Everyone can benefit from acupuncture no matter what lifestyle. Athletes or simply people who lead active lifestyles are great candidates for Sports Medicine Acupuncture®. This is especially true in a big city like New York where people are constantly on the go; working, walking, biking, running for the train and meeting friends etc.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be using acupuncture for sports performance enhancement, whether you are in serious training or are an active person. This type of acupuncture is often referred to as sports medicine acupuncture.
- Pain- When you lead an active lifestyle, a certain amount of strain is put on your body and injuries occur. For the most part we get up and keep going or “work through” the pain. Perhaps the injury was treated with conventional medicine (rest, ice, compression and elevation); anti-inflammatory or steroids. Chances are you still have a “bad knee” , “bad shoulder” or “ bad back” that acts up from time to time when you are more active(or when the weather changes). Pain is a message your body is telling you that it has not fully healed or is weak. Acupuncture is a good solution for back pain and other injuries as it can address this last 20%-25% of an injury that has not fully healed. Individuals that have sustained a sports related injury or have a chronic injury will try to adapt and compensate for the pain which then leads to muscle imbalances and weakness. This compensation will affect the structural efficiency of the body and performance. Acupuncture can relieve the pain from the injury and increase blood flow to the area helping to flush out lactic acid that is the cause of pain and stiffness. Additional benefits of acupuncture include helping to stimulate and tone the affected muscles thereby to restoring the structural efficiency of the body.
- Increasing range of motion and improving strength- Acupuncture can activate the muscle by stimulating the proprioceptive reflexes (this is where the nerve fibers communicate with the muscles). Improving the nerve to muscle response leads to better coordination and muscle strength; this translates to performance.
- Increase blood flow- Even the most active individuals in New York in this modern age work in front of a computer sitting for an average of 8 hours per day; this reduces the circulation and blood flow in their bodies. Sitting for long periods of time shortens muscles and starves the body of nutrient and oxygen rich blood. Hitting the gym after work for training puts more strain on the body to perform thereby risking injury. Acupuncture benefits individuals by helping to increase blood and lymph flow to the body and muscle tissue thereby helping to create better training conditions.
- Balance- “reset” your body. Acupuncture stimulates the autonomic nervous system also known as “rest and digest”. It enables the body to go into deep relaxation and a “healing state” where the body produces growth hormone for muscle and tissue repair and also helps to clean up free radicals that can cause tissue damage.
- Stress relief- While everyone experiences some level of stress; stress can be damaging physically and psychologically. For athletes, losing focus and the drive to perform and challenge their bodies can lead to a sports injury. Acupuncture relieves stress by addressing the mind-body awareness and facilitating complete relaxation and rejuvenation. Mind-body awareness helps people to achieve both personal and professional success and is what makes the difference between an amateur and a professional athlete.
More and more professional teams (and Olympic athletes) in New York are using sports medicine acupuncture for sports performance enhancement, or to treat sports related injuries for a speedy recovery as well as injury prevention by getting regular treatments.
Interested in incorporating sports medicine acupuncture into your training routine?