Sports Medicine and TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is known and proved to enhance athletic performance, prevent injuries and treat pain, wounds and bruises. This type of treatment involves addressing the whole body including the internal organs, the musculoskeletal system and the psychological irritants involved with prolonged competitive environments.
Despite the emotional factors, the Traditional Chinese Medicine is also effective in treating performance impairment factors like the decrease in the immune system that results from over-training.
There are many sports clubs, pro athletes and sporting events that are using TCM as a form of strengthening athletic performance and increasing recovery times.
The use of acupuncture in sports medicine
Acupuncture can be used in treatments of injuries and musculoskeletal and constitutional imbalances, and it’s said to be a potent and powerful way for relieving muscle pain and spasm, as well as improving circulation to tense or injured tissue. Many practitioners agree that with regular treatments, there can be an improvement of the muscle tone and increased efficiency of the cardiovascular system, which can be a very important aspect for anyone involved in sports activities.
An acupuncture treatment at our practice offers the athlete and the active person many ways to complement their training program.
As experience has already shown, the most significant effect acupuncture has is through relaxation of the sympathetic and promoting the restorative (parasympathetic) nervous systems.
This has an influence on the cardiovascular function in two ways: locally, with the tissue being needled; and generally, at the heart and metabolic levels.
When the acupuncture needle goes into a particular point, there is a strong reflex release of endorphins which activates the dopaminergic system in the central nervous system. This is said to be the reason why this technique can be very good option for pain management, as well as the feeling of well-being.
The use of Cupping in Sports Medicine
There is quite a big number of clinical studies that are researching the effects the cupping therapy has on different pain conditions, common diseases and sports medicine in general.
It’s known that the suction of the cupping brings fresh blood and lymph flowing through fatigue and inflamed soft tissue, which helps the recovery of muscle and ligament strain. By creating a vacuum and negative pressure this therapy drains the excess fluids and toxins as well as lifts connective tissues and brings fresh blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles. Bu sucking up the congested blood, the circulation of lymph and blood is increased which helps in relieving painful muscle tension.
The use of Chinese herbs in Sports Medicine
Chinese herbs represent an entire medical system that shows effectiveness in treating a wide range of conditions but what’s especially potent, is their application in athletic performance and sports medicine. Nowadays more and more athletes are discovering that Chinese herbs can help speed the healing process, aid the prevention of injury and are best supplements for improving stamina. With the right combination of herbs, roots, and powders we can help you restore the balance in your body as well as increase your natural potential and physical capacity.
How can we help
Our renowned Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mia Hanh, with the help of effective treatments all in line with TCM, can help you in the following areas:
- Nutritional optimization and herbal supplementation
- Enhancement of performance and recovery time
- Injury rehabilitation and prevention
- Decrease of stress and performance anxiety
- Post-training recovery
TCM and world sports championships
- At the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, the famous American pole vaulter Kory Tarpenning used two different Chinese herb formulas that were rich in natural testosterone-like molecules, which improved his performance and avoided the feeling of being sedated.
- At the Chinese National Games held in 1993, nine contestants broke world records in running the 10,000-meter race. Because of the incredible time they achieved, many athletes and journalists around the world were in shock and disbelief and accused them of using steroids even though it was proven by many tests there was no abuse of these substances. The team coach, Ma Jun Ren, finally cleared everything up and explained that the athletes were using ‘cordyceps,’ a well-known Chinese herb that increases lung capacity, and credited the Chinese herb treatments for his team’s performance.
- At the 2008 Olympic games in China, the use of sports acupuncture was widely used and publicized as a successful and respected method for injury prevention and pain management. The World Health Organization promoted acupuncture to be an optimal tool for dealing with pain and injury while supporting optimal wellness.
- At the Rio De Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Michael Phelps yet again took the gold medal in 4x100m freestyle relay, but what sparked the most interest were the purple marks he had on his back and shoulders. It was then stated that Michael Phelps and the whole US swimming team are quite an enthusiast of the cupping therapy that helps pull blood to sore and injured areas to speed healing.