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Your journey to better health

Acupuncture for Post-Race Recovery

Today’s topic is one near and dear to my heart: acupuncture for recovery after an athletic performance.  I ran the Chicago marathon this past weekend, which is a wonderful race full of enthusiastic spectators and phenomenal athletes of all shapes and sizes. And I have, of course, been using acupuncture to get me ready for the event, keeping my muscles loose, treating any soreness as it arose, keeping my energy levels up. And now I’m turning to acupuncture to help me through my recovery, as I have so many times in the past.
 
Acupuncture helps our bodies recover after an athletic performance in the following ways:
  • Increases blood flow to the tendons, which don’t receive as much blood supply as the muscles, thereby taking a longer time to heal. This is why pain and stiffness usually occurs at the end of a muscle, where the tendon connects it to the bone.
  • Reduces swelling and inflammation, allowing our tissues to return to their natural state faster.
  • Boosts the immune system, which is depleted when we are fatigued (such as after a grueling athletic event.)
  • Releases endorphins to boost mood and moderate pain.
  • Aids our body in achieving a parasympathetic (resting) state in which true recovery can happen: our body refuels our glycogen stores, repairs muscle tissue, and eliminates toxins that have accumulated in the tissues from prolonged athletic strain.
  • Boosts energy for post-race fatigue.
 
So next time you are sore, tight, or in pain from a race or game or match, get in for some acupuncture – your body will thank you.

3 Comments to Acupuncture for Post-Race Recovery:

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no nonsense muscle building – what it entails on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:42 AM
Acupuncture has been proven an effective treatment system of healing already so going for it is welcomed because through this massage therapy blood circulation grows up and further actions got faster what helps the entire recover process. Thanks and keep going (running ;)) Marcie!
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Louise Mall on Saturday, October 20, 2012 6:40 AM
Hi Marcie! I hope you are absolutely fine now after the acupuncture. But it's little bit concerning to me. Isn't there any other better option to increase the quality of athletes' performances? I hope our doctors will find out it soon. Lots of good wishes for you!
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Marcie Griffith, Lic.Ac. on Saturday, October 20, 2012 11:23 AM
Hi Louise, thank you for your comment. What concerns you? There are many ways to increase quality of athletic performance, including but not limited to proper hydration, adequate stretching before and after work-outs, and a healthy diet. Acupuncture is one of many natural techniques to make sure one's body is functioning optimally without the use of pharmaceutical drugs or performance-enhancing substances. Acupuncture is by no means the only way to increase recovery ability in athletes, and can actually most effective when used in conjunction with other modalities aimed at recovery, such as sports massage, osteopathic medicine, craniosacral, ultrasound, and ice/heat therapy. I fully believe that the best approach to health is an integrative approach, one that combines the best of what Eastern and Western medicine have to offer. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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