Chinese Herbal Medicine and Athletic Sports Performance:

What is Chinese herbal medicine? Dating back to 3rd Century BC, Chinese herbal medicine is an incredible healing tool for all athletes. Most people think of herbs as being plants only - in fact these herbs fall under an umbrella of any natural occurring substance that has a therapeutic benefit.  There are over 10,000 herbs in the Chinese medical pharmacopeia including everything from plants – with every specific part of the plant having different effects – to rocks, bugs, and animals (there are several herbs that can be harvested without harming the animal). When used correctly, Chinese herbs have little to no side effects. 

Thousands of years ago Chinese medicine was the only medicine used in all martial arts and it’s where herbal medicine for athletic performance was created. It was found to be extremely useful for injury treatment, prevention and performance enhancement and became well documented during the time of the Shaolin Warriors. Customized herbal formulas were also created for very specific injuries the warriors may have experienced including “formula for the treatment of headache of the forehead due to hit by a stick”,  “formula for treatment of swelling and pain of the shoulder due to hit of a whip” or “formula for treatment of bone due to poisonous arrow.” 


In current times, injury prevention is something at the top list of important factors for an athlete, especially for those that are training daily and competing professionally. Being able to withstand a heavy training camp injury-free is what every athlete strives for. 

Initially, we look for imbalances in an athletes life. Are they sleeping well? Stressed? Are they eating properly and staying hydrated? These are all important factors that, if imbalanced, could lead to injury.  In these cases, injury prevention can be as simple as creating a customized herbal decoction for an athlete that has problems sleeping. Being properly rested every will allow him to perform better, faster and stronger, while allowing adequate time for the body to heal overnight. 

In many cases it gets a bit more complicated, especially dealing with high-level athletes. Even if their sleep is great, diet is on point and stress levels are managed, there is still always risk for injury. Depending on what the athlete's goals are, there are so many herbal formulas that can help to nourish and lubricate the tendons, ligaments and joints, increase blood flow to the muscles which will assist recovery and prevent injuries. Herbal formulas to help boost immunity becomes essential as a heavy training schedule (especially if outside in the elements) can hinder athletic progression and predispose them to injury if the athlete gets sick.

When is comes to high-level athletes, athletic performance is almost equally psychological. The mental drive to train hard every day, having advanced clarity, focus, concentration and an ability to multitask with quick reaction times is what can make or break an athlete.  Whether there is an issue or if an athlete simply wants to enhance one or more of these qualities, there is an herbal decoction for these qualities too.

Chinese herbs can provide that competitive edge that many athletes are seeking and should be prepared in carefully selected combinations by a qualified herbalist.  If you have any questions regarding Chinese herbal medicine and athletic performance, please contact Adrienne Coombs at Pro Motion Clinic.






Athlete of the Month: Troy Boot

We're stoked to share our incredibly inspiring athlete of the month, Troy Boot! 

Have you always lived an active lifestyle? What’s your story?

Yes. I started racing dirt bikes in 1978. In 1984, I started working out to get stronger to race dirt bikes. By 1988 I had bought into a gym. I trained with a bodybuilding focus. I did my first and only bodybuilding show in 1988. In 1992, I sold the gym. I remained active and my interests switched to the outdoors. I became a hunting guide in the mountains.  I also worked in the oil patch for 15 years. During this time I became less active, overweight and out of shape.  In August 2009 I was introduced to crossFit by Brad Hall. This day changed my life forever. I have been doing crossFit ever since, for almost 9 years. 


Why do you love what you do?

I love what I do because of the change it created for me. I want that change for other people.  I want people to really live the best life that they ca  and to believe in themselves, to believe they can do it. Even though it can be a hard road, I know it’s possible because was “that” guy.  I had high blood pressure, high triglycerides, was overweight, smoked cigarettes, chewed Copenhagen and drank Gibson’s finest. Now that’s an athlete! These days I drink protein drinks, BCAA’s, count my macros, focus on sleep and recovery and train 5-6 days/week. 

What inspires you when you’re coaching an athlete?

Helping each athlete achieve their goals, whatever their goals are.  Each athlete has different goals and a different mindset; I want to help them achieve that goal. 

What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in getting ready for the CrossFit games?

The hardest obstacle is self doubt. 

I have to remind myself every single day that I do have what it takes. 

Also, pushing In my training even when I want to quit.  

What advice would you give to an aspiring CrossFit  athlete?

Set goals for yourself.  Start with short term realistic goals as well as longer term goals to train for.  For example: a competition, the Crossfit open next year, a race, etc. 

Every day do one thing that gets you closer to your goal. 

Believe in yourself. Ask for help. 



What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment? 

In 2014 I gave up my Masters 1st place position to compete in the Men’s finals and placed 2nd overall in the Men’s category. 

I'm also proud of qualifying for Wodapalooza in Miami and competing against Games athletes in Miami at Wodapalooza. 

This year placing Top 30 in the world in my age group felt like a huge accomplishment. 


What do you do to keep your body healthy during training? 

1) As I get older I realize I need to listen to my body more than ever to prevent injury. 

2) Epsom salt bath everyday.

3) Stay hydrated.

4) I've gotten acupuncture and cupping treatments with Nicole Albertson for the past five years at Active Living. 

5) I visit Lars for treatment 1-2x/week.




What’s your favourite thing to do in Kelowna when you’re not at the gym?

I love to sit in the shade at the beach and hike with my little buddy Murph.  

What’s your favourite cheat meal?

I eat the same way every day (for the most part).  When I go out, I love a good burger and fries. I also love candy: licorice, big Turks, M&M’s - you name it!

Is there anything else you want to share or get out to the community? 

I would say this to the people who are on the fence about starting CrossFit: Just do it! Walk through the doors.  It’s like magic. Your life will change.  Be part of the community. Do your best every day.  


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Announcing the Okanagan Grizzly Games!

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We are excited to collaborate with our community partners to bring this amazing event to life!


This three day competition will put your fitness to the test with a wide range of events in the beautiful city of Kelowna. Each event is completed with a same-gender partner and pairs can compete in one of two divisions: Elite or Open/RX.

From Kelowna's iconic outdoor Apple Bowl Stadium to the sun-soaked Okanagan beaches, you can expect thoughtfully programmed workouts in gorgeous locations. Expect equal measures of hard work and good times. 

Follow the link to register:

We will see in the stadium and at the beach!