Meet Dr. Hilary Patzer, founder and Sports Acupuncturist at JADA Studios. With extensive experience in healing athletes, a doctorate in Chinese medicine, and expertise as a Chinese herbalist, she is driven by empowerment through growth, health, and movement. Additionally, she holds the prestigious position of being the official sports acupuncturist for the Minnesota Vikings.
Discover more about her and her extensive knowledge of TCM in our spotlight feature.
How did you begin as an practitioner and what we’d love to know the journey to you becoming the Official Sports Acupuncturist for the Minnesota Vikings!
The short of me becoming a practitioner is that I was a professional x-country ski racer, I overtrained while training for the Olympics, my mom suggested I try acupuncture, and I was hooked. Although I tried really hard not to work on athletes my first few years in private practice, I realized that I had to work on athletes, they were my people, my tribe. I started working with individual professional athletes from various sports and then I was connected with the Head Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Vikings, and the rest is history. I will be starting my eighth season with them. I love my job, the guys, and being able to help them stay on the field and fulfill their dreams and goals! I also love having JADA Studios, my private practice, life is about continuing to raise the bar!
Here is a blog I wrote about my journey to finding acupuncture- giving you a better idea about my journey to acupuncture: Acupuncture for Athletes — JADA Studios | Minneapolis Acupuncture
What would you say is a priority when it comes to preparing therapy for top performing athletes?
Athletes are like anyone else, but they use their bodies very differently. It took me a few years to truly find my rhythm and authentic way of treating, but once I found that, I never doubted myself and my ability to help high level athletes. Not everyone will like me or like what I offer, and I have learned to accept that. However, I want everyone to know that I gave them my best. People respect and appreciate that. So, my top priority when I’m preparing to treat an elite athlete is to get grounded and calm so that my talents can shine through and I’m not stuck in my head. I am a perfectionist, so I can sometimes get in my own way, but when I’m in flow, I feel unstoppable.
Which mode of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment have you seen have the best results? Or do you have a particular favorite?
That is so tough because every-body is so different and needs different treatments. It is immeasurably important to listen to your patient’s body and deliver the treatment they need, not the treatment you want to give them. With that being said, I find my blend of acupuncture, sports acupuncture, local/dry needling, electro acupuncture, cupping, then manual to be the best at healing people’s bodies and easing their pain. Some patients need more or less intense treatments, but often they receive some gradient of the “Hilary Blend.”
How do you meld and find balance in your daily personal life, running your practice, and the many projects you bring about?
Balance is something we are all striving for. Since overtraining in my ski career, I promised myself that I would never overwork or overtrain again. Admittedly, I often border on overextending myself, but I recognize it and pull back. I am a huge proponent of eating well, getting enough sleep, dedicating time to things that fill my battery, and working out regularly. I am very independent and have an introverted side, so I have to pay close attention to how much socializing I am doing. My social battery fills much faster than some of my friends, and because of that, I have to keep FOMO in check and make sure I am listening to myself and taking the alone time I need. It sounds simple, but honoring our true and authentic selves is actually really hard to do, but it is worth it 10-fold! So, I dedicate a lot of my time to work, but I also make sure to fit in family time, friend time, workout time, and quiet time.
Outside of your practice, what do you do to balance your wellbeing?
Outside of my practice I focus on nutrition, supplementation, sleep, downtime (including meditation), time outdoors, enjoying my fur-babies, and socializing. Like anything in life, we are all different and require different things, and finding our necessary and non-negotiable ingredients is critical to avoiding burnout. Don’t pay attention to what others need, pay attention to what you need! I am also a list maker, so I stay very organized as I’m working through my tasks to make sure I know what I have going on, what I should and shouldn’t tackle at the moment, and when I need to stop and breathe. I am a big proponent of looking around and feeling gratitude for everything I have! And 100% ask for help when you need it, as they say, teamwork makes the dream work!