Historic First Sports Medicine Course In Russia – Sports Chiropractic Journal – August 1989


My main objective for traveling to Russia was to learn the secrets to the pro athlete treatment and Olympic training used by the Soviet athletes to fine-tune the human body. Why was the USSR producing such great Russian pro athletes? I had read over 100 sports journals written by Russian doctors and Russian athletic trainers at that time and because I was the organizer and director of the first sports medicine course, I was able to select the experts who lectured. I decided to focus our studies on the sports biomechanics movement in hopes of uncovering some of the secrets to elite athletic performance.

One of the lecturers I chose was Yuri Verkhoshansky. Yuri Verkoshansky was a Russian scientist who pioneered plyometric training as a means of sports training to improve athletic performance, mainly speed-strength. Widely known as the “Father of Plyometrics”, he has been the leading researcher and coach most recognized with the spread of plyometrics training.

I call this modern day Human Spring Training.

With the help of Dr. Ed Enos of Concordia University in Montreal and the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), at the famed National Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences in Moscow, I organized the first sports medicine course.

After much negotiation with the Soviet Sports Committee, we developed a program for sports medicine at the National Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences in Moscow, USSR. It was called REHAB 670, Soviet Sports at the National Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences. In 1989, 70 doctors and experts attended my course.

Historic First Sports Medicine Course in Russia

Sports Chiropractic Journal – August 1989

Dr James Stoxen DC, Dr Sergie Popov and Dr Stephen J Press DC PhD

A group of 22 chiropractors attended the week long course 670 Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in the Soviet Union. The program was arranged by Dr James Stoxen DC of Chicago and Dr Edmund Enos of the Association for International Exchange Programs, AICEP.

Dr. Ed Enos

I made contact with Dr. Ed Enos, Director of Athletics at  Concordia University and Director of AICEP (Association International Cultural Exchange Programs). I suggested that we develop a course in the study of sports training and sports medicine in the Soviet Union with their top experts.

It was the first sports medicine course for western doctors ever organized in the former Soviet Union.

Dr Enos asked me who in the Soviet Union I wanted to lecture for our group.

My main objective for visiting Russia was to learn the secrets to the treatment and training used by the Soviets to fine-tune the human body. Something had to be allowing them to produce so many champions.

I had read over 100 journals written by Russian doctors and trainers at that time and because I was the organizer and director of the course, I was able to select the experts who lectured.  I decided to focus our studies on the biomechanics of sports movement in hopes of uncovering some of the secrets to human performance.

The key lecturer I chose was Yuri Verkhoshansky, the founder of modern human spring training, called plyometrics. His teachings played a major role in my research and uncovering the secrets to elite level human performance.

Dr James Stoxen DC, Yuri Verkhoshansky and Dr Stephen J Press DC PhD

Dr Stoxen had previously been the Sports Chiropractor for the American Powerlifting Federation tour in the Soviet Union.

A Federation of International Sports Chiropractors delegation led by Steven Press, President, which included Dr Noel Patterson of Australia, FICS Vice President and Dr Ostien Ogre of Norway, FICS Executive Council. The program was held at the famous National Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow. Some major accomplishments were achieved.

The group held round table discussions with the leaders in the Soviet Union in “Manual Medicine.” The Russians were greatly impressed by what they saw and heard. The Soviet authorities in manipulation announced at the banquet that they wanted negotiations to commence toward the possibility of a Chiropractic College in either the Institute for Physical Culture in Moscow or Moscow University.

Watch above as Dr. James Stoxen DC discusses the state of chiropractic in the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1989, Moscow, Russia

Dr Zatsiorsky, the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Sub-committee on Biomechanics, accepted Dr Press’s appointment to the Scientific Commission of the FICS. Dr Zatsiorsky is clearly acknowledged as the foremost expert on spinal biomechanics in the world.

The Soviets believe they have developed a device that they believe can “measure innate biological energy.” It was demonstrated at the clinical round table discussions. The device was used to compare Soviet manipulation with chiropractic manipulation and our technique was found to give superior results. Dr Press sent information concerning this to the FICS Scientific Committee for review and evaluation.

Watch above as Dr. Stephen Press of Englewood, NJ, then President of the World governing body for Sports Chiropractic, gives the first official Chiropractic adjustment ever in the USSR, to Vice-rector, Prof. Dr. Sergie Popov, MD, of the Institute of Physical Culture, in Moscow.

Dr Press and Dr Stoxen were asked to consult on a skating injury to Ekaterina Gordeeva.  Ekaterina is the 1988 Olympic Gold Medallist, 1986 1987, 1988, and 1989 World Champion, and the pride of the Soviet people.

There are few skaters in history that possess such ethereal beauty and grace as Ekaterina “Katia” Gordeeva. Like a quiet ballerina, she floats on the ice seemingly in a world of her own creation, and we are the lucky participants, fortunate enough to be touched by her soulful athleticism.  It is with her former partner and late husband, the great Sergei Grinkov, that Katia first seduced the world with her elegance.  In their thirteen years together, they came to define pair skating, lifting the sport to new heights, artistically and athletically.  With a style all their own, Gordeeva and Grinkov made a name for themselves as the most recognizable pair team ever from the former Soviet Union. , starsonice.com

Dr Press, a former competitive skater, was able to improve her condition. This apparently marks the first time the Soviet Sports Committee has formally requested the services of a chiropractor. Well done.

Dr James Stoxen DC presented a jacket from the American Drug Free Powerlifting Association to the chairman of Soviet Anti-doping, Vitaly Semenov.

These are major accomplishments for a pioneering first effort. The participants received one point towards elevation to FICS Full Member Status. The excellent classroom coursework was accredited through San Francisco State University. The participants were also able to enjoy the famous Moscow Ballet and Moscow Circus in the evenings.  Plans are underway to make an annual exchange at the invitation of the Soviets. We would like to acknowledge and thank all the participants for their pioneering efforts and great success.

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About Dr James Stoxen DC (282 Posts)

Dr. James Stoxen, D.C., owns and operates Team Doctors Treatment and Training Center. and Team Doctors Sports Medicine and Anti-aging Products. He has been the meet and team chiropractor at many national and world championships. He has been inducted into the prestigious National Hall of Fame, the Personal Trainers Hall of Fame and appointed to serve on the prestigious, Global Advisory Board of The International Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners. Dr. Stoxen is a sought after speaker, internationally having organized and /or given over 1000 live presentations around the world.(full bio)


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