First Issaquah Sports Medicine Combine captures community’s curiosity

More than 50 exhibitors show off area’s wellness edge

The first-ever Issaquah Sports Medicine Combine, held at Lake Sammamish State Park on Saturday, July 13, gathered together more than 50 exhibitors and a moderate crowd to celebrate the Eastside’s robust sports medicine offerings.

Event organizer Bryce Finck said the combine marks the greatest compilation of sports medicine resources the area has seen, and credited Issaquah’s entrepreneurial spirit and active community with driving the sector’s growth in Issaquah. The city recently earned state designation as an economic development zone for sports medicine.

Talks were slated throughout the day under five tents, organized by wellness topics: performance, lifestyle, medicine and rehabilitation and water skills. Some talks drew in just a few curious attendees while others filled most of the seats beneath the tent.

Clusters of combine-goers descended upon the main stage area to try out fitness activities like zumba, while kids scaled an exhibitors’ rock wall tower. An Aussie-rules football clinic taught kids the merits of sports “down under,” and a yoga clinic offered 5K runners some crucial post-run poses. By the water, attendees relaxed on the beach with fresh food truck grub or checked out some of the water sports exhibitors like Kayak Academy & Issaquah Water Sports or Northwest Waterpolo Club.

While physical therapy clinics accounted for a significant portion of the booths, hospitals like Swedish, independent inventors, yoga studio, purveyors of CBD-based health drinks and gyms also seized the chance to interact with residents.

Michele Mehl of Excy, a Bothell-based company, was showing off a patented portable, triangle-shaped exercise bike that can be attached to a beam for upper body calorie-burning.

Tim Manson was giving demonstrations of his Rebar tool, which utilizes compression to engage the muscles of athletes during rehabilitation.

“I got quite a few athletes using it — (NBA player) Isaiah Thomas is using it on his recovery from his hip surgery, he just signed with the (Washington) Wizards,” Manson said.

Paige Roberts, of Paige Roberts Performance Neuro Training, was interacting with people under a banner that read, “Hacking Your Nervous System.”

“It’s a type of altered consciousness like hypnotherapy and a reprocessing therapy called brain spotting, so essentially you are reprocessing any past hurts or traumas in your life,” said Roberts, who has helped Olypmians like snowboarder Arielle Gold via telemedicine.

Locals Jeff and Terri Jensen said they were impressed by the little details of the event.

“We came here specifically for the combine to see what they have, and it’s been very informative actually,” Jeff Jensen said. Their highlight of the combine was winning an Issaquah-themed Monopoly game at the city’s booth.

Debbie Tateishi, who was awaiting a chance to get more information from a vendor, said she was glad to see CBD products represented alongside other sports medicine.

“The CBD booth is very popular. It is part of health and wellness and people don’t realize that. They associate CBD with THC and getting stoned,” Tateishi said. She went on to add that next year’s combine will likely draw a much bigger crowd as community awareness spreads.

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