There’s no doubt that playing competitive sports or just working out regularly in the gym helps to strengthen your muscles and gets/keeps you in shape. But workouts also stress your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Fatigue often sets in after an especially intense bout.
Hydration, a good diet, stretching, and rest between workouts are as important as the workout itself. For many professional athletes and gym enthusiasts, regardless of whether they are lifting free weights, participating in competitive sports (like boxing, swimming or running) or just taking daily aerobic classes, acupuncture is increasingly an important part of their routine aftercare.
One reason that acupuncture treatments are popular with athletes is because it helps to reduce pain and muscle stiffness. Especially the use of trigger point dry needle therapy will reduce or eliminate the pain of muscle constriction in the lower back, calves, feet, neck and shoulders.
Regular acupuncture treatments also help to reduce the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles when you work out. Increased lactic acid contributes to your feeling stiff and tired after a training session. Because acupuncture helps facilitate metabolic processes, eliminating toxins and waste products — including lactic acid – it helps your muscles recover more quickly.
Muscles generally compress and contract during a workout; acupuncture helps your muscles relax after a workout. Stimulation by acupuncture not only increases blood and oxygen flow to your muscles, but more importantly, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a state of rest and relaxation.
Repetitive movements, whether from working out or simply leading your day-to-day life, can lead to inflamed ligaments and tendons. For example, many baristas suffer from tennis elbow from constantly operating the coffee machine! Acupuncture helps treat adhesions and scar tissue that may have formed due to repetitive stress or old injuries. Instead of taking anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections, why not first try a more natural method?
As important as it is to keep your body healthy, it’s equally as important to keep your mind and body relaxed and serene if you expect to perform your best – whatever it is you do. Acupuncture can help with that, too.