From Basketball to Bulls -
Emu Oil Passes the Test
by Ebby Rexwinkle
Very few dreams ever become reality, especially extravagant dreams of children. But when reality finally does come knocking on their door it beckons with a resounding thud. Yet there are those who seem destined to take a firm grasp on reality early in life and "ride the rail" all the way to success in their adult life, experiencing moments and occurrences in life that most only dream about. Anyway that seems to be the case for a man who lives in Texas.
Although he was born in Mississippi, and a former resident of Chicago, this 51 year old Athens, Texas resident still feels right at home on his ranch where he, his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, Tommy and Holley raise quarter horses and polled Hereford cattle.
What does all of this have to do with the emu industry? Simple. This Texan just so happens to be a former emu breeder, and a huge supporter and promoter of emu oil products.
And can anyone guess where Doug Atkinson, Certified Athletic Trainer, uses his skills and expertise? If you guessed among major and professional athletes, then you were correct!
Atkinson graduated from the University of Texas El Paso with both a bachelor and master of science degrees - but that was almost 30 years ago. For more than 26 years Atkinson walked among the giants of the sports world as an athletic trainer. Not only was he employed as the Head Trainer for the Chicago Bulls for six years, he was also the Head Trainer for the Dallas Mavericks for 16 years. Atkinson who is now semi-retired (if that is what you can call it) spends his time now as a sports medicine consultant. And even in semiretirement he is still providing consulting services for six or seven different National Basketball Association teams.
So what does an athletic trainer do? There couldn't be a better place to get that information than at the web site of the National Athletic Trainers' Association.
And according to the web site of the NATA, an athletic trainer "...is a highly educated and skilled professional specializing in athletic health care. In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the athletic trainer functions as an integral member of the athletic health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs and other athletic health care settings."
What kind of education does an athletic trainer need? A lot! NATA states that, "Certified athletic trainers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree, usually in athletic training, health, physical education or exercise science. In addition, athletic trainers study human anatomy, human physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, athletic training, nutrition and psychology/counseling. Certified athletic trainers also participate in extensive clinical affiliations with athletic teams under appropriate supervision."
Some of you are probably asking, "Why is this important?" This is very important, because the product that Atkinson not only endorses but uses, is an emu oil product. Wonder how much emu oil could be sold across the United States if just one basketball superstar - like Michael Jordon, were to rub some emu oil on his sore knees in front of the camera instead of sporting a milk "moostache" on his upper lip?
And according to Atkinson it's that kind of campaign that the emu industry needs to catapult the benefits of using emu oil to industry and consumers. Atkinson said many teams and players within the NBA are presently using products which contain emu oil as a transdermal agent. "That's where emu oil is unbeatable," he said.
Atkinson has expanded his realm of expertise to not only college teams, but to the high school arenas as well. He is also in contact with a lot of trainers in not only the NBA but the NFL and both actively use products which contain emu oil as a transdermal agent. In fact, Atkinson said not only do the players love it they expect it - why? Because it works!
In fact there are multiple teams within the NFL which Atkinson says are using emu oil products. Those gargantuan athletes still have big ailments and emu oil seems to be the cure for what ails them. Atkinson says they use emu oil products for athletes foot, burns, open wounds, moisturizer, sunburn, wind burn, abrasions and psoraisis. And baseball?
Believe it or not, Atkinson also worked with the California Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball clubs. As you sit and read, let it be said that you just happen to be on the cutting edge of information recently published by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer's Society. And the subject in a recent article written by Robert Nickell, Sports Pharmacist, President and CEO, of Homelink National Pharmacy, which is also the Anaheim Angels Team Pharmacy was the use of, as Nickell stated, transdermal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, or NSAIDs as an alternative and more effective treatment for rehabilitating athletes."
In the article Nickell continued explaining there are "Five major ingredients used in compounding NSAID transdermals." Throughout the article Nickell expounded on the use of these agents as well as their driving agents. And it's at this point that the emu industry needs to pay attention. Nickell writes, "AIong with the base ingredients in anti-inflammatory transdermals, driving agents also play a key role in accelerating the healing process." Although Nickell listed all of the agents used, the second ingredient was the most important - emu oil. Nickell added that all of these agents, are the most commonly used agents in the athletic medical training setting. Each of these drivers has unique characteristics that make them effective.
Could this be considered an unsolicited promotion of emu oil as a transdermal agent? You bet!”
Now back to Atkinson. Could the work that he does as an athletic consultant, still be beneficial to the emu industry? Of course. He has already introduced emu oil products to over 55 high schools in eastern Texas and out of about 15 college teams approached by Atkinson, he estimated about half of them are currently using the products.
Although Atkinson seems to already have his activity plate pretty full, he still finds time to manage his network marketing company called MegaHealth, whose products are based on emu oil. Atkinson said total sales at MegaHealth averaged somewhere around $100,000 a month. Recently however, Atkinson merged his company with another company, Sportron. The joint venture has plans to market one analgesic product and two skin therapy products at the present time.
There is one last area which has not been addressed, and for someone living in Texas it would be totally unheard of to omit this last item. You see, Atkinson is also active in providing health care to cowboys - those daredevil athletes who find their jest in life trying to stay astride the back of an angry 2,000 pound bull. Many rodeos now support and endorse the medical experts who travel and provide services to these professional rodeo athletes.
Atkinson believes the emu oil industry has a sparkling future ahead of them and that the success of that venture will come from the emu oil industry being hands-on with people and their needs.
From Emu Today and Tomorrow, October 2000
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