Dr. Justin Lau, DC, CCSP, CSCS Certified Instructor
Justin started running competitively beginning in High School, racing on both the junior varsity and varsity level track and cross country teams. From that point on, running has remained a passion of his life. To Justin, running has always been the easiest way to stay in shape, the most economical way to de-stress and the best time to self reflect. 6 years ago, Justin decided to get into the sport of triathlon. At a swimming form seminar, he learned from one of the instructors that there was a way to make running easier and effortless as well. Very skeptical, Justin decided to enroll and get his first taste of Chi Running. As promised, he was amazed at the difference this new style of running made for him.
As a board certified Doctor of Chiropractic with a specialization in Sports Medicine, Justin has treated countless runners and triathletes. The big problem was that most of patients would simply return with the same injuries after they were fixed due to continued running with improper form. This is when Justin decided to become a certified instructor so that he could not only fix running problems after they arose, but also to prevent the onset of injuries before they actually happened. This is where Justin found his new passion related to running….his passion to help others run effortlessly and injury free! Justin teaches all of his classes from both a runner’s perspective as well as a clinician’s perspective
Background: Dr. Lau entered into the chiropractic health care field after a personal experience he had with extreme low back pain. While training for a full contact kickboxing tournament, he suffered a severe strain to his low back. After physical therapy and medical interventions did not resolve his pain or his condition, one of his students recommended Chiropractic. He was amazed to find that within a few treatments, he was out of pain and training again. It was the first time he was out of pain in over 6 months. From that point, he immediately made a career change. Originally on the academic route towards becoming a Physical Therapist, he was motivated by the power of the human body and the amazing level of healing the body can perform when allowed to do so without interference from outside sources.
Education: Dr. Lau completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California in Davis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology. He then completed his doctoral studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic West where he graduated with Cum Laude honors. During his studies, he performed a 1-year internship with a well-recognized sports chiropractor, Nick Athens (chiropractor for the SF Giants currently and most of the 49ers from the 80’s-early 90’s) and continued onto a 9-month preceptorship with Dr’s Matthew and Michael Janzen (chiropractors for Ultimate Fighting Champions, professional triathletes and Olympic medallists). Both of these clinics gave him the opportunity to work with high-level and elite athletes of all types.
Special Education:Upon graduating from U.C. Davis, Dr. Lau earned the Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist credential through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Like most strength and conditioning coaches for college and pro teams, with this certification he was able to more efficiently train high-level athletes to further excel in their athletic endeavors.
During his Chiropractic studies, he already began taking post-doctorate level courses that emphasized on sports injuries. In early 2002, he became Full Body Certified in Active Release Techniques® (ART®), a complete soft tissue injury management system developed and taught by Dr. Mike Leahy of Colorado Springs. Next, he began the Sports & Occupational Injures program taught by Dr. Mitch Malley, completing course work on Cumulative Trauma disorders and management of the Carpal Tunnel, TMJ, Upper and Lower Extremities. Upon graduation from Chiropractic school, he continued on to complete the Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP) program taught by Dr. Kevin Hearon of Idaho, the foremost leader in Chiropractic extremity diagnosis, technique and management as well as becoming LEVEL 3 Full Body Certified in Graston Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Technique®, a system that incorporates patented tools to effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis and chronic inflammation.
Dr. Lau has been fully trained in the Cox Flexion-Distraction technique, a procedure that specializes on the treatment and reduction of lumbar disc bulges/herniations. In 2004, Dr. Lau became a LEVEL 3 Biomechanics Certified ART® Provider (the highest level attainable to Active Release providers) and continued to complete coursework for the ART® Long Tract Nerve Entrapment program. As an ART Nerve Entrapment Certified Provider, Dr. Lau is actually able to glide an entrapped nerve through the soft tissues to the maximum extent possible through moving every joint and body part that the nerve crosses to physically “unstick it”. With this new nerve gliding treatment, symptoms such as numbness, tingling and burning in the hands, arms, legs and feet can easily be resolved in a very short period of time.
In 2005, Dr. Lau earned the credential of Certified Kinesio-Taping Practitioner, a perfect adjunct to Chiropractic and Active Release Therapy which helps to stabilize the affected area after treatment and speed up recovery time. This unique therapy enables his patients to return to their activities sooner without impeding function or flexibility. Patients will feel as if the Kinesiotape is a “second skin,” supporting them while they move and exercise in air or water.
In 2006, Dr. Lau completed the 120 hour post graduate course and written examination to earn the designation of Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (CCSP) by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (ACBSP). This certification specializes in the on-field management of athletes of all levels and disciplines. Additionally, he recently passed the certification to become a treating doctor involved in the Active Release Techniques Elite Provider Network (EPN).
