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What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Athletes

Nearly all athletes are susceptible to injuries and strained muscles from repetitive use of specific body movements. The occurrence of muscle compensation can throw the body out of balance and potentially shorten an athlete’s career. Acupuncture is an ancient oriental technique that can improve athletic performance because of its ability to tap into the body’s natural propensity to heal itself. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has long been used for pain relief and other proposed benefits for the body. Despite the skepticism behind its usefulness for recovery, acupuncture has shown some promising results in conjunction with western medicine and other modalities. This article looks at the benefits of acupuncture for athletes.

  • Helps in Pain Relief
Young man undergoing acupuncture treatment in salon, closeup

Acupuncture helps to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and the associated symptoms of swelling and redness. It also stimulates the release of the body’s natural painkillers known as endorphins. The endorphins facilitate rapid long-lasting relief as it works at the source of pain. Whether your pain is originating from a strained muscle or strenuous workouts, you can always rely on acupuncture as a medically effective alternative for pain relief.

  • It Accelerates Healing

Acupuncture helps to accelerate healing by improving blood circulation, relaxing muscles, relieving spasms, and decreasing inflammation. It stimulates anatomic sites known as acupuncture points that promote the natural self-healing process by improving the body’s functions. Acupuncture points are stimulated through the insertion of fine and sterile needles into the skin. Other acupuncture stimulation techniques that facilitate quick recovery from injury include cupping, heat therapy, and the application of topical herbal medicines.

  • Increased Flexibility

Tightened muscles can restrict an athlete’s range of motion due to the shortened length of the muscle. If you push yourself to the limit with limited mobility, you increase your chances of injury, pain, and time-consuming rehabilitation. The sharp and sterile needles that pierce into the skin and fascia help to loosen up your muscles. This forces your muscles to go back to their normal position leading to increased mobility and range of motion.

  • Energy and Endurance Enhancement

Acupuncture can enhance athletic performance by regulating the nervous system, which in turn improves energy and endurance. It increases the energy flow by addressing the acupuncture sites related to the liver and lung functions as well as the digestive systems. This can help remove blockages and other metabolic wastes from the body that helps to boost energy and endurance. Acupuncture stimulates meridians that increases blood flow. Increased blood flow transports oxygen and vital nutrients to various organs in your body, which helps to generate more energy.

  • Injury Prevention

Acupuncture can identify weak areas of your body that need extra care. Taking over-the-counter painkillers can help mask the pain for a short while which puts you at risk of further injury. Unlike medication, acupuncture addresses the root cause of your problem by increasing awareness of what your body needs to prevent the occurrence of new injuries. It helps to boost your immune system to help fight off infections. This allows you to stay in peak physical form at all times during both on- and off-seasons.

  • Increased Mental Clarity and Focus

Athletes who receive regular acupuncture sessions feel energized during the day and sleep better at night of over reduction in anxiety. All of these factors play a significant role in promoting better mental clarity and focus. A healthy mind goes well with a healthy body since your ability to focus on tasks correlates to your performance. Acupuncture can help remove any extraneous distractions that may limit your capabilities and mental focus in the field.

The Overall Implication of Acupuncture for Athletes

Top athletes use acupuncture in conjunction with other forms of treatment to improve their general health and performance in sports competitions. The primary goal of acupuncture is to allow energy to flow properly from the points along the meridians to promote healing and help the body balance itself. Understanding the compensation patterns presented by sports-specific movements and injuries can help with faster recovery, optimal performance, and injury prevention. Sports acupuncture can come in handy when athletes are prescribed rest for an injury. It is sometimes combined with Western medicine to help speed up the healing process.

Although acupuncture does not have any side effects caused by drugs or other types of medication, it is still important to schedule your first treatment session early before a big competition. This helps you understand how your body responds to acupuncture ahead of time. It is also necessary to schedule regular acupuncture treatments to get the most benefits in terms of performance and your overall health and well-being.

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