Training pushes your body to the limits and can cause unwanted ailments. Ailments resulting from personal training include soreness, stiffness, inflammation and pain. Although aches and pains are usually mild to moderate, there are occasions where they can be severe and signal rest. In this article we will learn how to boost your fitness with acupuncture.
Rest is an important and beneficial element of any successful training program, but if you need too much rest it can delay achieving your fitness goals. Who wants to take longer than necessary to gain muscle or lose fat? While hydration and stretching are beneficial, they alone may not be enough to relieve persistent ailments affecting your active body.
Boost Your Fitness with Acupuncture
Sometimes structural and functional impediments develop in the pursuit of an active lifestyle. Complimentary medicine can prevent and treat certain ailments that arise from working out. A Traditional Chinese medicine proverb states: “Bu Tong Zi Tong, Zi Tong Bu Tong.” This translates to: “Where there is pain, there is no free flow. Where there is free flow, there is no pain.” I’d like to share how acupuncture can keep you on track with your fitness goals.
Decreases muscle and joint pain. Acupuncture stimulates an immune response, increases blood flow and releases nitric oxide and endorphins; all which decrease pain. As blood flow is increased into the muscle the muscle begins to relax and soreness decreases. Acupuncture also promotes homeostasis by balancing the neurological and cardiovascular systems. Proper balance of these systems can prevent injury as well as treat injuries that occur by regulating nerve conduction and increasing microcirculation. Increased microcirculation speeds up the healing process by decreasing inflammation.
Enhances endurance. According to Eastern Medicine, acupuncture boosts Qi (energy of the body). Energy levels are elevated when Qi is flowing smoothly and unrestricted. If you have more energy, you can do more activities and exercise longer.
Shortens recovery time. Regular acupuncture treatments between workouts increase energy and minimize muscle fatigue.
Supports restful sleep. Acupuncture has been proven to support a calmer mind and more restful sleep. Our bodies repair and rejuvenate themselves during sleep. The restorative properties of sleep are important and well documented. A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found that acupuncture was “associated with a significant reduction in sleep disturbances in women experiencing menopause-related sleep disturbances.”
Decreases hunger and cravings. Acupuncture can also decrease hunger and suppress food cravings by balancing the digestive system. According to Traditional Chinese medicine theory, when there is disorder of the spleen and stomach there is increased appetite, decreased appetite and/or cravings. Bringing balance to the digestive system allows you to properly digest and absorb nutrients.
Seek a Credentialed Acupuncturist that Meets Your Needs
If you decide to try acupuncture, look for a qualified practitioner that meets your needs. The amount of training available to health professionals is variable according to type of treatments administered and specific application. Here is a list of professional practitioners and a brief description of educational programs for acupuncturists.
Licensed Acupuncturists. Licensed Acupuncturists have obtained a degree/diploma from an American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine accredited college, passed the national certification exams administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and met the requirements of the state to receive a license. Licensed acupuncturists have under gone 1,500 – 2,000 hours of acupuncture training and are specialists in the field of acupuncture.
Medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopaths or chiropractors. These practitioners use acupuncture as an adjunctive technique. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that medical doctors who wish to use acupuncture as a technique in their clinical work have a minimum of 200 hours of training. For a full course of training, WHO recommends 1,500 hours of training in acupuncture for physicians. Adjunctive acupuncture practitioners typically have 300 hours or less of acupuncture training.
Detox/auricular acupuncture technician. Detox technicians are generally limited to five points on the ear. Auricular/detox acupuncture technicians typically have 100 hours or less of acupuncture training.
Physical therapists. Physical therapists (PT’s) perform dry needling in the treatment of muscle trigger points. PT’s receive training through continuing education seminars which provide approximately 40 – 50 contact hours in dry needling.
Try Acupuncture to Stay on Track
If you have an ailment from intense and frequent training, try acupuncture to keep you on track. Acupuncture does more than just treat ailments, it helps with recovery and endurance. Heck, acupuncture might even reduce some of your food cravings. Don’t get stuck and frustrated by slow progress towards your fitness goals because of an injury. Stay balanced and healthy! Many professional athletes use acupuncture to prevent injury and speed up recovery. Why wouldn’t you try acupuncture? You have nothing to lose, but many benefits to gain!
Trainer Michelle is a Licensed Acupuncturist and performs her services in the gym for our clients by appointment. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about acupuncture and talk to Trainer Michelle about her services!