Exercise is a crucial element of living a healthy lifestyle. But even the fittest among us suffer from stiffness, soreness, and sports injuries that come with regular training.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just trying out a new sport or fitness routine, these issues can creep up and prevent you from performing – and feeling – your best.
Acupuncture and other Oriental medicine therapies help athletes like you train at a deeper level. Beyond reps in the gym and practice on the field, acupuncture provides your body with the energy and healing potential it needs to move, train, and perform at its best.
Let’s take a look at how acupuncture can help you become the best athlete you can be.
5 Ways Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Support Athletes
When it comes to managing sports injuries and performance, Oriental medicine goes deeper than modern medical treatments that just mask the pain. While modern medicine advises not to exercise or recommends surgery or injections to treat sports injuries, Oriental medicine has the advantage of being able to treat while exercising without surgery or injections.
The benefits of acupuncture and herbal medicine get to the root of sports injuries to help your body recover fully and restore your body’s resilience against overwork and re-injury. Here are just a few of the many benefits athletes can expect from regular acupuncture treatment:
- Alleviates pain naturally.
Are you living by the motto “no pain no gain?” While soreness can be a sign of muscle growth, living with chronic pain and lingering injuries won’t help you improve your performance. Taking pain medications day after day won’t get to the root of the problem either – in fact, they may hinder you from fully healing and set you up for re-injury.
One of the most immediate benefits of acupuncture for athletes is natural pain reduction. Acupuncture has an analgesic effect, thanks to its ability to release pain-quieting, feel-good endorphins. Acupuncture also increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and encourages deeper sleep to allow your body to fight the root cause of your pain more effectively.
- Speeds post-training recovery time.
Instead of reaching for an ice pack or heat pack, listen to this advice from Dr. Ko: “When you use an ice pack, the muscles that have been stretched do not contract and hot pack can cause inflammation and heat. But acupuncture treatment will help the stretched muscles recover quickly and will not cause inflammation. Acupuncture can help inflammation.”
When a muscle or joint is injured (or even overworked) inflammation can build up. This inflammation damages the tissues even further. Acupuncture naturally relieves harmful inflammation so your tissues can recover faster and more completely. When you recover better, you can train better. You can take on more intensity and challenges while you watch your performance improve.
- Reduces the risk of injuries.
Injuries are more likely to happen when our tissues are overworked, too tight, too loose, strained, or weakened. Unfortunately, these issues are common in athletes who tend to practice repetitive movements that put excess pressure on some areas and neglect others.
With sports acupuncture treatments, you can support all the kinetic muscle chains in your body. Acupuncture helps support an essential balance between mobility, flexibility, and stability so you can move with ease.
Acupuncture also helps encourage deep cellular healing in areas that have already been injured so you can steer clear of re-injury.
- Enhances athletic performance.
Want to jump higher? Run faster? Endure longer? Consistent recovery is just as important as consistent training if you want to reach your next goal.
Along with healing areas of injury, acupuncture also helps the body function optimally. Acupuncture brings extra blood flow and Qi to areas that need to perform at their best – such as your muscles, joints, core, heart, and lungs. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have also been shown to boost overall energy and athletic endurance.
- Improves focus and mental well-being.
Many sports require a focused mind as well as a strong body. This means getting plenty of quality sleep, having natural energy, and being able to clear away mental chatter. Yet, many athletes struggle with stress and performance anxiety.
Acupuncture can help by calming the mind. This leads to better quality sleep and improved energy without the use of sleep aids or stimulants. Studies show that regular acupuncture treatments also reduce pesky performance anxiety, which helps you stay calm and focused so you can play your best at any moment.
- Alleviates pain naturally.
What Sports Conditions Can Acupuncture Help?
At 120 Acupuncture Clinic, we see a wide range of athletic injuries. Some of the most common issues are ankle, knee, shoulder, and back injuries. But, almost any athletic injury, anywhere in the body, can be supported through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Common Sports Injuries that Acupuncture Can Help
- Upper extremity pain
- Lower extremity pain
- Neck and back pain
- Bone break recovery
- Post-operative pain and recovery
- Golfer’s elbow
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Hip pain and sciatica
- Nerve impingements
- ACL injuries
- Shin splints
- Strains and sprains
- Swollen muscles
- Muscle cramps
- Groin pulls
- Lateral meniscus rupture
- Femoral acetabular impingement
- Ganglion cysts
- Sports hernia
- Delayed onset muscle soreness
- Stress and performance anxiety
- Fatigue and exhaustion
Be the Best Athlete You Can Be with Acupuncture
Sports injuries are an unfortunate, yet a common part of being an athlete or enjoying a sport you love. While you may not be able to avoid injuries forever, having a smart recovery and injury prevention strategy in place helps you stay strong and resilient.
Acupuncture is an effective therapy that fits well into any athlete’s training and recovery routine – and may even help you reach higher goals than you imagined.
Ready to be the best athlete you can be? Acupuncture is just like going to the gym. It helps improve your circulation and strengthens your muscles. Dr. Ko recommends coming for treatment once a week or every 10 days to get the best results.
At 120 Acupuncture Clinic, we are committed to helping you live a healthy, active life. Book your appointment here, or call us at 1-818-980-7979 to get started.