How Does Acupuncture Help Athletes?

It has been widely accepted that acupuncture can help athletes’ bodies by melting away their muscle tension, helping them relax after a workout. It is believed that the technique will suppress the pain in the muscles and release endorphins. Acupuncture Huntington Beach also helps to reduce inflammation that is caused by strenuous exercise or other factors.


The treatment uses thin needles inserted into specific points on your ear, hand, leg, foot, or even behind your back. This type of treatment aims to reduce stress while balancing the flow of energy known as qi (pronounced “chee”), which flows throughout your body along meridians. When qi becomes blocked or unbalanced, it may result in physical pain, illness, or mental distress.


The acupuncturist will also use lasers, magnets, or electrical current during treatment. Some sportsmen are addicted to acupuncture because this type of treatment does not require any medication and can help in muscle recovery without serious side effects. Acupuncture works best in the areas where tender points are commonly associated with pain caused by injuries. It stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals that block pain messages to your brain. One more important benefit is that it reduces stress levels and relaxes your muscles while improving sleep due to the release of neurotransmitters this technique causes in your body. 


Is There a Side Effect of Using Acupuncture?


As acupuncture has become more popular, skeptics have expressed their concerns about how this type of treatment might cause serious side effects. However, various studies on animals and humans indicate that side effects are very minimal and mostly related to pain in the treatment area for a couple of days after the therapy. This pain usually subsides as your body gets used to acupuncture needles and healing progress. 


Can You Treat Any Condition With Acupuncture?


Most professionals will say that it is best to seek advice from a doctor before deciding whether acupuncture can help you heal an injury or not. Although there are no scientific grounds that confirm the effectiveness of this method in treating all kinds of problems, there are plenty of studies indicating its efficiency in treating different sports injuries.


In most cases, a professional acupuncturist will recommend several sessions to help you overcome your problem. The first visit will include a full assessment and diagnosis. This allows the practitioner to establish the ideal course of treatment for you. Once this is done, the actual acupuncture sessions will follow. These usually consist of between 10 and 20 needles inserted into some specific points on your body. Some of those that are more common as part of acupuncture treatment for athletes include:


– LI 4 – this point can be found at the top of your hand, just below your pinky finger, and close to the wrist.


– GB 34 – acupuncturists commonly use this point on people who suffer from knee injuries. It can be located on the side of your thigh about 45% up from your shinbone and knee cap. This is usually quite a sensitive area, so you may feel some pain or discomfort when it is touched during an acupuncture session. If pressing this spot does not bring any discomfort, do not be surprised. That’s usually an indication that the point is not needed during acupuncture treatment sessions.


– St 36 – this point can be located about 2 inches below your kneecap and towards the outside of your leg. It is often used as part of acupuncture treatment for shin splints.


– Sp 10 – acupuncturists use this classic “kidney” point to treat back pain or lower bowel complaints such as constipation or diarrhea. This point is easy to find on yourself by locating your belly button and follow it down towards your backside until you feel a slight dip before reaching the next muscle. The Sp 10 point will lie at this area between two forces, so you should feel the “dip.”


– Sp 4 – this point is found at the top of your foot at the very base of your big toe. As with most acupuncture points, it is painful when you first press on it, so start light and increase pressure gradually until you feel a firm but comfortable sensation. This can treat sinus problems, hay fever symptoms, allergies, colds, asthma, and general respiratory complaints. It is also helpful for low back pain or abdominal cramps.


Combining all three points is often used in treating stress-related symptoms such as headaches, irritability/anger issues, and insomnia. The key to using these three points is to hold each for about two minutes and repeat the sequence three times before moving on to the following combination. Many people feel an intense sensation when doing these combinations so if it is too fierce to handle, reduce the amount of pressure you apply.