Hoyer uses acupuncture during recovery from concussion

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2015 5:10 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer has turned to acupuncture after suffering his second concussion in a month.

Hoyer returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday, but remains in the league's protocol after suffering a concussion on Dec. 13 and is questionable for Sunday's game against Tennessee. Speaking to the media for the first time since then, he said he started seeing an acupuncturist after his first concussion on Nov. 16 and that he's continued to see the specialist since the second one.

He believes it's helped his recovery.

"I think so," he said. "I'm a believer in doing anything that you think works. I've done a lot of stuff. That's one of the things I've done."

Hoyer became a fan of acupuncture after his wife, Lauren, had a session when she was pregnant with their son Garrett, now 3. When she was 36 weeks pregnant the couple learned that the baby was breech. Doctors told her there was "no way this baby's flipping" and to prepare for a cesarean delivery.

"My wife didn't want to have a C-section so she looked up alternative options and acupuncture happened to be one of them," Hoyer said. "We went up to this woman doctor. She put the needles in. They lit some roots and burned it. They had like yoga music on. I literally watched my wife's stomach shift."

The couple visited her doctor the next day and learned that the baby had moved into the head-down position needed for a natural birth, he said.

"Once I saw that, I believed acupuncture can do anything," Hoyer said.

The 30-year-old Hoyer said he's visited the acupuncturist three or four times since his first concussion and talked about where they place the needles.

"Everywhere," he said. "With acupuncture it's all about the chi and stuff like that ... when I go in, you don't really feel it so I don't really necessarily know. A lot of times when I leave I feel really good. So I believe in it."

He has also spent time in a hyperbaric chamber and used an app called BrainHQ, which the company says is a brain training system built and tested by neuroscientists, to aid in his recovery.

"So basically anything I deem through the research that can help, that's what I've been trying to do," Hoyer said.

Hoyer admitted that he was worried about receiving two concussions so close together, but said he is confident that the team and the doctors he is working with will do what's best for his health.

"With any concussion you're going to be concerned so for me I don't take it lightly, I do a lot of research," he said. "I talk to a lot of people who are highly respected in the area. I talk to people that I trust who have gone through the situation and then you make the best educated decision. And like I said for me the way I feel, I feel good and now the doctors are basically evaluating that and ... I respect their opinion and the process."

Coach Bill O'Brien didn't provide many details when asked if the team expects backup Brandon Weeden to play on Sunday.

"As we go through the week we'll determine that, some of that has to do with Brian Hoyer and his ability to be cleared," O'Brien said. "We're still working through all those things."

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