Acupuncture Treatment for Enhanced Sports Performance in Bermuda

Eastern medical practices offer many benefits to both amateur sports enthusiasts and Olympic athletes. We have previously discussed the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of ankle injuries, tennis and golfer elbow, muscle and joint pain, frozen shoulder, anxiety, and neck and back pain. We have also written about the benefits of Tui na massage in treating injuries. You may already aware that acupuncture treatments can hasten recovery from injuries, but did you know that acupuncture can also enhance sports performance?

Acupuncture’s Role in Training and Exercise Regimens

In a 2010 literature review, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Ahmedov reports that reviewed studies support acupuncture’s association with increased muscular strength. Acupuncture also enhances blood circulation in those participating in endurance activities.

Prior to performing sports, acupuncturist Whitfield Reaves has treated Olympic athletes with needling of the upper and lower extremity muscles. He also applies auricular acupuncture to enhance performance. In this case, he retains the small “tacks” in the athlete’s ear during competition.

In an article published by the American College of Sports Medicine, Reaves mentions several acupoints that may be appropriate depending on the sport. For example, for runners, he suggests stimulating point 36 on the stomach, ST, meridian. With throwers, he suggests a combination of ST 36 and point 11 on the large intestine, LI, meridian. Also, ST 36 may be treated in conjunction with LI 10.

Carl Hangee-Bauer, N.D., L.Ac., applies a three-pronged acupuncture protocol to treat athletes. First, he applies techniques that provide support during training and that prepare the athlete’s body for “bursts of energy.” He then treats acupoints that “stimulate output” during performance. The third aspect of his approach is to provide individualized treatment based on the health history and prior injuries of the athlete. He also customizes herbal formulas to complement the acupuncture treatments.

Proper Movement

Finally, Neil Maki, acupuncturist and exercise physiologist, stresses the importance of evaluating an athlete’s form when engaged in his or her sport. The goal of this evaluation is to enhance competitive edge by encouraging movement economy. The main objective is to enhance performance without risking injury. He completes the evaluation of movement prior to initiating acupuncture treatments.

Holistic techniques are an effective complement to the allopathic practice of sports medicine. It is, therefore, advantageous to integrate acupuncture treatments into a training or exercise regimen.

To enhance your sports performance with acupuncture, contact Dr. Cann at COHA Health at 1.441.295.7612.

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