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Media Release

New Cutting-Edge Athletic Recovery Program
for Triathletes in Kailua Kona

Island Heart Care offers the first Performance & Athletic Recovery Program utilizing Enhanced External Counterpulsation, EECP® therapy on the Big Island of Hawaii, and not a second too late for Ironman hopefuls.

After years of clinical experience in treating cardiac patients with EECP, an athletic training program emerged.  While massage, compression stockings, ice baths  and nutritional supplements have become familiar methods of recovery to athletes, the PAR (Performance & Athletic Recovery) program accelerates recovery time in athletes following the most challenging training routines or sports events.

“When my second run of the day felt easier than the first, I knew EECP was helping,” said Kailua-Kona Professional Triathlete Bree Wee.

There is virtually no recovery time following EECP, and the treatments are relatively comfortable. EECP® therapy utilizes three sets of blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around the legs, thighs & hips that apply muscular compression.  Athletes can listen to music, read or even sleep during EECP therapy. Athletes can elect to receive EECP only after intensive training.  However, most athletes receive 1-3 one hour sessions per week during the training season.  

Unlike the familiar Normatec pneumatic compression device used by professional, college and Olympic athletes, EECP is timed with the athlete’s heartbeat delivering a substantial pulse at the precise time while the heart is relaxing. The process flushes away lactic acid build up while increasing blood and lymph flow throughout the entire body and vital organs.  These effects provide the athlete with a quick and complete recovery.

“EECP is a transformative technology that has a proven track record in cardiac rehabilitation ,” said Michael Traub, ND medical director of Lokahi Health Center in Kailua Kona. “Most of what I prescribe to triathletes is about RECOVERY...and how to go about speeding it up. Without speeding recovery up, you will never speed up. And those who put the 'very' in recovery will always beat those who do not.  EECP is one of the very best ways I know to do this.”

The Big Island is home to not only the Ironman World championship course but to top triathletes. With help from the PAR program, athletes looking to compete in the upcoming Ironman 70.3 (Honu) race June 4, 2011 or  the Ironman World Championship in October could hold the competitive edge needed to perform better than ever. Director of Operations at Island Heart Care, April Johnson, is passionate in athletes, local and visiting, have access to the center, ”We couldn’t be more excited to support our community of local and visiting triathletes though the PAR program, and even more excited to see them in action.”

For more information, or to speak with Island Heart Care, please contact April Johnson at
(808) 769-5225, or by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Athlete PAR program

Performance and Athletic Recovery Program

For the Serious Athlete...  Are you up to PAR?

After years of clinincal experience treating cardiac patients, an athletic training program has emerged utilizing Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) The PAR (Performance & Athletic Recovery) program assists the athlete in participating in the most challenging training routines or sports events and provides a quick, complete recovery. Athletic Training may be optimized through Pre-workout warm up and Post-workout recovery PAR options.


How it Works

EECP boosts athletic performance by providing circulatory effects throughout the body, reducing lactic acid build up and decreasing inflammation.  These effects accelerate the athlete's recovery in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) by addressing the acute phase of inflammation that occurs after physical training.

There are numerous other benefits to EECP.  Increased blood flow occurs in the brain, heart, kidneys and all other organs providing a "jump start" to the body's vital systems.

During an EECP session, the athlete lies on a comfortable bed and has blood pressure-type cuffs wrapped around his or her calves, thighs and hips.  Cardiac monitoring wires are attached to the athlete’s chest to record the heart beat, and then the EECP pumping console inflates and deflates the leg cuffs in time with the heart beat.  Athletes can listen to music, read or even sleep during EECP therapy.



Athletes can elect to receive EECP as needed & only after intensive training.  However, most athletes receive 1-3 one hour sessions per week during the training season.  For those seeking a more intense approach, as many as 2 one hour sessions per day, 5 days a week may be administered.



Cost: $65 per 1-hour session


PAR - Application

Prior to initiating any portion of the PAR protocol, the athlete must be screened by a physician to rule out the following contraindications:

•  Pregnancy or suspected pregnancy        
•  Aortic Aneurysm
•  Moderate to severe aortic valve insufficiency
•  Angiogram within one week
•  Angioplasty or Stent placement within 4 weeks
•  CABG within 6 weeks
•  Phlebitis within 6 months
•  If on Coumadin, INR no greater than 3.5 documented within the past week
•  BP greater than 180/110 mm/hg

Once the athlete has been determined to be an appropriate candidate, a written prescription should be provided to the athlete as follows:  Up to 35 hours of EECP for Athletic Training.