MOVE: Acupuncture for Improved Movement
Movement helps with digestion, flexibility and circulation. Acupuncture helps treat movement injuries:
- Both acute and cumulative injury
- Helps prevent future injuries
- Enhances athletic performance and endurance
Acupuncture is the perfect therapy to augment recovery, reduce pain, and speed healing time. Many acupuncture techniques grew out of the needs of martial arts in China. Acupuncture helped ancient fighters recover fast from injuries and keep them in peak condition. Today, acupuncture continues to keep modern athletes healthy and active. Some recognizable sports names who use acupuncture regularly are Maria Sharapova, Kobe Bryant, Carl Lewis, Charles Barkley and Jim McMahon. In fact, The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants both have acupuncturists on staff to treat players. In addition, there are now acupuncturists on site at both the Winter and Summer Olympics.
When traumatic injury occurs, first check with an urgent care doctor to be sure that it isn’t serious; fractures, dislocations, ruptured tendons and serious internal injuries should be treated by a medical doctor or hospital. Then, once you have rested, acupuncture will be the perfect therapy to augment recovery, reduce pain, and speed healing time.
Traumatic injuries that acupuncture can treat:
- Shoulder rotator cuff tears and strains
- Wrist sprains and strains
- Ankle sprains and strains
- Knee ligament and meniscus injuries (these are especially common in sports that require a lot of sudden starting, stopping and direction changing)
- Vertebral disc inflammation in the neck or back
- Strains (pulls) and tears of any muscle or tendon (i.e. hamstring, groin, Achilles tendon)
Cumulative or Over-use Injuries
Many sports injuries are not sudden. The injury slowly builds up over time because of repeated over-use of a particular joint or muscle. Usually, these types of injuries start out as a dull, consistent ache. This is the best time to start treatment. If you ignore them, they can easily build-up to become chronic and debilitating problems. Once the injury has advanced, treatment often require more recovery time than acute, traumatic ones. How do you distinguish between the nagging ache of a cumulative over-use injury and the typical soreness that accompanies working out?
Cumulative injuries are often felt more in joints: shoulders, knees, elbows, wrists, hip joints. Typical “working-out” soreness is felt more in the muscles. With a cumulative injury, the nagging soreness occurs during or very shortly after playing your sport or activity, whereas, you feel typical muscle soreness a day to two later. Cumulative injuries will repeatedly occur in the same area week after week, but soreness from working out usually will not.
Common cumulative, over-use injuries that acupuncture can treat:
- Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and elbow bursitis
- Shoulder tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis and impingement syndrome
- Wrist tendinitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Hip bursitis
- Illiotibial band syndrome
- Knee arthritis
How will acupuncture help?
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the body is an energetic collection of functions, not just a mechanical collection of parts. We contain Life Energy, also known as Qi (“chee”). One is said to be in perfect health when this energy is flowing unobstructed, and is in the right amount throughout the body. Qi is the basis for the proper functioning of all body processes: it provides structural integrity and stability, physiological efficiency and the potential for healing.
When you sustain an injury, the flow of energy in and around the area becomes disrupted, causing stagnation and pain. This energy stagnation also inhibits the proper circulation of blood and lymph to the area, extending healing times, prolonging swelling and bruising, and increasing the need for over the counter or prescription pain medications.
Acupuncture works directly to free the flow of Qi through areas of stagnation to assist healing and speed recovery:
- Increased circulation of Qi decreases pain, inflammation and swelling (all of which are signs of stagnation).
- Enhanced circulation of energy also brings increased circulation of blood and lymph. This means that fresh vital nutrients are more readily available to tissues that need them in order to mend.
- Enhanced circulation also carries dead cells and cellular waste products away from the injured site.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine focuses on regulating the flow of energy (Qi) throughout the entire body, to create optimal circulation and function.
What could be possible when your heart, lungs, muscles, tendons and joints are all receiving fresh vital nutrients and being flushed of waste products quickly and efficiently? Better physical performance, enhanced endurance, quicker recovery times and fewer incidents of injury. When added to a proper physical training program, acupuncture is extremely valuable for improving your game. This is what many professionals already know, and why they use acupuncture for injuries, injury prevention and enhanced performance.