Acupuncture for Athletes: Acupuncture Can Help Athletes Recover Faster
Injury is the most dreaded possibility for athletes, amateur or professional. The down time waiting for the wounds to heal can be mind-numbing and infuriating. And when you finally think that you’re ready to get back in the ring, you’re back in top health, your injury may flare up again keeping you from performing your best. This has caused athletes and athletic doctors and physical therapists to search for better ways to treat injuries incurred during the sport
and faster ways to heal. Recent studies have lent credence to the belief among athletes that acupuncture can help you recover faster from athletic injury. Research included a test with three groups: a control group which received acupuncture, another group which received sham acupuncture and a third which received neither. The study tested the subject’s heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid as signifiers of the health of the athlete’s performance. The acupuncture for athletes group tested better in all three categories. Further tests are in the works to truly pin point the efficacy of acupuncture on athletic injury but preliminary results are promising as they substantiate a previously, widely-held belief of many athletes.
Links to the Articles: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19606508
5 Ways Acupuncture Boosts Athleticism
(from acupuncturist Erika Prinz Freed on AcuTake)
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other forms of sports medicine, including physical therapy, massage, stretching and chiropractic. These modalities work together to help athletes achieve optimal results. Here are five compelling reasons why acupuncture should always be included in any athlete’s healthcare mix:
Acupuncture eases stress and anxiety
Nervous for that big race? Worried your serve isn’t up to par? Acupuncture’s balancing effect is beneficial for the mind, helping to lower stress and anxiety. Becoming more focused and relaxed will improve your athletic performance across the board.
Acupuncture improves sleep
Ditch the Ambien. Acupuncture is a safe way to banish sleeping issues such as insomnia and waking throughout the night. Regular acupuncture treatments can help you start each day rested and ready to hit the weights, punching bag or that hot yoga class you’ve been meaning to try.
Acupuncture strengthens the immune system
Studies have shown that acupuncture enhances immune-cell function in the body. Specifically, it helps the brain increase the body’s level of T-cells, the cells that destroy bacteria and harmful viruses in the body, even days after a session. By safeguarding against sickness, you’ll miss fewer workouts and perform better. (Start boosting your immunity right now with this two-minute acupressure routine.)
Acupuncture speeds recovery time
In addition to accelerating the healing process, acupuncture helps your body bounce back from intensive exercise. For instance, a 2008 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine discovered that participants who received acupuncture for muscle soreness 24 and 48 hours after they exercised to exhaustion reported significantly less pain than those who did not receive the treatment.
Acupuncture increases awareness
Many people find that acupuncture helps them tune into their bodies, minds and emotions at deeper, subtler levels. Being mindful of yourself and your surroundings is a winning tool that is beneficial on and off the playing field.
There’s no doubt about it: Acupuncture is a powerful preventive and pro-performance modality that will benefit all aspects of any athlete’s health and wellbeing. Try it.