Powys: former young international player trying to bring Chinese medicine to rugby

A former rugby player has come out to show the benefits of Chinese medicine on the playing field.

Nuno Pestana and his company Naturalmed will treat players this weekend at the Heart of Wales 7s in Llanidloes.

Born in Australia, Nuno was very active in his youth practicing martial arts before starting to play junior rugby in Portugal aged 14.

He enjoyed success playing for Lisbon club OS Belenenses, winning several domestic championships, representing Portugal at the Under-16 and Under-18 levels, but missed the European Championships through injury .

It was then that Nuno said he “reconsidered everything, I stopped playing rugby, I was a bit frustrated”.

It was after an injury while playing that Nuno saw for the first time the benefits of Chinese medicine: “I had a knee injury where I had to stop for almost 5 months, it was after the national championship final.

“I was using crutches, I tried physiotherapy and finally my father suggested to me ‘why don’t you try acupuncture?’

“Three months later, I was playing again.”

This experience stayed with Nuno when researching course options after leaving high school. He then studied at a satellite campus of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, completing a year-long internship in China before coming to practice in the UK.

Nuno rediscovered rugby when he moved to Wales after visiting the Trefeglwys agricultural show: “I remember Llanidloes RFC had a little stall there where you could play games.

“I then did a few games, the guys started chatting with me, I started telling them my story and they were like, ‘why don’t you come to Cae Hafren?’

“I did and a month later I was playing for the team.”

Nuno says he really enjoyed his time playing for Llanidloes, making many friends over the seasons he played there.

During this time, his love for Chinese medicine and rugby came to fruition when he helped other players with injuries through acupuncture, although it took them a while to get used to it. put: “Most people have heard of acupuncture before, some of them are a little skeptical, some of them are a little uncertain, because our relationship with needles is usually vaccination when I was a child or in the dentist.

“There is this preconceived idea that it is going to hurt, that it is going to be uncomfortable but it is not. All the patients I have treated were satisfied with the treatments and the results”

Nuno is now helping the Heart of Wales 7s for free and offering help not only with match day injuries but also to help players with chronic injuries: “Anything acute or chronic as long as it is not life threatening, I think I can do a lot for the players.

“If it’s something like a torn muscle, tendon, ankle, shoulder, that’s something I can help with. Acupuncture can work very quickly, very effectively.

Nuno hopes that the use of acupuncture in sports injuries can be more accepted: “It’s something that has changed recently since the 2008 Olympics, you’ve seen a lot of players and athletes win medals and breaking records and one of the reasons is that they started a regimen of Chinese medical treatments to improve their athletic ability.It’s not just about injury and recovery, but optimization.