To The Point Acupuncture

How Sports Therapy Can Help You


 Electo-Acupuncture treatment of achilles tendon pain during the Whitfield Reeves course in Calgary, 2012.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

My Additional Courses and Training                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Acupuncture Sports Medicine Course with Whitfield Reeves, October 2012. To learn more about Whitfield Reeves Sports Medicine Courses and Seminars  CLICK HERE.

Acupuncture and Sports Medicine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Acupuncture has a very successful record with sports injuries. Many professional sports teams have acupuncturists on staff to decrease healing times and resolve stubborn ailments. Some of the best Olympic athletes are incorporating acupuncture into their wellness programs. China's most popular sportsman, the 7 foot 6 inch China basketball center, Yao Ming, used acupuncture and oriental medicine to help him recover after undergoing surgery on his ankle in April, 2007. Chinese swimmer, Wang Qun, was photographed doing some last minute training in Beijing with round marks on her back from a traditional Chinese medicine treatment. The marks on the swimmer's back were caused by cupping.  To learn more about Wang Qun and cupping CLICK HERE. Cupping is a technique in which a glass cup or bamboo jar is suctioned onto the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, especially back pain from stiffness or injury; and to clear congestion in the chest, which can occur with common colds and influenza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How Does Acupuncture Help?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Acupuncture is an effective treatment for Sports Injuries because it reduces pain, increases range of motion, increases recovery and healing time, and strengthens weakened parts of the body. These effects are accomplished during treatment because acupuncture:
1. Decreases inflammation
2. Reduces swelling
3. Relaxes muscles and relieves spasms
4. Lowers the body’s pain response
5. Improves local blood circulation to increase delivery of nutrients
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Acupuncture is unique in that it can directly stimulate a muscle. The needle can penetrate deep into the muscle fibers helping release trigger points and stimulating motor points directly. This can be done by just insertion of the needle, stimulation of the needle or with electro-acupuncture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             What is Electro- Acupuncture and how can it help?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Electro Acupuncture involves the placing of leads on the needles that send a tiny pulse through the needle into the tissue. The stimulates the muscle directly causing it to contract and release and eventually fatigue. This is especially effective for tight, knotted muscles. This also increases micro-circulation to the area and by improving the circulation of blood, acupuncture can assist in the clearing of lactic acid thereby boosting recovery times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is Cupping and how can it help?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Cupping is the placement of plastic or glass cups on the skin creating a suction. This is very beneficial for tight, sore, or injured muscles, tendons or ligaments. Cupping is a good myofascial release by stretching and pulling the fascia away from the muscle. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward increasing recovery time by bringing fresh white blood cells and flushing out lactic acid in the local area.For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes.Cupping can cause bruising on the body and even though it looks like it would hurt, although uncomfortable at times, does not cause pain. Bruising goes away on average in 4-5 days.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is Myofascial Release?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lets understand the word "myofascial" first. The word 'my' means 'muscle'. The word 'fascia' means the 'band' or 'connective soft tissue' that supports your entire body. If you could see connective tissue beneath your skin you would observe that it is fibrous, densely woven, continuously connects and surrounds our internal organs, permeates the entire body from head to toe, and has characteristics that provide cushioning and support to our complete body.
Time, injury, wear and tear, poor posture, stress and other factors can cause this connective tissue to manifest tension, restrictions and imbalance within our bodies. Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that works to 'release' and rebalance our muscle and connective soft tissue system.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Acute Injuries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Acute injuries need to be properly assessed before any type of treatment can begin. Most people are all too familiar with the feeling of a strain or sprain. If someone is unsure, however, it is best to get examined and properly diagnosed (possibly with the help of an X-ray or MRI) to rule out a more serious injury. Acupuncture should then begin as soon after an injury as possible for the best results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Acupuncturists classify acute injuries as Excess conditions. An Excess condition is just what it sounds like: there is an excess physical response (too much pain) or an excess biochemical reaction (too much inflammation or swelling). Acupuncture treatment given soon after an injury occurs encourages the body to deal with and process this excess in a rapid fashion. An improvement is usually noticed within one or two treatments. If an injury is not very severe, 3-4 treatments typically resolves the condition. More serious injuries require 4 treatments before an accurate prognosis and treatment plan can be given.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right after an acute sports injury happens it is helpful to remember the acronym RICE. Each letter stands for one of the four steps to follow immediately after an injury: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This will help quicken recovery and provide short term relief.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Chronic Injuries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chronic injuries also need to be properly assessed before any type of treatment begins. It is important to determine if there is an underlying structural cause for a lingering injury such as a loss of cartilage, formation of scar tissue or degenerative damage of any kind. Once the complete underlying framework of the injury is understood, an acupuncture treatment plan can be devised to address both the main symptoms and their causes. This may include acupuncture treatments, stretches and exercises, diet modifications and the use of liniments or balms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Acupuncturists classify chronic sports injuries as Deficient conditions. Deficiency refers to a weakness or lack. Over time, unresolved sports injuries lead to areas losing strength, flexibility and stability. Instead of focusing on removing excesses, acupuncture for chronic conditions focuses on invigorating and strengthening specific parts of the body. This is done while also decreasing the pain that commonly accompanies most chronic sports injuries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It is more difficult to generalize the length of treatment for chronic conditions because medications, prolonged inactivity, low morale & surgeries complicate treatment. Even so, a person should notice a positive change in his/her specific condition within 8 to 10 treatments, although many chronic injuries respond quickly to acupuncture. After which, an accurate prognosis for complete resolution of the problem can be given.
A 1999 study published in the medical journal Pain by researchers at University of Heidelberg in Germany compared the effectiveness of acupuncture for rotator cuff tendonitis against fake acupuncture needles. The researchers found a significantly measurable improvement in the athletes that had acupuncture for their shoulder pain and rotator cuff tendonitis than those athletes that had placebo acupuncture needles.

Acupuncture can help make a more relaxed, focused and happy athlete.
                                                                                                                                       Acupuncture not only increases recovery time but can also cure fatigue, performance anxiety and depression. This is because Acupuncture has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, and naturally boots endorphins producing a more relaxed, focused, and happy athlete
Full body treatments can help decrease stress and anxiety caused by severe pain and tightness thus helping aid the muscles and fascia to relax and release. So, not only can acupuncture be used to aid pain but it can also help balance out the whole body for overall health.