Athletes training regimes are renowned for being strenuous on the body, with little time for recovery between sessions more often than not leading to injury and mental stress.
While many athletes utilise western remedies like physiotherapy, some have begun to turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine for a different answer. Why? From cupping to acupuncture and Gua Sha, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help benefit athletes of all levels to maintain a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, ease pain and so much more.
We go into more detail below.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice which is used to promote recovery, relieve pain and activate the body’s natural healing process. Involving the insertion of needles into specific muscles and joints – your practitioner can help pinpoint your pain and release it. On top of relieving pain, acupuncture can also provide relief for many other conditions such as digestive, musculoskeletal, psychological disorders and more… Perfect for the athlete in need of a little help!
Cupping is ideal for athletes who are looking to soften painful, tense muscle tissue and reduce their recovery time. The process involves creating a vacuum-like suction through placing a cup on the body – gently withdrawing inflammation and toxins out from the specified area while also increasing the blood supply needed in stagnant areas to nourish and promote recovery. This means that athletes can be back on their A-game much faster than expected.
With pain being a major issue that athletes experience, Gua Sha is a natural, immediate and drug-free pain reliever which focuses on correcting soft tissue injuries and other medical ailments. Another plus? Gua Sha can also boost immunity and help prevent common illnesses, helping athletes stay in tip top shape for longer.
Are you an athlete who’s incorporated Traditional Chinese Medicine into your lifestyle? Let us know your experiences in the comments!
With the colder weather well and truly here, now is an important time to take some extra measures to ensure you don’t fall ill throughout the winter. Follow these top Traditional Chinese Medicine tips to keep your immune system strong and fight off the dreaded symptoms of cold and flu.
The immune-boosting benefits of Chinese herbal medicine are widely acknowledged, so much so that many Western practitioners are also advocating them to their patients too. Some of the top choices to stock up on as we head into winter are echinacea (antiviral and antibacterial herb), ginger (a powerful antihistamine and decongestant) and yin chiao (a nine-herb formula, which soothes the lungs and stomach and clears the nasal passages).
We all know that our bodies can have an adverse reaction to changes in the weather, but did you know that acupuncture can help? Among its many benefits, acupuncture can help your body find balance after experiencing changes in the environment, so with every changing of the seasons, it’s a good idea to book a session with a trusted acupuncturist.
A large part of the reason we fall ill in the first place is due to our body’s inability to fight off the germs and toxins we encounter in our external environment. Cupping therapy promotes healing and can help draw out toxins. In turn, this allows us to recover much faster and can dramatically shorten the length of time we spend feeling unwell.
With Christmas just around the corner, December can be one of the busiest times of the year. Finalising projects at work whilst simultaneously organising gifts and annual holiday plans can cause an accumulation of stress that sits heavy on the body and mind. Navigating this stress can be difficult, but Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you unwind, relax and find inner balance and harmony.
Acupuncture and cupping
Stress tightens your muscles and leaves you feeling wound up and stiff. Whilst a massage is a good way to relieve stress, acupuncture and cupping methods apply much more pressure to knots and overworked muscles.
Traditional Chinese Medicine targets and stimulates areas of tension, oxygenating body tissue and increasing blood circulation. This helps to release endorphins, keep cortisol (the stress hormone) at bay, and loosen taut muscles – all of which aids in relieving stress.
Chinese herbal medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the body as a single organism which can occasionally fall out of balance. That’s why herbal therapy is used to support and supplement inner remedial processes and restore equilibrium by removing stress, or ‘calming the spirit’. They can also stabilise your mood and help with weight loss.
Custom herb blends are accessible as capsules, granules, liquid extracts, powders, and teas. Chinese herbal medicine offers a wide spectrum of herbal formulas that treat specific symptoms of stress, such as the ‘Relaxed Wanderer’, which treats irritability, agitation, and body tension. A qualified herbal medicine practitioner can help you take the right herbal formula that’s tailored to your specific lifestyle and needs.
Be mindful of your diet
A good diet is central to good health and a strong energy flow. In periods of festival celebration such as Christmas, it’s common to indulge in unhealthy foods, which increases physical stress. You can prevent this by following Traditional Chinese Medicine’s dietary principles, which encourages maintaining a healthy, balanced diet in conjunction with herbal formulas, exercise, and acupuncture therapy.
A balanced meal is inextricably tied to inner balance. It’s recommended to consume fruits and vegetables that are rich in colour, and low-oil meals that contain a small portion of meat. Vitamin rich foods can also help reduce stress.
The fast arrival of the summer has swept many of us off our feet this year, and while most people are excited for warm days and balmy nights, the drastic increase in temperature can often make it more challenging to manage our health.
The principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine affirm the importance of living in harmony with the changing seasons, and as such we would like to share our top tips to stay healthy throughout this summer season.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Incorporating more seasonal summer fruits and vegetables into your diet allows you to fuel your body with extra vitamins and minerals. By nourishing your body with healthy foods like watermelon, berries, cucumber and leafy greens, you can help curb temptation and ensure optimal health throughout the festive season.
Swap strenuous exercise for yoga
Strenuous exercise can be risky in the warmer weather, and heatstroke is a common result that should be taken very seriously. We recommend trying something lighter and less intense on those very hot days, like a gentle and relaxing yoga session.
Don’t sit too close to the air conditioner
The cool breeze from your air conditioner can be a welcome relief, but we must recommend not sitting too close. By spending too long in front of the air conditioner you can cause your muscles to tighten and contract, and the recycled air can also cause illness and spread bacteria. Sit a sensible distance from the air conditioner, and if possible, aim the air flow away from your direction.
Ensure you are getting enough rest
Many of us struggle to sleep on those extremely hot nights, however we must still aim for those ever-important 8 hours. If you are having difficulties resting due to the heat, consider the use a herbal remedy such as reishi, known for its effective relaxation properties.
As the temperature rises, it is crucial to aim for a minimum intake of 2-3 litres of water per day. It is important to maintain the fluid that your body sweats to avoid dehydration, whilst simultaneously fighting infection and eliminating toxins from the body. However, be careful not to drink too much water in a short period of time. Doing so may result in water intoxication or hyperhydration – which can be fatal. With healthy kidneys, stick to no more than 1 lire of water per hour.
Anyone who has lived with chronic pain knows that it can be a harrowing experience, and it is often thought that high dosage pain medication is the only option for relief. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine may be just the thing to help ease pain and discomfort, in a completely drug-free environment.
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a variety of natural pain relief options that may assist you to regain your quality of life, and get back to doing the things you love.
Taditional Chinese Medicine looks at the underlying causes as well as the symptoms, and unlike many Western pain relief medications, the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine have a strong focus minimising harmful and unpleasant side effects.
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular among those who suffer from chronic pain, and is believed to help stimulate endorphins which counteract the pain, and promote neuroplasticity for more long-lasting effects.
In fact, there are even some top medical doctors in Australia who are now opting to use acupuncture in emergency departments to relieve acute pain.
Cupping and Gua Sha
Cupping is commonly used to treat pain in the back and shoulders, while Gua Sha works to alleviate chronic and acute pain by tracing the energy paths where the pain points are located.
Herbal Medicine practitioners take a holistic approach, and make recommend a combination of therapies based on your individual needs.
Make an appointment to see one of our highly skilled practitioners to find out more about how Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine may be able to help you to manage your chronic pain