We face the obstacles with you!
Whether you just love to be active, or you are a serious athlete with performance goals, we can help you be at your best. Our experienced team integrates acupuncture, massage, and exercise therapies, with nutritional assessment and biofeedback & mind-body awareness training. We work with you to develop the best strategy to optimize your overall performance & health.
- Enhancement of performance and recovery time
- Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention
- Muscle Strain
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Neck pain and tension
- Shoulder dysfunction
- Tennis Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Reduction of Stress and Performance Anxiety
- Nutritional optimization and herbal supplementation
How does Acupuncture Work in Sports Performance?
We have review the literature extensively. Acupuncture’s biggest effect is through relaxation of the fight/flight (sympathetic) and promoting the restorative (parasympathetic) nervous systems. This affects cardiovascular function, both locally with the tissue being needled, and generally at the heart and metabolic levels. With some acupuncture points in particular, there is a strong reflex release of endorphins and the activation of the dompaninergic system in the central nervous system (amygdala and basal ganglia) – akin to a “runners high”. This explains why acupuncture is used for pain management and the feeling of well-being.
There is growing research evidence that acupuncture works to promote performance before competition and in recovery after training. Although the acupuncture effect is not limited to cycling and running, the research has focused on these areas.
Cycling Performance: Acupuncture was shown to create an economical effect on heart function in cyclists, decreasing heart rate and increasing stroke volume. Here, lactic acid metabolism was delayed due to the increased performance of the cardiovascular system and better tissue blood distribution.
Another study found cyclists’ perceived exertion after acupuncture was higher, which gave lower time and lower pain perception. A single needle leg treatment reduced the 1000 meter time for cyclists in an ergometer experiment. Running Performance: Acupuncture significantly increased performance in 5000 metre runners. They called this phenomenon “the complexity factor”, where both pulse rate and run-time was significantly reduced together10 Acupuncture increased performance in shorter events too, such the 800 metres.
Post Training Recovery
Acupuncture enables tissues to relax and heal after strenuous exercise. This can reduce recovery time between workouts. Motor point acupuncture (intramuscular stimulation or IMS) enhances recovery after competition, reducing fatigue and pain, possibly influencing neuromuscular reflex activity. Electro-acupuncture is shown to reduce muscle fatigue and stiffness at the end of a workout, and ear acupuncture can decrease heart rate and levels of blood lactic acid after short, intense exercise programs.
Chronic Injuries and Stress and Peformance
Whether working with muscle, connective tissue, or joint injury, back or core stability problems, we understand and complement your medical treatments. We develop appropriate rehabilitative and exercise strategies with you so that you are more aware of your limits and potential. We help you get back into training the sustainable way, and help you maintain fitness while preventing injuries. We work with you as partners to turn your weaknesses into your strengths!
Chronic stress undermines performance and general health. It shifts you body’s metabolism away from optimal functioning of cardiovascular, digestion and immunity, including your ability to focus. Acupuncture, massage, and mind-body awareness strategies can help you normalize your nervous system’s fight/flight activity.
1. How might acupuncture work? A systematic review of physiologic rationales from clinical trials. 2006 Moffet, H.H.. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6:25
2. FMRI connectivity analysis of acupuncture effects on an amygdala-associated brain network. Liu, Y. et al. 2008. Molecular Pain, 4:55.
3. Do Chil Lee, Myung O. Lee, Donald Clifford, Lucien Morris. The Autonomic Effects of Acupuncture and Analgesic Drugs on the Cardiovascular System. Medical College of Ohio. Am. J. Acupuncture 22(1):5-14. 1994
4. S. Andersson. Physiological Mechanisms in Acupuncture. in Acupuncture and Related Techniques in Physical Therapy. NY. Churchill Livingston,1997, pp.19-39
5. K.Toma , S.Walkowski, K.Metzler-Wilson, T.E. Wilson and others. Acupuncture attenuates exercise-induced increases in skin sympathetic nerve activity. Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute,Ohio University, USA, Auton. Neuroscience,2011 Jul 5; 162 (1-2) 84-8
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7. D. Erlich & Haber. Influence of Acupuncture on Physical Performance Capacity and Haemodynamic Parameters. Klinik fur Immer Medizin, University of Vienna, Department of Sport and Performance Medicine. Int J Sports Med, Vol 13, #6, PP.486-491, 1992.
8. Dhillon S. The acute effect of acupuncture on 20-km cycling performance. Department of Physical Therapy, U of A, Edmonton, Canada. Clin J Sport Med, 2008 Jan 18(1) 76-80
9.Kaada, Improvement of physical performance by transcutaneous nerve stimulation in athletes.
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12. Lin et al. Effect of auricular acupuncture on heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid for elite basketball athletes. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2011, 39:6 1131-8.
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14. Gentil et al. The effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on physical performance by sedentary subjects submitted to ergospirometric tests on the treadmill. 2005. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol 45, page 134-140.