Acupuncture for Athletes – The Benefits and Uses
Acupuncture works on the body by allowing energy to properly flow through all of the energy pathways in the body, also known as meridians. The body can optimally function when there are no energy blockages present. Currently, many of the world’s top athletes turn to acupuncture to keep them performing at their best. Sports acupuncture works wonders for athletes of all kinds from Olympians, MLB, and NFL players, to cyclists, runners, and rock climbers. This holistic modality can help in a variety of ways, physically and mentally.
What Injuries Can Sports Acupuncture Treat?
Sports acupuncture for athletes is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments such as:
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s shoulder
- Pulled tendons
- Torn ligaments
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Tight hamstrings
- And more
Do Pro Athletes Use Acupuncture?
Many of the top-performing athletes use sports acupuncture as a critical component of their regular training and recovery regime. In fact, many professional teams have an acupuncturist on staff to treat their athletes. Here are some athletes who are known to use acupuncture:
- AJ Burnett – As a pitcher in the MLB, using acupuncture can keep the shoulder, elbow, and muscles of his throwing arm in top condition.
- Will Demps – This safety for the Baltimore Ravens has seen a vast difference in his balance and agility since beginning acupuncture treatments.
- Kobe Bryant – As a shooting guard, Kobe has used acupuncture to treat leg injuries and even inspired others in the NBA like Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Yao Ming to use it.
- Vincenzo Nibali – This cyclist has attributed his success in winning the 2014 Tour de France to his acupuncture treatments.
What Benefits Do Athletes Get From Acupuncture?
Relief from Pain
Using acupuncture for pain relief is an excellent alternative to pain medications which can be addictive, damage organs, among many other adverse side effects that could interfere with athletic performance. Acupuncture releases endorphins, naturally occurring pain-relief chemicals in the body, which can rapidly relieve pain and last longer.
Increased Blood Flow
When an acupuncture needle is inserted into the acupuncture points, it increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. This causes blood vessels to relax, widen, and open up arteries so that blood can flow easier to vital organs, including the heart. Having top cardiovascular health and blood circulation is essential for athletic performance.
Decrease Muscle Tension
Athletes put an enormous amount of stress on their muscles, often resulting in strain and injury. These injuries can affect the proprioceptive system, causing imbalances and miscommunications between the muscles and the nervous system. Through acupuncture treatments, athletes can restore proper tone and energy flow, allowing them to regain balance and proper communication within the body.
Prevent or Treat an Injury
Optimizing the body’s ability to heal through acupuncture can be crucial for an athlete’s career. Injuries often take players out of the game and the longer they take to heal, the less of the season they can play. Acupuncture helps decrease inflammation to help speed up the healing process.
Boost Energy and Endurance
Using acupuncture to regulate the nervous system can improve endurance and energy levels. Through specific acupuncture sites, athletes can find improvement in digestion, liver function, and lung function, allowing them to perform at their best.
Improved Mental Health
It is now widely known that a large portion of high-level athletic performance is dependant on a healthy and positive mental state. The pressure of performing well as an athlete can lead to anxiety, nervousness, and a fear of failure. Emotions like these can create physiological responses that affect heart rate, muscle tension, respiration rates, and muscle timing and coordination. Acupuncture can help athletes better deal with the emotional demands of competing and performing.
Contact Lotus Studio Acupuncture Today!
If you are looking to heal from a sports injury, or simply increase your athletic performance, reach out to our Board-Certified and licensed acupuncturist today. To schedule an initial acupuncture appointment at Lotus Studio Acupuncture, please fill out the contact form on this page or call us at 303-882-6169. We are proud to serve patients in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and the surrounding Denver areas.