The average NFL career lasts only 3.3 years, but Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is now in his 15th season on the gridiron. He is 39 years old and still playing at a high level. Harrison has won two Super Bowls, been named to the Pro-Bowl five times and has made millions of dollars, but he keeps going.
So how is this even possible? Harrison plays one of the most physically taxing positions in the sport, colliding with other players with the force of a car accident multiple times per game. Harrison was an undrafted free agent out of Kent State, so it wouldn't appear he is supernaturally superior to other players in the league in terms of athleticism. What makes him different is his unbending work ethic and his dedication to preserving his body through natural treatments.
Harrison employs a whole team of professionals to take care of his body. This includes a naturopathic doctor, an acupuncturist, a personal trainer, multiple massage therapists and a chiropractor. He told USA Today, "I see a chiropractor twice a week, an acupuncturist twice a week and I get massages at least four times a week." This video shows how serious Harrison is about his acupuncture regimen. He also utilizes cupping to aid in recovery from both football and his grueling training sessions in the gym.
Nutrition is a key part of what has preserved Harrison's body. He stated, "I mainly eat a low-carb diet, except before a game. For the most part, I eat organic and natural foods, and my nutritional supplements are also pure. People used to come to my house and be upset that there wasn’t any “real” food in the cupboards and refrigerator for them to eat. They finally realized that if they wanted pizza or pasta or chips or pop or anything like that, they needed to get it before they came to my house." Emphasizing the consumption of healthy, unprocessed foods is something we should all be doing even if we aren't pro athletes.
James Harrison is a testament to the power of natural treatments and the importance of taking care of your body.