NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is big on the Steelers.

One night last week, I was with an NBC crew in Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison‘s home north of Pittsburgh. He was talking about staying in one piece during the physical NFL season, and he said he owed a lot to acupuncture.

Specifically, 314 needles per session, twice a week. That’s how many he has stuck into his body, from his head to his feet … and they’re not pin-pricks either. “They’re put in there pretty far,” Harrison said. His story, and the story of other players in the NFL gutting out the season, will be told by Andrea Kremer on our NBC Super Bowl pregame show Sunday, between 1 and 6 p.m. ET.

Harrison said acupuncture has made a dramatic difference in his ability to play the game at a high level. He usually takes the 314 needles on Tuesday and Thursday nights and doesn’t feel the full result ’til two days after the sessions. “What it does is get me back to feeling as close as I can to how I felt at the beginning of the season, before I take the normal punishment of a season,” he said. He gets the treatment at his home, and several other Steelers show up to get poked along with him.

I know the research Kremer has done for this story, and I strongly recommend you tuning in Sunday to see it. If I find out approximately when it will air, I’ll let you know later this week on


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