Finding Optimal Athletic Performance With Acupuncture
When watching our favorite sports, many of the best athletes effortlessly make challenging movements and split-second decisions under stress. These athletes often describe that their top performances are the result of ‘being in the zone’, a state where the physical body and the mind feel healthy and integrated.
Those of us that have had this experience, as competitive athletes or fitness enthusiasts, recognize the importance of the mind-body connection to achieve our best athletic results.
Athletes of all levels put their bodies through significant amounts of physical and mental stress. Often times, the best athletes recognize the damage of stress and quickly switch gears from performance to recovery. They understand that recovery and performance are directly connected, and they take them both very seriously.
Many are turning to drug-free therapies that focus on the body and mind to recover, repair and ultimately optimize performance.
Acupuncture, which has been used for thousands of years to improve athletic performance and recovery of highly skilled martial artists, is now a popular practice among professional athletes. Athletes in the NBA, MLB, NFL and other professional leagues have reported the benefits of regular acupuncture treatments for recovery and pain management. In fact, several professional teams have licensed acupuncturists on staff to assist in the recovery and prevention of athletic injuries.
Multiple studies have shown that when acupuncture needles are inserted, they stimulate the release of chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins, which have natural pain-relieving effects. In addition to natural pain management, acupuncture may accelerate the recovery process without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals.1
Meditation has also been used for thousands of years and is well known to help reduce stress and anxiety. Athletes have heightened physical and mental stress, and it is no surprise that meditation has gained popularity among athletes of all levels. Studies demonstrate that the benefits of meditation include reducing stress and anxiety levels2, improving focus3, and even helping to control pain.4
Similar to meditation, acupuncture has also been shown to reduce stress hormones5 and have a balancing effect on the nervous system. Reducing stress levels can speed up recovery times, while also improving the mind-body connection.
Athletes want to improve their performance. For this reason, acupuncture continues to gain traction among athletes of all levels, as a mind and body therapy to accelerate the recovery process and enhance performance without drugs and side-effects.
Start optimizing athletic performance by finding a Modern Acupuncture clinic near you under the location tab on our website. We have clinics all across the country and more opening every month. Book your appointment online or call your local clinic and speak to one of our Zen Advisors.
Written by: Adi Korman, MS, L.Ac. | Manager of Clinical Operations for Modern Acupuncture Corporate
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