Meet Dr. Sandy Ziya of Meridians and Marathons in Fort Lauderdale
Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Sandy Ziya.
While training for an endurance triathlon in 2010, Sandy Ziya started experiencing repetitive stress to her hamstring. After accepting the offer to try acupuncture from her chiropractor, she was able to finish her training and ultimately her race. As a coach, she shared the strategy of acupuncture for many ailments and recovery to her athletes; and they, too, improved!
This experience inspired her to become more than just a coach, and after learning that one of the best US schools for acupuncture, the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine, was located in Fort Lauderdale, Sandy Ziya applied and earned her degree. This added acupuncture, cupping, injectables, Chinese herbals, CBD and sports injury management to her repertoire. As a licensed Functional Physician and Personal Trainer, she offers a unique suite of services to anyone who may be experiencing pain during their fitness journey or who simply wants an alternative way of living a better, more healthy life.
Meridians and Marathons, Dr. Sandy Ziya’s practice, is so named after the 12 primary meridians that course through the human body representing all organs and provide “locations” for needle insertion. Marathons are a metaphor for long-term proposition commitment to wellness, health, and longevity for which we all strive. Dr. Ziya’s office is conveniently located in Wilton Manors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all which is how I knew I was doing the right thing! The board exams were not expected and the preparation process was agonizing as my school had no real plan to help students pass. Further, upon graduation, we have no placement of jobs whatsoever. I forged ahead and secured my license and began to seek a temporary space where I could begin treating patients.
Please tell us about Meridians and Marathons – what should we know?
Sandy Ziya has been a triathlon coach since 2007, in Omaha, Nebraska coaching kids at Lifetime Fitness. I launched the ever-growing Kids Triathlon Race, started a Kids Tri Club, Running Club, and Endurance Club. In 2013, I dedicated myself full-time to her own full-time coaching business, SwimBikusRun. After moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2015, her coaching career morphed again, this time including creating and directing the famed Naked Feet 5K on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
I have encouraged and supported athletes from ages five to 65 to personal bests on a journey of fitness involving running, swimming and biking that is truly addictive.
I have been practicing yoga since 2010 as a way to recover and enhance her triathlon endeavors. After a very short while, she found that she appreciated yoga on its own merit and has respected it more each day.
In 2014, Sandy received her Power Yoga Certification from Omaha Power Yoga under Jeff Beaudoin, Ph.D. I have a unique style of yoga steeped in Ashtanga with a blend of strength, balance and core work, unlike anything you have previously experienced resulting in a full-body exercise for any “body.”
Ever the fitness and healthy lifestyle advocate, today I practice acupuncture and sports injury/pain management; organizes weekly workouts and training sessions including video analysis; writes custom training plans for every financial AND time budget; provides nutrition coaching; teaches yoga, and more. I also still find the time to actively compete and race.
As a current race director of a sand based 5k called the Naked Feet 5k in Fort Lauderdale, I offer one of the most unique and healthy 5k’s available anywhere at a distance achievable by anyone.
What’s your outlook for the industry over the next 5-10 years?
I see athletes looking for a more holistic approach. With a coach and functional medicine background, patients don’t need to toil through explanations of fitness issues/injuries with standard care and all of its shortcomings.
I see athletes/patients searching more sustainable choices for themselves and their families and challenging their healthcare providers for them as well.
In sum, patients will be searching for respect from their providers as they themselves become more educated and demanding.