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Acupuncture in Sports Medicine

For thousands of years in China, acupuncture has been used to enhance the performance of soldiers and to treat injuries as well. In recent decades, it’s a common practice in China to use acupuncture for athletes while they are training and for their recovery from injury. Since late 1990, this trend of utilizing acupuncture and Chinese medicine in sports training and sports injury was gradually adopted and gained high attention by many countries including the U.S. Later, acupuncture techniques and its Sinew Channel theory was adopted by the two most prominent sports injury professions in the U.S. --- Chiropractic Therapy and Physical Therapy --- to their practices, and it is referred to as “dry needling”. Whether it is referred to as acupuncture or dry needling, or whatever name other professionals would like to use, it proves one thing --- acupuncture works and it works well in sports medicine. 

Nowadays, while sports are at its peak of gaining publicity, every athlete seeks an edge to be better in performance and be able to recover faster from their sports injury.  Acupuncture covers all of that.

How does acupuncture help in sports medicine, and how does it stand out from other medical professions like chiropractic and physical therapy? The answer lies in three unique functions of acupuncture --- pain reduction, health restoration, and performance enhancement.

Sports injury is every athlete’s nightmare. The pain of the injury and the process of restoring the functionality of the affected area(s) are two main concerns right after an injury occurs.

It is an established fact that acupuncture is the best non-medicinal pain killer. Through the years of research, scientists found that acupuncture reduces pain through 1) reduction of the inflammation, 2) elevation of the endorphins level in the central nervous system, 3) suppression of pain pathway in the spinal cord, and 4) relaxing the affected/injured muscles and tendons. Through these amazing functions, acupuncture eliminates pain in a dramatic way.  Acupuncture takes care of all kinds of pain from head to toe, from injury to cancer with the most prominent note --- no side effects.

Acupuncture is not just able to reduce pain, but it can expedite recovery through the reduction of inflammation and the enhancement of circulation at the injured site. Enhanced circulation and recovery grant a superior restoration of functionality.

Better performance is every athlete’s dream. Over the years through multiple research, scientists revealed that acupuncture prevents sports fatigue and exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by the actions of 1) eliminating free radicals, 2) resisting lipid peroxidation, 3) preventing dysfunction of the motor hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, 4) reducing the creatine kinase content, and 5) lowering lactic acid concentration.  

A better performance does not just lie in the prevention of sports fatigue and the elimination of the DOMS; it also lies in maintaining a great health with better energy levels, more strength and endurance, and a submissive and focused mind that can dictate a better performance. Acupuncture’s unique holistic and mind-and-body effects help athletes accomplish these goals.  

Lastly, to improve one’s flexibility, based on acupuncture’s meridian theory --- especially the Sinew Channel theory --- it has been proven to provide better muscle-relaxation and better flexibility than any other modalities.  

ACU4U, Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine has well-trained and experienced practitioners to answer all questions about treating sports injuries and maintaining better performance. Call us or come see us, and we will be happy to solve your problems.

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