Acupuncture may aid recovery efforts

January 23, 2013

Topic: sports medicine

Acupuncture may aid recovery efforts

New sports medicine research brings to light the positive effect that acupuncture may have on exercise performance and recovery. The findings were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Acupuncture is a procedure in which a specialist will stimulate specific points on the surface of the body. The most common form of therapy uses thin, solid, metallic needles to penetrate the skin, which will then be manipulated by a specialists' hands or electric stimulation. In the U.S., millions of people receive acupuncture to help them manage chronic pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Australian researchers performed a systematic review using computerized databases and found four trials that they studied more closely. Their analysis revealed that there is some evidence that acupuncture enhances exercise performance and post-exercise recovery. However, more studies need to be conducted with a larger number of participants before these findings can be confirmed.

Recovery is an essential part to any sports training program in order for an individual to achieve the highest exercise performance. An athlete who recovers properly has the potential to reach higher training volumes and intensities while decreasing his or her likelihood of sustaining common sports injuries.

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