Former NFL Player Ricky Williams on CBD Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, and Post-Concussion Syndrome

Former NFL player Ricky Williams meditates on an outdoor balcony.

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams is something of a Renaissance man who can look beyond what is and see what could be. His interests range far beyond football to massage and craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and meditation. He focused on these hobbies in his off seasons while he was a running back for the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins, and the Baltimore Ravens. Ricky Williams is also a big believer in the benefits of CBD massage. His latest venture is Real Wellness (RW), a California-based company that produces topical cannabidiol (CBD) products. He believes that cannabis needs to be looked at and respected as medicine, like it has been for thousands of years. He personally uses CBD to help his injury-ridden body after his career in the NFL.

We interviewed Williams for an article in Massage & Bodywork magazine and he said, “Public opinion is changing so fast about cannabis, and especially about CBD. I thought it was an opportunity to take things I have a lot of experience and knowledge in and make medicinal cannabis products. I wanted to create alternatives to pharmaceuticals for people.”

Screenshot of Instagram post by Ricky Williams sharing a Massage & Bodywork article

He also believes in the power of craniosacral therapy (CST) to treat concussions. After experiencing the benefits of CST firsthand, Williams said, “I noticed that I was better after my injury than I was before—after only a week of practice. When I say better, I mean I thought the game slowed down for me. I made a connection with the work I was doing with CST, and how it was affecting my body, but more importantly my performance. I became intrigued.”

As soon as the off-season came around, Williams sought out training in CST from the Upledger Institute, becoming a certified CST practitioner so he could help spread the benefits of CST to other athletes suffering from the effects of CTE. “Within the first half hour of class, I felt like I had found my calling. So many lightbulbs were going off about how important and vital CST is and will become to professional football.”

Later, Williams, John Upledger, and John Matthew Upledger developed CST intensive workshops for football players and others with post-concussion syndrome. Williams said, “Does CST help with post-concussion symptoms? Absolutely, absolutely. It’s one of the things in my life I’m most certain of.”

Read more about Ricky Williams's journey in Massage & Bodywork.

Read even more in the Massage & Bodywork digital extra here.

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