Acupuncture has a long history of treating pain and injury. This is the primary reason why many of the world’s leading athletes are now using acupuncture as their go-to form of treatment for pain and injury. However, you don’t need to be a pro athlete to reap the benefits of acupuncture. Anyone who is interested in keeping their body strong and healthy will find that acupuncture is a safe and effective tool to accomplish this goal.
Faster Recovery, Improved Athletic Performance and Injury Prevention
Why are so many athletes and active people seeking out acupuncture? Typically, athletes and other active people will receive treatment for soft tissue injuries such as sprains, muscle strains and tendonitis. Acupuncture can speed recovery time from such injuries by helping to relieve pain, decrease inflammation, increase circulation and relax tense muscles.
The added benefit that athletes notice after acupuncture treatment is an improvement in athletic performance. One explanation for this is that it can naturally boost an athlete’s energy levels. Research on the use of acupuncture in sports, has found improvement in flexibility, and an increase in muscle strength and power. Endurance and strength athletes can especially benefit from this treatment modality.
Acupuncture can also aid in post-workout recovery, which helps to prevent injury and improve overall performance levels. Regular treatments for athletes as part of their training regimen, before an injury surfaces, are actually the most beneficial.
How does acupuncture work?
Research with athletes has shown that acupuncture stimulates the release of biochemicals that relieve athletic fatigue associated with intense endurance exercise. Researchers measured levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that has important antioxidant effects in cells, protecting them from toxicity and exerting powerful anti-inflammatory responses. Acupuncture was found to increase this important biochemical for the athletes. Researchers have also measured levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of oxidative stress that has been associated with various conditions, including disorders of the cornea and osteoarthritis. Acupuncture was found to lower levels of this biochemical responsible for toxic stress in cells.
With such profound effects on the circulatory and neurological systems it’s no wonder that acupuncture is not only used to enhance sports performance, but also as a modality to help both athletes and other active people stay strong and healthy as they work toward their personal best in fitness.