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!
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.
From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, feeling fatigued, run-down or being prone to colds and flus is likely to be due to an imbalance in the “Qi” – the body’s circulating life force. It is believed that many people suffer from an imbalance in their “Defensive Qi”, causing a lack of resistance to illness due to a weakened immune system. Imbalances of the Defensive Qi are often caused by stress, illness or malnutrition.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the focus is not so much strengthening the immune system specifically, but targeting the body as a whole to encourage the immune system to function at its best.
In order to boost your immune system and maintain optimal health and wellbeing, individuals should implement the following strategies and tips where possible.
Chinese herbs have been proven to contain immunity-enhancing effects. Adaptogenic herbs are believed to be the best, as these plants will react to your body. For example, if your immune system is reacting too strongly, these herbs will restore balance. Conversely, if your immune system has been weakened, adaptogenic herbs will provide strength. Some of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs are believed to be Ginseng, Astragalus and Amachazuru.
As many people know, stress hormones will suppress the immune system and put extra pressure on the human body. When the immune system is weakened, an individual is more likely to suffer from ailments such as the common cold, flu and other viruses. Additionally, when the body’s immune system is weakened, it will take significantly longer to recover from sicknesses.
In order to destress, you should look towards the things you find to be calming – perhaps exercise, meditation, mindfulness, massage or acupuncture. Acupuncture is believed to beneficial towards alleviating stress as it works to correct imbalances within the body, essentially “re-training” the body to function in a more optimal manner. Some people may also find it calming to partake in Traditional Chinese practices such as cupping or scrubbing.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining your health. Sleep deprivation has been proven to lower the production of critical antibodies needed to fight infection. When you are lacking a regular, high-quality sleeping pattern, the chemicals produced by your immune system that are designed to fight infection and illness will be significantly weakened.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation (this is considered to be less than seven hours per night) will triple one’s chances of becoming sick with a common cold or flu virus. By allowing yourself adequate rest and practicing regular sleep patterns, you will improve not only your energy levels and emotional mindset, but you will significantly increase your immune function and overall health.
With the New Year upon us, there is no better time than the present to refresh your health and wellness regime.
Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, these four healthy habits help you on the way to achieving your optimal health and will have you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Consider a detox diet
Have you overindulged in the festivities this holiday season? Too much food and drink can have us feeling sluggish and bloated, and ultimately our bodies will not be running at their best.
A simple detox can be a great way to cleanse the system and help get you back on track.
Spend some time outdoors
Fresh air is important, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine time spent outdoors is considered to help build up our Qi or energy.
Many people also find spending time outdoors to be highly relaxing, but be mindful not to spend too much time in periods of peak UV rays.
Gradually build your exercise routine
The benefits of keeping active are highly regarded throughout Traditional Chinese Medicine, however it’s important to start out slowly.
Jumping straight into a strenuous exercise program can increase your risk of injury, and can be difficult to maintain.
Get back into a sleep pattern
Our sleep affects many areas of our health, but as we take time out from our regular routines it’s easy to fall out of our normal sleeping patterns – as many of us take the opportunity to stay out later.
Work out what is the most practical sleep period for you and set an intention to stick to it. Before long you’ll find it easier to fall asleep as well as to rise in the morning.