Playing sports, whether recreationally or professionally, is a great way of keeping your body in top shape. While your body can endure a lot of exertion, you have to remember that it also has its limitations. If you’re not careful, excess strain can make you end up with varying injuries that can lead to the deterioration of your form.
That’s why athletes have been integrating sports acupuncture into their routine since it has several benefits for healing and preventing pain. With consistent treatments, it also has the ability to improve their performance so they can feel their best during their game. If that seems intriguing to an active player like you, you might want to know more about its advantages to finally convince you to start your treatment.
What is sports acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that aims to balance your body’s energy flow by inserting thin needles at certain points of your skin. This stimulates your nervous system to relieve pain and enhance your mood through consistent treatments.
Although we may think that athletes are invincible, what most may not realize is that their active bodies are more prone to injury. That’s why sports acupuncture is sometimes used as a complementary treatment for alleviating sports-related injuries and preparing your body for extraneous training. It can target your muscles to enhance mobility and prevent further injuries that can stop you from excelling at your sport.
What does sports acupuncture do for athletes?
If you’re still not convinced that acupuncture can play an integral role in your training, then maybe a few of its advantages below may make you want to consider booking a few sessions for yourself:
1. Relieves pain and inflammation
Inserting needles into your body to relieve pain and inflammation may seem counterintuitive. But acupuncture is actually shown to jump-start your nervous system to produce endorphins and naturally occurring painkilling chemicals in your body.
Within 1-2 sessions you’ll notice the reduction of inflamed tissues or sore muscles that can take medication alone twice as long to heal. If you have any recurring injuries, it may be worth consulting your doctor to know if acupuncture treatments can benefit your condition.
2. Hastens recovery
If you feel sore after an intense workout or practice session, you’ll typically have to rest for a day or two to let your body heal. But if taking a break is not an option during your sport’s peak season, acupuncture can actually help cut back the time you’ll need for recovery.
Since it stimulates your body’s natural healing process, you’ll notice that any muscle soreness and fatigue can be eliminated after a few sessions so you can immediately return to your training or game on the next day.
3. Improves range of motion
Depending on the sport you play, your strength and endurance may be deemed useless if your range of motion is fairly lacking.
With the correct treatment, acupuncture can increase your muscle activation and decrease muscle compression to remove the feeling of stiffness when they’re exerted. As a result, you’ll feel more flexible and at ease when performing certain actions like running, jumping, or pitching. Stretching is still vital for your body but acupuncture can help loosen up your muscles further to level up your game.
4. Reduces performance anxiety
If the pressure of excelling at your sport is causing you to feel anxious, studies show that regular acupuncture treatments can lower certain symptoms. It stimulates the production of dopamine to lower your stress levels so you can feel more relaxed and focused during and after your game.
A balanced mental state can also result in better sleeping cycles, which is also important for optimal health and performance.
5. Strengthens the immune system
A healthy body can be key to achieving your goals when it comes to sports. But if you’re prone to sickness, it may cut back your time for training and affect your overall performance in the long run.
Regular acupuncture treatments can help strengthen your immune system by increasing the number of T-cells in your body for a few days after your treatment. These destroy any harmful viruses or bacteria in your system, so you’ll be less susceptible to colds, flu, allergies, asthma, or autoimmune diseases. A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are still encouraged for an optimal body, but acupuncture can also be a good addition to your active lifestyle.
6. Enhances focus and memory
If you want to be a great athlete, having a physically fit body is only part of the equation. It also involves having the concentration to wisely strategize your moves so you can always be one step ahead of your opponents.
Studies show that regular acupuncture treatments can improve your mental clarity, ability to learn, and memory capacity so your brain can stay in top shape to help you win your competitions. Granted, you’ll still need to have a balanced and nutritious diet, but aiding it with acupuncture can help your brain reap the most out of its benefits.
7. Prevents injury
After all of the hard work you put into training and playing, the last thing you’ll probably want is to get a serious injury when you’re at the top of your game. Consistent acupuncture treatments can help you avoid this by reactivating weak muscles and reducing muscle tension.
Muscle imbalance is also a common issue among athletes as it’s caused by rigorously training the same muscle groups regularly. If not remedied, your nearby muscles can get strained and cause a painful injury that can hinder you from playing your sport. To prevent this, acupuncture will correct these imbalances by releasing the tightness in the myofascial tissues in your muscles.
Curious to try sports acupuncture?
If you want to give sports acupuncture a try, you can book your first session with Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture. Their team of licensed acupuncturists is equipped to treat any sports injuries and rejuvenate your body so you can perform your best on the field. If you want to know more about their services, contact them now to book a consultation.