Story and photograph by Lauren Sharkey.
“If you think about a computer, you have the hardware and then you have the software,” says Robert Inesta of Westchester Sports & Wellness in Harrison. “A lot of the physical manual work that I do with the soft tissues is working with the hardware, which is the functional mechanics helping people to move better, and then there is the acupuncture, which has to do with the software.”
Inesta is a certified chiropractic sports practitioner and strength and conditioning specialist. “I see all types of muscular-skeletal injuries, lots of back issues, herniated disks, many shoulder injuries, all types of sport injuries, hips, knees, pretty much anything nonsurgical.”
He works with a variety of patients, including athletes in high school, college and professional sports as well as patients with arthritic and degenerative complications.
“As far as the degenerative stuff goes, simple basics will decrease these issues, which include using good posture, trying not to sit for too long, more multi-dynamic activities, which means not doing one thing all the time.”
Inesta adds that he has seen an increase in children at his office in our digital era. “Core stability, glute activation and balance are really important. These are the things I see lacking the most.” With the absence of these, the risk of injury increases. “With any changes, we have to work harder at balancing our mechanics.”
He suggests a combination of things to “balance one’s mechanic”’ through acupuncture and proper nutrition combined with the physical, manual work he does as a chiropractor.
“I have found the combination to be very effective. I focus more on the soft tissue and do a lot of manual techniques to get those tissues to move better and feel more balanced.” Two of Inesta’s manual techniques are Active Release Technique and Fascial Manipulation Technique, which are designed to release tension and restore normal movement in the soft tissues, including tendons, ligaments, skin, membranes, muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
“Once I have released the tension in the muscles, I have found that acupuncture helps to enhance (the release). With acupuncture, we are trying to stimulate your nervous system and your energetic flow.”
This then pairs well with a healthy diet, he adds.
“What you eat is the building blocks of cellular repair as well as the fuel that our bodies use. I’ll make nutritional suggestions as well as providing someone with supplements if they need a little bit more.”
Inesta has seen an increase in the amount of patients who require supplements to their diet. “In this day and age, we are not getting the proper nutrition, because our food supply has been altered, which is causing problems.”
There is a saying, “He who looks at the site of pain is often lost.” This statement is relevant when considering Inesta’s practice as he believes that everything is interconnected:
“You have to look at the whole body. Someone may come in with back pain and that’s where the pain is manifesting and where the symptoms are, but the problem may actually be in the hip. We try to establish as much balance as possible by looking at the whole picture.”