Why acupuncture is a good idea for athletes
With acupuncture, experienced doctors and therapists can successfully treat many complaints. These include headaches, chronic back pain, muscle and joint complaints, tensions, allergies, and asthma. More than 100 international scientific studies have clearly proven the effectiveness of the old Chinese form of treatment.
Meridians and the energy of life
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of acupuncture for 40 health complaints. Many athletes also rely on the power of the fine needles.
- According to Chinese teachings, the life energy, which they call Qi, flows through the body on 14 channels consisting of 12 main meridians.
- Each main meridian is connected to an organ. There are 361 acupuncture points on these pathways, which can be imagined as a spider’s web.
- The Chinese believe that illness and other complaints are based on a disturbance of the energy flow.
- By placing the needles in the appropriate places, acupuncturists want to redirect the life energy into the right channels. So the body can become healthy and stay healthy.
The theory of how acupuncture works
Acupuncture points are zones in which bundles of blood vessels and nerves are very close to the surface of the skin. A stitch with the 0, 2 millimeter thin needles triggers an electrical impulse that is transmitted to the cerebral cortex. This is where the pain is located. Through this impulse, the organism releases opioids which can inhibit pain. In addition, highly complicated measurements could prove a clear connection between reactions in the brain, the nervous system and the body regions treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture also has a positive effect on the immune system.
- During needling, the hypothalamus releases serotonin and endorphin. Both have an immunostimulatory effect and a positive effect on our mood.
- This is good news for hard-training athletes because they need a strong immune system to perform their best.
- Since muscular tension and dysbalances are also based on disturbances of the Qi flow, acupuncture can help here too.
A good anamnesis is important before needling
How many needles are used is determined by the acupuncturist. Usually not more than 20 needles. Before needling an extensive anamnesis is important. Not only the symptoms play a significant role, but also the individual constitution of a patient. So it can be that two athletes suffer from the same health problem, but they receive a completely different treatment due to their individual constitution.
Acupuncture can sometimes hurt for milliseconds
Setting the needles takes only a few minutes. Then they remain in the body for an hour while you rest. From my own experience, I know that some needling points can hurt for milliseconds. It feels like a harmless electric shock. However, a feeling of wellbeing quickly sets in. The list of illnesses one can treat with acupuncture is long:
- Achilles tendonitis and muscle fiber crack
- Knee pain and ligament injuries
- Runners knee and lateral epicondylitis
- Tendosynovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
Acupuncture can shorten the recovery time
Acupuncture can be useful for regeneration. This is especially true in high-intensity training phases, after a very strenuous workout or after a hard competition. According to Chinese teaching, the energy accumulates during every major physical effort exactly where it is most needed. Acupuncture treatment can make everything flow again. This shortens the regeneration time and helps the immune system to recover faster.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.