As many of us enjoy watching the fearless athletes compete at the Olympics, we are amazed at their perseverance and the amount of physical training they must endure. Injury is a common experience among athletes. In the course of practice, injury may happen sometimes through accident, or even sometimes through pushing too hard to succeed.
A number of sports teams and Olympic teams have a staff acupuncturist. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat inflammation, spasms, post operative recovery, strains, and more. Healing faster from a recent injury can allow for return to training, and in the end, better performance. For old injuries, western medicine does not have many solutions, but acupuncture can kick start the body’s natural healing processes to reduce adhesions, increase flexibility, and bring circulation back into areas which need it.
Most athletes tend to seek care only after an injury, or after something goes wrong. Beyond treating an injury, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used to optimize athletic performance. Rather than simply addressing problems after they happen, using acupuncture to maintain a healthy state of joints, muscles, and tendons can help to prevent injury. Many athletes receive acupuncture regularly, as a proactive measure to enhance performance and to increase mental focus and flexibility.
And for those of us who aren’t athletes but exercise less than we should – spring time is a great time to get started on a routine exercise. Take advantage of the good weather we’ve been having lately and the fact that the late afternoon sunlight is lengthening. For good cardiovascular health, it is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise three times per week, to the point where you work up a sweat. Don’t forget to warm up, and to start things slowly to avoid injury!