Can acupuncture be used by athletes to stay healthy and avoid injuries? Yes! Just ask Yankees star pitcher A.J. Burnett who is a frequent acupuncture user and credits acupuncture with his health and success.
Why is Acupuncture Helpful for Athletes?
Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release specific pain relieving chemicals. These not only reduce pain but also help your feel good overall. The pain relieving aspect not only helps to recover from injuries and prevent them from becoming chronic pain it also will help you reduce soreness after working out.
Acupuncture also helps your body reduce inflammation which can speed healing and aid in workout recovery. Our bodies are amazing at healing. We are not static but in constant changing. One way we heal is by releasing natural anti-inflammatory chemicals in the damaged tissue. Acupuncture stimulates the body to release natural anti-inflammatory chemicals that promote healing and pain reduction.
Why Acupuncture for Pitchers?
Pitchers are plagued with shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries due to the repeat pressure of throwing a ball above 90 MPH. Acupuncture is effective at treating rotator cuff injuries. I find addressing trigger points throughout rotator cuff is extremely important to heal rotator cuff issues.
Cupping, which was made famous for athletes from Michael Phelps purple marks, is a powerful addition for reducing muscle pain, tension, and fatigue. It has become so common place now that its not unusual to see people with cup marks at the gym or in the park.
Treating the Whole Person
Athletic training and performance involves both mental and physical preparation. Allowing the mind to relax will provide a space to prepare for the next challenge. Acupuncture works to treat the whole person, by calming the mind and healing the body.