Meet Dr. Roopali Hall. Her thoughtful concern about the mind-body connection and artful ability to explain and prescribe a tailored training regimen, are only rivaled by her in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of the body in motion. Whether you’re looking for fitness, injury prevention or longevity, Roopali offers unique perspective as an athlete, a mother, a former patient recovered from injury and a chiropractic physician.
We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Roopali Hall, as our Health & Wellness contributor and look forward to her instructional videos and insights. We sat down to chat with Dr. Hall between patients, training, tennis/paddle matches, kids and…
How did you become a chiropractor?
My education began in pre-med, but I did not have a career path in the medical field that called to me. I come from a family of doctors so I was interested in being involved in healthcare. I decided to try the business side of medicine and went into investment banking, but it never felt like that was going to be my long-term career.
After injuring my own knee and going through knee surgery, I was introduced to the chiropractic profession. Even though my orthopedic surgeon assured me that it would take five weeks to get back to normal, I wasn’t recovering well. After 12 weeks of physical therapy, I was still not getting back to my routine. So, I decided to see a sports chiropractor, not knowing what to expect. I received a lot of soft tissue care for my knee, ankle and hip. Suddenly, after two weeks I was running again. Seeing results with this type of chiropractic care inspired me.
While dealing with my own ailments, I realized there was a whole other side of healthcare that I had not been exposed to. After seven years in finance, I was ready for something new. I was excited to take on this career path and felt a passion for the subject matter. I just love all sports and sport science. Being a chiropractor gave me the tools to explore what I really wanted to do.
While dealing with my own ailments, I realized there was a whole other side of healthcare that I had not been exposed to.
Along with chiropractic medicine, I went on to receive my training in medical acupuncture, which I believe is a total game changer. It is gaining momentum in the U.S. and now there are new programs for healthcare professionals and MDs to learn this type acupuncture.
What is the difference between medical vs. traditional acupuncture?
It really comes down to the diagnosis technique and the language behind it. It’s similar to traditional acupuncture in the language of Western medicine. We use the tried and true points and techniques developed over thousands of years in Chinese medicine combined with Western diagnostic tools and science. The science has long supported the use of acupuncture to treat many musculoskeletal conditions, so making acupuncture accessible to the medical community has been a natural progression.
In addition to treating the injury itself, it is important to get to the bottom of why the injury occurred in the first place – to get people healthy and keep them healthy.
Let’s take tennis elbow, for example, how would you go about treating it with medical acupuncture?
If a patient comes in to see me with tennis elbow, I look at the entire kinetic chain and evaluate it. I make sure I know what the pain generators are and which muscles and joints are involved. The acupuncture points I choose are based on anatomy and neuroanatomy, and they extend beyond just the painful area. In addition to treating the injury itself, it is important to get to the bottom of why the injury occurred in the first place – to get people healthy and keep them healthy. That’s something that I have come to understand.
By the time your body starts screaming it has often suffered a cascade of damaging events. Generally, once you have developed tennis elbow, there have already been multiple breakdowns that have led to the overcompensation in that area. Our bodies are great compensators, as they should be, otherwise we would be running to the doctor for every little thing. We are designed to adapt, but those adaptations are not always in our best interest.
By the time your body starts screaming it has often suffered a cascade of damaging events.
What was your most frustrating personal experience with overdoing it…your body adapting but not in your best interest?
Back in the day, I was captain of my college tennis and squash teams, but took a hiatus from playing when I joined the workforce and moved to New York City. Returning to tennis after seven years of not playing was a real wake-up call. I was so excited to get back into sports when we moved to Connecticut, that I joined a club and immediately started to play a ton of tennis. I played nearly every day and ran myself into the ground. My body just didn’t want to do what I asked of it! It got to the point where I had to put the racquets down, and everything down, really – just to get back to baseline of no pain.
My body just didn’t want to do what I asked of it!
I developed multifaceted problems that showed me how devastating doing one type of activity could be. I realized how important it was to train off court. Then I set out to strengthen and stabilize, and it has made a world of difference. I want to be active for the rest of my life – and longevity has become one of my primary goals in fitness and wellness.
The most important advice I could give is—Don’t play through pain!
One more question, are you a ball or a racquet?
I am definitely a racquet…because, to quote my husband, I am a total ball-buster!
Thank you Dr. Roopali Hall, we look forward to hearing more about ways to train smart and to continue playing the sport we love for a lifetime. Look for monthly videos and tips from Roopali on COURTGIRL Mag…
Dr. Roopali Hall is a chiropractic physician practicing at Train Away Pain in Westport, Connecticut, where she specializes in sports medicine and medical acupuncture. Dr. Hall provides individualized support to patients across all stages of recovery, from injury rehabilitation to advancing performance goals. She earned her undergraduate degree from Amherst College, where she captained both the Women’s Varsity Tennis and Varsity Squash teams.