In 2007, he will complete the Whiplash and Brain Injury Traumatology program held by the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, one of the leaders of research in the area of whiplash and motor vehicle crashes. This allows him to successfully treat injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes as well as provide testimony in court as an expert witness. Dr. Lau has already successfully treated many auto accident injuries where prior interventions failed to do so.
Additionally, Dr. Lau is also a Certified ChiRunning® / ChiWalking® Instructor where he blends his clinical knowledge and experience with this revolutionary running/walking technique to offer athletes of all levels workshops on how to run and walk with less energy expenditure and injury.
Community Work and Sports Medicine Experience
Volunteer - Chiropractic Mission trip to Nicaragua - 2003
Provided complimentary care to: CityTeam, San Jose, CA - 2003 and The Salvation Army Rehab Center, San Jose, CA - 2003<li>Sea Otter Mountain Bike Classic - Monterey, CA - 2004
Stockton Soccer, Stockton, CA - 2003
Hoop it Up Basketball Tournament, San Jose, CA - 2002/3
Total Body Fitness 2004 Tri-For-Fun / Tri-For-Real series
2004 California Man Triathlon.
2004 Ironman Triathlon World Championship, Kona, Hawaii - 2004
2004 TJ MAXX Olympic Gymnastics Tour, Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA - 2004 (providing Chiropractic care and Active Release treatments for the SILVER MEDAL United States Men’s & Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team)
St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock’n Half Marathon & 5K, West Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006, 2007
Women’s Fitness Festival, Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006
Nutrition Fuels Fitness 5-A-Day 5K/10K, Elk Grove, CA – 2005, 2006, 2007
Fair Oaks Fiesta Run 5-mile Run/Walk, Fair Oaks, CA – 2005, 2006
Run Against Pain 5K/10K (Sacramento 10K Championship) – Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006
Sacramento Valentine Run – Sacramento, CA – 2006 No Excuses 5K – Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006
4th of July 5-Miler, Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006 Fleet Feet Mile, Davis, CA - 2005Sacramento Zoo Zoom 5K/10K Run – Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006 Sacramento / Corelogic Cowtown Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K – Sacramento, CA – 2005, 2006
My Sister’s House 5K Run/Walk – Sacramento, CA - 2006
Paul Reese Memorial Clarksburg Country Run 30 km, Half-marathon and 5k - Clarksburg, CA – 2005, 2006
USTA Sutter Lawns Tennis Tournament – Sacramento, CA 2006
2007 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series: Santa Clara International Invitational Swim Meet – Santa Clara, CA – June 2007
Onsite Doctor - Fleet Feet Sports and Capitol Road Race Management – Current (providing pre and post race care to our local athletes at both the larger and smaller racing venues here in Sacramento county)
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Diplomat
California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Diplomat - American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians
American Chiropractic Association
Member Palmer West Student ACA Sports Council Pi Tau Delta (Chiropractic Honor Society)
American Red Cross
National Strength & Conditioning Association
United States Kinesiotaping Association
Fleet Feet Sports - Sacramento
Capital Road Race Management
River City Rebels Running Club
Team-in Training (Lymphoma and Leukemia Society)
ChiRunning® / ChiWalking®
Arden Hills Swim Team
USA Swimming (Sports Medicine Network Chiropractor)
Sacramento Triathlon Club
Fleet Feet Asics Racing Team
Sports and Interests: Dr. Lau has always tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sports has definitely been an integral part in keeping that up. He began competitively running in high school, competing in both varsity track and cross-country. In 1990, he began studying Chinese Kenpo and earned his black belt in 1997. He competed in numerous martial arts tournaments both nationally and internationally. Today, his passions include weight training, volleyball, tennis, rollerblading, snowboarding, cycling, swimming and running. Motivated by the spirit and determination of his patients, Dr. Lau competed in his first sprint distance triathlon in 2004 and is now training for his first half IRONMAN distance triathlon in 2007.
Distinctions / Certifications
Board Certified – National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Physiotherapy Board Certified – National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist – National Strength & Conditioning Association
Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (CCSP) – American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physicians
Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP) – Chiropractic Council on Extremity Adjusting (board eligible)
Level 2 Full Body Certified – Active Release Techniques®
Level 3 Biomechanics Certified – Active Release Techniques®
Long Tract Nerve Entrapment Certified - Active Release Techniques®
Elite Provider Network Certified - Active Release Techniques®
Level 3 Certified Graston Technique – Graston Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Technique®
Certified Kinesiotaping Practitioner (CKTP) – United States Kinesiotaping Association
Certified ChiRunning/ChiWalking Instructor
CPR – Basic Life Support Certified – American Heart Association