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!
Traditional Chinese Medicine has become increasingly popular with athletes all over the world, with acupuncture being the number one treatment of choice – but can it really affect physical endurance?
Recent studies show that acupuncture can boost athletic performance in several different ways, and regular treatments can actually improve an athlete’s ability to perform at a higher capacity for a longer period of time.
Reduces recovery time
One of the main reasons why acupuncture helps athletes to perform is because it can drastically reduce recovery time, allowing them to keep to a more intensive training schedule without risking injury.
Combats muscle fatigue
Another great reason why acupuncture can promote endurance is because it stimulates blood flow to the various parts of the body. In turn, this encourages muscles to repair at a faster rate and limits soreness an athlete may experience after training.
Improves oxygen transmission
As well as this, acupuncture also encourages a more efficient degree of oxygen transmission in the body. In order to perform at their best and for longer periods of time, athletes require a strong transmission of oxygen to their lungs, liver, and digestive system.
Aids in sleep
An additional benefit of acupuncture is that many recipients of the treatment report markedly improved sleep – which plays a critical role in the recovery process. Athletes require around 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep per night in order to perform at their peak
So, whether you’re an elite athlete or simply starting out, regular acupuncture treatments can make a real difference to your endurance levels and have you on your way to running a marathon in no time!
Practicing yoga offers a vast number of benefits to the body and mind, but did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can actually compliment your yoga routine?
Here’s how the two go hand in hand.
Heal injuries quickly
One of the most common reasons why we seek acupuncture is to help promote healing of injuries and remove nagging aches and pains. Should you injure yourself during yoga practice or some other form of physical activity, you may be required to take some time off, thus suspending your practice. However, with the help of a few acupuncture sessions, you could be back on the yoga mat before you know it.
Practicing yoga requires a great deal of balance and coordination, especially when you are undertaking some of the more complex poses or sequences. Studies show the acupuncture has the power to reprogram the pathways our internal pathways and improve the signals sent from our brain to our limbs. This in turn helps to improve our balance which helps us to maintain some of the more advanced moves in our yoga practice.
Acupuncture treatments offer an opportunity to rest, restore and let your system reset. By stimulating certain areas of the body, acupuncture treatments promote the smooth flow of natural functions and leave you feeling calm, rejuvenated and in an improved state. Many yoga devotees compare this sensation to the feel after savasana, the pose which you would normally conclude your yoga practice with.
Do you often find yourself tossing and turning, and unable to sleep at night?
Restless nights can leave us feeling drained and fatigued, and frequently feeling this way can have a harmful impact on our daily lives. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine practices can offer a number of natural remedies to help you get a good nights rest.
For those who suffer from insomnia, there is a range of different herbs can natural supplements that can encourage relaxation and help some much-need rest. Some of the most effective herbs include chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, hops, and lemon balm. The most simple way to consume these are by brewing them in tea, so consider making a nighttime cup of tea part of your regular routine.
Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia. Often, we find it difficult to switch off from the stresses of our everyday lives which in turn prevents us from relaxing into a restful sleep. While acupuncture is known to be one of the most effective ways to relieve stress and tension in our bodies, it can actually have an amazing effect on our emotional and mental stress as well.
A lack of physical activity throughout the day can have a harmful effect on our sleeping pattern – however this does not necessarily mean you need to exercise until the point of fatigue. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, to get the best nights sleep we must ensure that we are active within moderation. Consider taking up a gentle practice such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong to cultivate good postures, strong breathing techniques and bring balance back into your life.
For many people, exercise is something we simply don’t get enough of. With more and more people moving into office-based employment, our incidental exercise is on the decline and many of us are living increasingly sedentary lives.
However, physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, you could even say it’s a walk in the park!
Walking is a simple exercise that offers many great benefits to both the body and mind, and for the most part, it’s completely free. Here are just a few of the ways in which walking can improve your overall health and wellness.
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies show that when paired with a balanced diet, a brisk 30-minute walk once a day can be enough to help you maintain an ideal weight. Weight gain is often caused by an excess of calories that remain unused and are then stored in the body as fat. In it’s most simple form, walking burns calories, meaning it can burn excess body fat and prevent additional weight gain.
Prevent or manage various conditions
A lack of physical activity can really affect our health, and has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. By committing to regular walks and making them part of your everyday routine, you can really help manage your symptoms and even lower your risk of developing these conditions in the first place.
Strengthen your bones and muscles
When it comes to your body it’s true what they say, use it or lose it! A consistent lack of exercise will gradually cause your bones and muscles to weaken, particularly as you age. The good news is that a simple daily walk will combat against this. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, and while you might not realise it at the time, walking actually engages a large range of muscles and bones, making it the perfect full body activity.
Improve your mood
There’s nothing like a walk in the fresh air to give you an all-natural mood boost! Studies show that walking can decrease feelings of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as releasing endorphins which promote feelings of happiness.
With all these benefits and more – what’s not to love?