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Acupuncture Improves Flexibility and Reduces Pain
Better, Faster, Stronger is the athletes mantra. With sophisticated training plans dialed-in by the very best scientific research, and nutritional protocols proprietary to teams or athletes themselves; training professionals and athletes alike are consistently on the look-out for the next great thing to give their athlete even the slightest edge over their competition.
Greater value is seen in a longer, stronger stride or a farther, faster reach which can be the difference between finding yourself on the podium or not placing at all. Improvement in stride and reach is largely dependent on flexibility. The value of flexible muscles and full range of joint motion is readily appreciated by those experiencing stiff, aching, short or tight muscles. With an athletic environment where details matter, one that should not be forgotten is flexibility.
Stretching activity is generally included in most training programs. Stretching regimens are practiced by professional athletes as well as those who exercise for recreation. Flexibility training has become an ever important piece to the elite training puzzle. Interestingly enough, some of the physiological effects of stretching are similar to the physiological effects of acupuncture. Recent research demonstrates the effectiveness of both stretching and acupuncture in achieving muscular relaxation and increasing pain tolerance.
Acupuncture appears to increase local blood circulation as well as improve muscular electrical activity in addition to its well documented function in increasing pain tolerance. The improvement in blood flow and more acute neuromuscular awareness make it an obvious choice in recovering from high intensity training, injuries, as well as a unique drug and symptom free way to improve performance of the neuromusculoskeletal system. For these reasons, acupuncture is quickly becoming a popular treatment among athletes to aide in recovery and increase performance.
The pain relieving effects experienced by those receiving acupuncture works through influencing pain perception in the spinal cord, as well as activating several cortical regions of the brain including the somatosensory area, hypothalamus and limbic system. Research suggests that acupuncture influences descending nociceptive, pain signaling, structures. This understanding sheds light on the effectiveness of acupuncture in offering non-opioid and non-addictive pain care. This characteristic makes acupuncture a particularly attractive recovery aide and performance enhancer for athletes looking to push themselves to the next level.
For years athletes have searched for natural, safe and effective methods that will take their body to the next level. Finally, research has demonstrated acupuncture’s validity in being the method of choice for drug-free recovery and performance enhancement. Whether motivated by competition or recreation adding acupuncture to your training regimen is certain to take you to the next level.