Acupuncture can improve your overall athletic performance. Due to this fact, many athletes receive acupuncture treatment to increase their energy and play better when it comes time for that big game. Recent studies have delved into the specific ways acupuncture helps with performance.
In a study published by the “American Acupuncturist,” researchers looked at the ways acupuncture could increase the performance of baseball pitchers. Acupuncture is known to have effects on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems of the body, as well on the neuro-endocrine responses, because of these properties acupuncture is seen as beneficial in increasing baseball pitchers’ performance.
The researchers found the use of acupuncture improves the integration of the body’s joints, increases the circulation of blood and qi within the body and consistently improves the functions and workability of the skeletal muscles. These three areas of improvement are great for athletes of any kind, but can prove extra useful for baseball pitchers.
Pitchers are required to take on a heavy workload during a game, sometimes having to throw up to 100 pitches. And, every time a pitch is thrown the same muscles in the body are being utilized over and over again. By using acupuncture these athletes can not only improve performance, but can harness acupuncture’s healing and therapeutic properties to be well-rested and have extra energy for the next game.
It has been shown that acupuncture can help the body in many ways. From repairing the digestive system to boosting Qi, enhancing athletic performance to mending strains and sprains, acupuncture has many uses and most of these uses are beneficial for professional athletes.
As the Olympics in Rio get closer and closer with each passing day athletes are beginning to fine tune their bodies for the upcoming events. Every athlete wants to be at their top performance level as they put everything on the line for their country. Acupuncture is one key some Olympians use to achieve that extra competitive edge and get their physical and mental aspects ready for the games. Some of the biggest names on the Olympic stage are making acupuncture part of their health regimen.
In 2012, during the London Olympics, acupuncture was widely acknowledged in the Olympic community as an extremely beneficial solution to guaranteeing a higher level of athletic performance. Since London, more and more Olympic athletes have been turning to the needle to and have been receiving excellent results.
Wang Qun, an Olympic swimmer for the Chinese team has been known to perform in events with cupping marks still present on her skin. Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves applying heated glass cups to the skin to encourage smooth energy flow; it stimulates your Qi as the cups are placed along the meridian lines of your body. In addition to Qun, other members of the Chinese Olympic Team use acupuncture, most notably being windsurfer Yin Jian, a gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Jian attributed nightly acupuncture with helping her achieve success and curing the muscle strains she experienced on a daily basis.
Acupuncture isn’t solely practiced by the Chinese Olympic Team. This form of traditional Chinese medicine has made its way to Olympians from the U.S. and Canada as well. Bronze medalist and track-athlete Dee Dee Trotter used daily visits from her local acupuncturist to help her unlock the potential needed to win third place in the 400-meter run at the London Olympic Games.
Mark McMorris, a Canadian snowboarder, upped his game with acupuncture before his bronze-medal finish at the Sochi Olympics. After injuring his body during the X games weeks prior to the Olympics, McMorris began to attend acupuncture sessions to recalibrate his body, and by the results shown, we know it worked. McMorris went on to perform outstandingly in the Slopestyle event and brought back the bronze medal for the Canadian Olympic Team.
See, acupuncture is beneficial in many ways. Although you may be hesitant to stray away from the trusted and commonplace forms of Western medicine, you should really consider giving acupuncture a try. If it wasn’t enough that one in every 10 U.S. adults have tried acupuncture, just consider the facts, even the pros are doing it to recover, enhance and overall better their body.
In addition to using acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine, there are other ways athletes seek to up their game as the 2016 Olympics round the corner. One of the simplest ways to increase performance is by watching what you are consuming. You ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Chances are you have, if not, well I am glad that now you have, because there could not be a truer statement.
By carefully calculating what we put into our bodies we can increase athletic performance in addition to bettering all aspects of our life. It doesn’t have to all start with a full meal, there are little additions you can make to foods and snacks within your normal dietary routine, which will increase performance and herbs are one of the most crucial things to add to your diet in order to better your physical potential.
Arnica – Arnica is an herb native to the mountains known for its very interesting and healing properties. Arnica is utilized by lots of distance runners. It is known to wipe out muscle soreness, which is pent up after long-distance runs. Some popular ways arnica is consumed, is in teas and dairy-based desserts. It will help you help those muscles so you can sustain a high level of athletic performance.
Astragalus – Ah, another fun name to say. But, a very beneficial name to be saying, it is always good to have astragalus around the house. This herb is known to boost overall health and goes by the names Huang Chi or Huang Qi. With names like that, which directly apply to energy, you know it is a good choice to increase your performance.
Straying away from the herb’s side of things, let’s look at some specific foods to add to your diet in order to boost energy and performance levels.
Beets – Beetroot contains lots of nitrates and does wonders for your circulatory system, this is key for an athlete. You need to have a healthy-functioning circulatory system in order to complete the tasks you wish to accomplish, adding a steady dose of this veggie to your diet will help with that.
Salmon – How many times can you say Omega-3s? Omega-3s, Omega-3s, Omega-3s. What a coincidence, three times! But, truthfully you could say Omega-3s much more than this amount. Salmon, like most fish, is packed full of these fatty acids, which are great for muscle repair and anti-inflammatory properties.
Whether it be adding a powerful-enhancing herb to your day to day routine, or changing some of the foods you eat within your diet, there are vast amounts of ways to up your game naturally. We are barely scratching the surface with this list. Don’t forget, acupuncture is also one of the best ways to increase athletic performance, so visit a licensed acupuncturist today.
Lara Aitken, Holistic Doctor, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture Physician, Life & Health Coach, Women's Business Coach, Reiki Practitioner, Hypno-therapist, Yoga therapist.