Research studies have confirmed that acupuncture can enhance athletic performance. One such study involved athletes running a 5000 meter course and then receiving acupuncture immediately afterwards. The participants of the study who received the acupuncture had demonstrated that their heart rate recovered more quickly than those who did not receive acupuncture.
In another study, it was confirmed athletes receiving acupuncture had higher maximum exercise capacity, lower heart rates and were able to perform better.
The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine also published the results of a study involving cyclists in 2008. Amazingly, the cyclists receiving acupuncture had a higher rating of perceived exertion (RPE) known as the Borg Scale. This test is used by coaches and physiologists to assess an athlete’s level of intensity during training sessions.
In addition to acupuncture being used to enhance athletic performance, acupuncture has of course been used for centuries to treat all types of sports injuries such as
A common technique used by acupuncturists known as cupping can reduce muscle spasms and increase blood circulation to help repair the injured body site. Chinese gold medallist Wang Qun is shown here with cupping marks. Though it might look traumatic and painful, cupping is actually quite relaxing and therapeutic.