Last Updated on November 9, 2021
Acupuncture has become a part of post-workout recovery and skills and strength optimization of both amateur and professional athletes.
We have know for many years that acupuncture provides pain relief, reduces inflammation and relaxes muscles.
Now research is showing that acupuncture can improve performance and strength too. By improving proprioception, rebalancing muscle groups and providing improved blood flow to tendons and ligaments acupuncture is a great tool for athletes!
By stimulating the release of several different endorphins acupuncture reduces pain locally. This is a natural system built into our body the acupuncture uses to reduce pain. This allows athletes to perform stronger and not be reliant on pain medications for recovery.
speed up Recovery
The endorphins produced by acupuncture also reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation. These physiological effects all contribute to an increase in recovery speed. Then tendons and ligaments are the tissues with the poorest blood flow and increases in flow brings nutrients to these tissues. Faster recovery allows for more intense levels of training which translates into better performance.
Many people familiar with acupuncture describe improvements in their sleeping patterns when receiving acupuncture. This even happens when the focus of the treatment is something unrelated like knee or shoulder pain. Improved sleep means improved recovery!
By thoroughly examine posture and movement Sports Medicine Acupuncturists look for imbalances in muscle groups that contribute to injury. For example overly tight quads can imbalance hamstrings leading to hamstring strains. Many athletes would identify the hamstring tension but often don’t grasp the paired muscle relationship with the quads.
By treating posture, correcting poor exercise form, or teaching corrective exercises our acupuncturists can play a role in injury prevention.
Improve Range of Motion and Flexibility
By assessing range of motion for various joints our acupuncturists can identify areas of restriction and work specifically with these areas to improve movement. Acupuncture releases tight muscles which allows them to lengthen and shorten through their entire range of motion.
Acupuncture has been shown to enhance performance for athletes from a variety of sports. Just the mental focus, relaxation component of acupuncture can lead to improved focus on the field, pitch or court. For all of the reasons listed above acupuncture is a great tool for athletes to use as part of their regular maintenance routines!