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Sports Acupuncture: Scoring Major Points

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Many sports enthusiasts were skeptical about acupuncture for athletes. This was until New York Knicks shooting guard Allan Houston talked about how he benefited from sports acupuncture for his ankle injury. Many especially took notice when he started playing better.

So how does this natural treatment option benefit sports and fitness enthusiasts?

What is Sports Acupuncture?

It is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, ancient wisdom and methods which have been used for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves inserting small and very thin stainless steel needles through the skin at special points around the human body.

Acupuncture in sports is centered on enhancing athletic performance, recovery and healing sports injuries. The combination of improving performance together with the prevention of injury falls under another branch called modern sports medicine.

Sports acupuncture is very effective and can work well integrated with other health care professions such as physiotherapy and physical therapy. It can also be a great compliment to branches of medicine like orthopedics and sports medicine. Each combination allows for more holistic wellness.

Many licensed professionals incorporate sports acupuncture into their clinical practice. Acupuncture is duly recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe and effective medical therapy.

How does Sports Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture as a modality treats not only the symptoms an athlete its experiencing, but also the root causes of any underlying weakness in the system. By supporting the body’s natural ability to heal, acupuncture can allow athletes to recover faster and perform at an optimal level.

One simple technique is demonstrated by using motor points to re-set the neural stimuli. When the needles are inserted into the skin, they can activates motor points. As a result, the nerve fibers associated with that specific motor point reset the affected muscles. It then allows the body to balance the attached and opposing muscle groups.

For example, a misaligned knee joint may cause knee pain. It is for the reason that the misalignment caused the attached and opposing muscle groups to be shortened or lengthened. The imbalance resulted in soft tissue pain.

Sports acupuncture can restore the body’s natural ability to heal and eliminate the pain.

What are the Benefits of Sports Acupuncture?

Sports acupuncture
Sports acupuncture

In improving sports performance:

  • builds up energy
  • increases range of motion and flexibility
  • improves muscle strength and stamina
  • lengthens endurance of the heart and lungs
  • increases focus
  • reduces injury risk

In recovering from fatigue:

  • relaxes muscles
  • relieves spasms
  • renews the body’s energy
  • restores mobility function
  • increases carnitine levels in muscle
  • encourages post-exercise recovery
  • prevents a decrease in muscle size and tone

In treating pain and sports injuries:

  • quickens the production of the body’s natural pain relievers
  • makes the body less sensitive to pain and stress
  • speeds up the repair of damaged soft tissues
  • decreases redness, bruising and swelling
  • improves the flow of energy resulting in rapid healing


Sports acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that benefits athletes and sports enthusiasts in more ways than one. This method is natural and has a holistic approach. It can provide an progressive alternative to pharmaceutical medication by addressing not only pain but also the underlying causes of any symptoms an athlete if experiencing.

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