Any athlete can tell you that health is the most important factor in athletic performance.
Recently, the use of acupuncture to prevent and treat sports-related injuries has grown dramatically. From NFL athletes to weekend runners, more and more athletes are using Chinese medicine to ease problems related to overtraining, to heal and prevent further injury, and to cope with the stress of competition. Athletes are discovering that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can indeed help speed the healing process, and aid in prevention of injury.
How does it work? Acupuncture works on many different levels, including helping to create balance and boosts immunity within the body. Acupuncture can also decrease swelling, bruising and muscle spasms. It helps to shorten healing time by improving blood supply to affected areas, and increases range of movement, especially in the treatment of joint injuries. Acupuncture is also helpful in removing lactic acid from muscles, which is known to cause stiffness and swelling. In fact, acupuncture aids the body in creating its own anti-inflammatory and anti-stress hormones, and natural painkillers.
Every athlete responds differently to acupuncture, and it is up to the health care provider to assess what combinations of treatments will work best for individual athletes, but from strains and sprains to pre and post-surgery, acupuncture has been proven to help athletes in any stage of healing.