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Have you considered incorporating acupuncture into your health and fitness routine? You may be surprised to find out just how much acupuncture can help you achieve your workout goals. Athletes can get several benefits from regular acupuncture treatments, including better performance, improved mental outlook, and faster recovery times. Not only that, but it is also a safe way to treat post-workout aches and pains, as well as sports injuries. It can even be useful for improving flexibility and reducing swelling and inflammation.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been consistently used for more than 2,500 years to improve mental clarity, relieve stress, and reduce pain. Acupuncture is even endorsed by the World Health Organization as a safe way to manage pain without damaging your overall health. During the 2008 Olympics, acupuncture was the accepted treatment used for pain relief and prevention of injury. Whether you’re a professional athlete or you just work out a few times a week, here’s how regular acupuncture treatments could be the secret to achieving your health and fitness goals.
Treating Pain and Injury with Acupuncture
If you want a safe and effective way to deal with pain after you’ve overdone a workout, acupuncture could be the answer you’re looking for. According to pain management experts at the Yinova Center acupuncture clinic, sports injuries, back pain, and joint pain can all be treated with acupuncture. When you’ve overdone a workout, lifted weights incorrectly, or injured yourself in some other way, acupuncture can be an effective way to relieve the pain without the use of harmful pharmaceuticals. You can’t resume your workouts until you heal, and acupuncture can get you there faster.
Most workout or sports injuries are one of two types:
- Chronic Injuries: If the injury is a result of overuse or misuse for an extended period of time, it is probably a chronic injury. Joint pain, swelling, and bruising are common with chronic injuries. Tendonitis, tennis/golfer’s elbow, and bursitis are all common examples of chronic injuries. These types of injuries usually recur repeatedly whenever the joint or muscle is overused.
- Acute Traumatic Injuries: Injuries that occur suddenly are usually called acute traumatic injuries. Everyone’s done it at least once. You’re in the middle of a great workout when suddenly, something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe you overused a joint or muscle, twisted your ankle or knee, or maybe you simply did the exercise wrong, resulting in one of the two most common acute traumatic injuries: sprains and strains. Sprains and strains often take a long time to heal.
Acupuncture can improve the circulation in your muscles and joints, reducing pain and inflammation, and speeding up the healing process to get you back in the gym faster.
Acupuncture also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer. In fact, endorphins can work fast and provide lasting relief, even after just one acupuncture treatment. Endorphins are thought to be 10,000 times more effective at relieving pain than morphine, which makes acupuncture a valid option for those seeking pain relief without dangerous side effects.
Recover Faster with Acupuncture
Acupuncture treatments shouldn’t be reserved for times of injury. Most athletes will experience aches and pains to some extent after a good workout. Having a session with your acupuncturist right after your workout will speed your recovery time and promote healing, allowing you to intensify your workouts, build more muscle, and burn more calories.
Acupuncture Improves Mental Clarity and Outlook
It can be especially challenging to achieve your health and fitness goals if your mind is not where it needs to be. Depression and anxiety often lead to a poor diet and lack of desire to be active. For centuries, acupuncture has been recognized as an effective treatment for promoting relaxation and reducing stress. In fact, hormonal imbalance is considered to be one of the leading causes of depression, and acupuncture is exceptionally beneficial for balancing hormone levels.
Acupuncture is very different from Western medicine because it focuses on healing the body and mind as a whole, rather than just masking the illness by treating the symptoms. Your first visit to an acupuncture physician will include a full medical history to determine your needs. The acupuncturist will create a treatment plan that is personalized to address your specific concerns. Chinese herbs, diet and lifestyle changes, and bodywork (massage therapy) may all be incorporated along with the acupuncture treatments, depending on your goals.
Acupuncture to Combat Chronic Fatigue
Mild depression and chronic fatigue syndrome often go hand in hand, especially for women. Unexplained aches and pains, plus insomnia and a weak immune system, are all common symptoms. Any athlete who suffers from the debilitating effects of chronic fatigue is going to find it difficult to keep up with their day to day schedules, much less incorporate regular workouts necessary to achieve their health and fitness goals.
A visit to your doctor should rule out any underlying medical issues that could be causing your symptoms. However, the root cause of chronic fatigue is often difficult to diagnose. That’s why Chinese medicine and acupuncture offer the ideal solution for combatting chronic fatigue. The focus is on healing the entire mind and body, not just relieving the symptoms. When acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used alongside lifestyle and diet changes, the hidden cause of your chronic fatigue symptoms should be improved or even corrected, significantly enhancing your energy levels and your health in general.
Weight Loss and Acupuncture
Even though receiving acupuncture treatments will not directly lead to weight loss, acupuncture can have significant benefits that will support your weight loss goals. For example, acupuncture is widely used to improve digestive health. If you’re not digesting your food correctly, you are not getting the nutrients you need. Not only does this have a significant effect on your overall health, but it can also impact your energy levels, too. Not only that, poor nutrition can lead to cravings and overeating because your body needs to make up for the missing nutrients. Healing your digestive system through acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and proper diet can help you curb food cravings that may be causing you to overeat.
Acupuncture is a tried and true method for relieving pain and improving overall health. Incorporating it into your regular routine could be your secret to achieving your health and fitness goals.