-class arm was withered and weak. Previous injuries to her knee and back hurt. Barely able to walk, she was depressed and withdrawn. She didn’t want to talk about it.
“I was a mess,” she says. “I felt I was losing everything.”
But ever the competitor, Ross has spent more than a year getting better through rehabilitation, throwing, weight lifting, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture.
Ross credits acupuncture for much of her recovery. She was introduced to it in California, where she underwent rehabilitation at the Olympic Training Center.
In April 2003, she was referred to West Lafayette’s Dr. Angelica Kokkalis.
“We have an unbelievable relationship as doctor-patient and as friends,” Ross says of Kokkalis. I’ve made unbelievable progress. I feel more balanced, more centered. I’ve healed.”
Kokkalis inserts approximately 60 super-fine disposable acupuncture needles into various parts of Ross’s skin, at different angles. They stimulate the nervous system and its energy to release substances to the blood that kill pain and reduce inflammation.
As the needles are inserted, Ross feels heat and sensations of energy movement, but no pain. She leaves feeling refreshed and relaxed.