New Zealand
Alternative medicine helps All Blacks wing
August 31, 2015
Waisake Naholo was named alongside two Test star Nehe Milner-Skudder © Getty Images

The rapid return of injured winger Waisake Naholo has convinced the All Blacks coaches and medical staff to open their minds to the potential of alternative medicine. Naholo's World Cup selection hopes appeared buried when he fractured the tibia bone in his lower leg on July 17 when playing his Test debut against Argentina in Christchurch.

Six weeks later he was beaming in front of a New Zealand television audience, admitting his recovery had surprised even himself. His traditional restorative treatments in Fiji involved constant massage and the rubbing of local leaves into the injured area.

"I had no idea it was going to be OK," he said. "I did that and then I trusted the physios and the doctors (in New Zealand) to do their stuff."

Naholo has returned this week to light, pain-free jogging; enough to convince Hansen and the medical staff that he is on target after x-rays had cleared him of serious damage. Hansen says he will never know if Naholo's Fijian recipe was behind his rapid healing but doesn't have time for anyone who dismisses it.

"I'm a believer because I said I would be if they fixed it," he said. "Has that particular treatment made the process quicker? I don't know. All I know is that he's on track and our medical crew are happy with that, and they're pretty open-minded people.

"Alternative medicine's been around for a long time. Just look at what the Chinese have done with it."


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