Why You Should Include Acupuncture in Your Sports Fitness Regime
According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center Acupuncture
“Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced "chee") through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying Acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.”
Extremely fine needles are inserted into the acupuncture points and stimulated by heat, electric stimulation, or manual movement to activate the energy flow. Acupuncture activates our body's natural healing processes.
The Practice of Acupuncture
“From its ancient roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture is practiced by a wide array of health care practitioners. Chiropractors use Acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal pain, medical doctors to treat migraines and nausea, and midwives to assist with births. The U.S. Military has used Acupuncture to aid in the safe transport of wounded soldiers. Drug and alcohol programs include Acupuncture as part of their treatment plans to help treat addiction.”
Licensed practitioners safely activate the body’s own healing mechanisms.
In our practice here at Aim Sports Medicine, we find Acupuncture effective in treating a variety of conditions including:
- Baker's Cyst
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Degenerative Disc/Joint Disease
- De Quervain’s Syndrome
- Facet Joint Syndrome
- Muscle Tension Headaches
- Neck Pain/ stiffness
- Herniated Discs
- Plantar Fasciitis/Fasciosis
- Postural Imbalance
- Rotator Cuff tears/ imbalance
- Sacroiliitis/ SI Joint Pain
- Shin Splints/ Tibial Stress Syndrome
- Shoulder Impingement/Frozen Shoulder
- Spinal Stenosis, Spondylosis
- Sprained Ligament(s)
- Hip, knee, and shoulder arthritis
- I.T. Band Friction Syndrome
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis elbow)
- Low Back Pain
- Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's elbow)
- Morton's Neuroma
- Patellar Tracking Disorder
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Strained Muscle(s)
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
“The pandemic stopped all of our sports dead in their tracks,” said Jason Luty, Rothman Orthopedics athletic trainer at Lower Merion High School. "We were here one day, and then we were not. We didn't come back until July 1st of last year, and that was in a very limited capacity."
According to research into the effectiveness of Acupuncture by The U.S. National Library of Medicine,
“The qi/ energy flow corresponds to nerve transmission, connective tissue planes, metabolic components carried in the blood, such as oxygen, hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients.
In terms of physiology and biochemistry, Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate nerves and connective tissue resulting in profound effects on the nervous system, including regulation of crucial areas of the brain.
This improved function results in the body producing its own natural chemicals involved in pain relief, reducing inflammation, and releasing neurotransmitters that create a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing."
Acupuncture and Athletes
Professional athletes and their coaches are always looking for ways to improve performance and gain a competitive edge in their sport. Acupuncture is one of the resources in their bag of tools for improving performance. Acupuncture can strengthen body function, increase oxygen flow to the muscles, and restore internal harmony and balance. Professional sports teams and top athletes often have an acupuncturist on staff to treat injuries and keep them performing at their peak.
Studies on Acupuncture to Enhance Athletic Performance
Studies have shown that acupuncture has measurable effects on the flow of blood to some regions of the body, which could, in turn, boost athletic performance. One such study conducted at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine involved athletes running 5,000 meters and afterward sitting for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breath. Athletes who received treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group.
Another study published in the American Journal of Acupuncture measured the effects of Acupuncture on anaerobic threshold and work capacity during exercise in healthy young males. Researchers found that individuals in the acupuncture treatment group had higher maximal exercise capacity and performed higher workloads at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) than individuals in the placebo group. The individuals that received acupuncture also had lower heart rates.
According to the Henry Ford Health Care Team
- Acupuncture can help you recover more quickly from injury. “If a muscle is torn, acupuncture won’t put it back together, but for sprains and strains, muscle soreness and tendonitis, acupuncture can decrease inflammation and speed the healing process,” says Betts.
- Acupuncture can reduce the need for “rest days” If you just had an intense workout and your muscles are sore, getting Acupuncture afterward can loosen the muscles and decrease soreness, so you don't have to take a day off to recuperate before training again.
- Acupuncture can improve flexibility, decrease muscle tension, and increase muscle activation. “This is done with motor point acupuncture,” says Betts. “The motor point is where the brain attaches to the muscle via the motor nerve. By using needles to stimulate a motor point, it is like rebooting a phone or computer that isn’t working well: Motor point acupuncture is autoregulating, in that it can deactivate a tight muscle or reactivate an inhibited or weak muscle.”
- Acupuncture can provide immediate pain relief. “Some studies show that acupuncture can provide as much as if not more pain relief than medication,” Betts says. “It differs for everyone, and it depends on what is being treated, but some people say they feel a difference right after a session, and others say they feel better about 20 to 30 minutes later.” Pain relief can last from a few hours to a few days.
- Acupuncture can help prevent injury. Because Acupuncture can reactivate weak muscles and decrease muscle tension, Betts says it can also be used as a preventative measure against injury. But you should always still stretch before and after exercising!
Acupuncture for Injury Rehabilitation at Aim Sports Medicine
Jay Palladino, Acupuncturist M.S. L. Ac. of Aim Sports Medicine states, “As a practitioner for over 14 years of this system, I utilize the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine and refine my approach using modern sports medicine research. This allows a comprehensive approach to treating specific injuries, and a person as a whole, simultaneously.
This is vital because chronic injuries are affected by the individual's overall health, not just the bio-mechanics of the injury. My treatments are designed to restore function, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve your wellbeing.”
Call today to schedule your consultation, and let's get you pain-free and back in the game.
Our goal at Aim Sports Medicine is to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent further injuries. Take the time to heal old injuries and chronic pain that you have been putting up with. You deserve to feel great in your body and have what you need to crush it!!!
Aim Sports Medicine, the top sports medicine practice in the South Bay, includes specialists in Physical Therapy, Stretch Therapy, Soft Tissue Management, Deep Tissue Massage, Fascial Stretch Therapy, Acupuncture, Deep Tissue Laser Therapy, and a proprietary Exoarmer Manual Therapy.
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