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4 Ways Acupuncture may help with your performance 

Acupuncture has now become a popular and effective form of treatment and maintenance for marathon runners. Whether you’re a casual runner or a qualifying entrant in the next London Marathon, acupuncture may help you stay on top of your running game.

As a runner, you will be fully aware of the physical fatigue and the injuries you incur. Often the injuries will heal itself with time off or with modified training regime, sometimes you may need longer periods of no running. This is usually the time a runner will seek out alternative treatments such as acupuncture and are often surprised by the results. 

How does Acupuncture help with performance? 

1. Pain relief

 When the inserted needles stimulate the acupuncture points, your body releases endorphins, a natural painkiller. The endorphins provide rapid and often long-lasting relief and you usually feel the results after one treatment. Working at the source of the pain helps decrease inflammation, increases range of motion, and boosts the immune system. Taking drugs can mask the pain, exasperating the condition and creating permanent damage. Acupuncture is a medically effective without the harmful side effects.

2. Improves Sleep

Running too much can potentially stress the body faster than it can recover, and if this cycle is perpetually repeated you may develop symptoms of overtraining fatigue, a depleted immune system, lack of concentration, poor sleep, and an inability to recover from workouts. Your nervous system is essentially stuck in sympathetic overdrive (fight or flight), making you unable to relax, sleep, or properly recover. Acupuncture is an effective way to activate your parasympathetic nervous system the part that allows you to rest, helping you to sleep more deeply. Improvement in the quality of sleep, is a factor that is critical to improving your performance and rebuilding the muscle tissues and immune system.

3. Enhance Endurance

Acupuncture works to remove any blocks in energy throughout the different organs including the lungs, digestive system, and liver. This optimizes the body’s ability to metabolize and produce the energy needed to perform long-duration event such as marathons.

4. Injury Prevention and Treatment

Acupuncture treatments help regulate the nervous system and circulation. This is critical to its ability to help prevent and treat common injuries related to running. When muscles are imbalanced, they can trigger a chain reaction resulting in muscle, joint and tendon pain, and to correct these imbalances, needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points to release tight segments of myofascial tissues the membranes that surround and connect your muscles.  Stimulation of acupuncture points can improve blood circulation to injured areas, thus promoting healing muscles and tendons.

Written by Catherine Adelaja, Acupuncturist.

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