Acupuncture for Athletes

Usain Bolt runningCoaches and athletes are always looking for news ways to improve athletic performance to beat out their opponents. Many people involved in sports are discovering that acupuncture can increase one’s athletic ability; furthermore it can help in the healing process of injuries caused by sports.

Oriental medicine states that acupuncture will improve a person’s strength by increasing the flow of Qi, also known as life energy, in the body. It will also restore any imbalances that refrains the body from working at its maximum potential. Acupuncturists are hired by professional sports teams now more than ever to keep players in their best condition.

Olympic athletes also use acupuncture techniques as well, especially those from Eastern countries. Yao Ming, a seven foot six inch tall basketball player from China, is best known for using acupuncture to help in the healing process of his ankle, which he had to get surgery on in April. Wang Qun, a Chinese swimmer, is also known for using acupuncture and oriental medicine to restore the body back to good health. It appeared she used a cupping technique to relieve either muscle pain or a cold.

Studies on Acupuncture for Athletic Performance

Stephen CurrySeveral studies have been done to show an exact measurement of how acupuncture affects athletic performance. A study reported by the American Journal of Acupuncture reported that acupuncture increased the anaerobic capacity of young males which allowed them to work the body longer than most. They also found that they were able to perform higher work loads as well due to the management of their blood lactate accumulation. Lower heart rates were also reported.

A similar study was done by the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine which called for athletes who could run five thousand miles. After the run they were given acupuncture treatment before they could even regain proper breathing. Those who received it had their heart rates return or normal faster than those who didn’t.

Acupuncture for Injury and Rehabilitation

Acupuncture is also used for aiding in the healing process of injuries by reducing swelling, inflammation, and muscle cramps. It can also be used to help manage pain and to increase the flexibility of injured muscles. Acupuncture can be applied at any time during the healing process. It aims to treat the main injury as well as any conditions caused by the injuries such as recurrence or severity. Sports injuries usually involves some sort of physical trauma like falls, collisions, crushing, sprains, and blows to the to body’s tissues and tendons.

The most common athletic injuries treated with acupuncture include tennis elbow, groin pull, muscle pull, runner’s knee, shin splints, arch pain, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprain, neck pain, lower back strain, hamstring strain and shoulder impingement.

Cupping Gains Popularity at 2016 Olympics

Michael Phelps and other USA Olympic athletes were treated with the Traditional Chinese Medicine technique cupping to promote healing, recovery and blood flow to muscles.  Related article here

Herbal Medicine for Athletes

herbal medicineExamples of herbs for athletic performance

  • Siberian Ginseng
  • Cordyceps
  • Ginseng

* The improper use of herbal medicine can be potentially dangerous. Please always consult with your health practitioner before taking any herbal products.

If you suffer from an injury or wish to improve your overall athletic performance, then don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up an appointment.

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