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Acupuncture & Athletes: A Winning Combination

Acupuncture & Athletes: A Winning Combination

Whether a weekend warrior or a seasoned semi-professional or professional competitor, athletes are always looking for that competitive edge, the thing that can keep them healthy and give them a bit more in the tank to defeat the competition. 

Sports acupuncture is a great tool athletes can use as part of their overall health care strategy. Sports acupuncture is a hybrid form of acupuncture and sports medicine that is specifically used to support sports-related activity. Athletes and runners especially can use sports medicine acupuncture to relieve pain, accelerate the healing of sports related injuries, improve performance, and increase muscle flexibility. Let’s unpack each of these benefits and see just how sports acupuncture can be used to treat athletes.

Pain Management

Acupuncture is often used to alleviate the pain associated with sports injuries, overuse, or even chronic conditions developed from years of intense competition. Needles are inserted into specific points to help release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and reduce inflammation. It’s all about restoring the balance of energy or, qi, to the body to achieve ultimate wellness. 

Muscle Relaxation

Athletes can use acupuncture to address muscle tightness and spasm as well. Needles are strategically placed at various acupuncture points along the body to stimulate relaxation and reduce muscle tension. 

Injury Rehabilitation

Acupuncture can be an effective tool in an athlete’s rehabilitation plan post-injury. It can help to accelerate the healing process by improving blood circulation, reducing swelling, and promoting tissue repair. 

Stress Reduction

Athletes, especially those who compete at a very elite level, can experience extremely high levels of stress due to the intense training or simply the competitions themselves. Acupuncture can help to manage stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and balancing the body’s energy.

Enhanced Recovery

Acupuncture can contribute to faster recovery between training sessions and competitions. By improving blood circulation and reducing muscle soreness, athletes might be able to resume their training more quickly by incorporating regular acupuncture into their training routine. 

Immune System Support

When athletes endure intense training, it can sometimes suppress the immune system, making athletes more susceptible to illness. Acupuncture is believed to support the immune system by addressing the balance of energy in the body through specific meridians, thus helping athletes to stay healthy. 

Mind/Body Connection

One of the most effective things acupuncture accomplishes is the improvement of the mind/body connection. This can be an incredibly valuable tool for supporting athletic performance. Acupuncture is known to stimulate a parasympathetic nervous system response, sometimes called a state of “rest and digest.”

Regular acupuncture sessions can improve an athlete’s natural ability to tune into this mental state in times of stress or anxiety, such as right before a big race or competition. Acupuncture has been shown to support cognitive function and reduce performance anxiety.

Whether you are thinking about incorporating acupuncture into your regular wellness routine or using it as a companion to other medical treatments, talk to your acupuncturist today. Your practitioner will do a full health history and talk to you about your training regime and fitness goals. They will work with you to develop a plan specific to your needs. Call and make an appointment today so you can incorporate acupuncture into your regular wellness routine.

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