Yes! Acupuncture can be used to heal from injuries, decrease recovery time, and enhance rest time. There can also be bonus side effects such as improved digestion and sleep–both of which lead to better overall health and wellness.
Acupuncture activates your body’s own healing response which are responsible for the release of your natural pain relieving hormones while simultaneously increasing blood flow to the affected area to promote further healing. This reaction not only triggers a local effect to the injured tissues, but also a systemic anti-inflammatory effect through the whole body that can last two to three days; healing tissues throughout the body. In addition to acupuncture, other common Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques can help keep your body in top shape include tuina (massage) and cupping therapy.
From the classical textbook (of the Huang Di Nei Jing) comes a common Chinese saying: “without free flow, there is pain; with free flow, there is no pain.” This statement embodies the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to treating pain and injuries.
Essentially, what it means is that if everything (blood, qi) is flowing in the body without issues, you will not experience pain. However, if there is an obstruction–whether complete or partial, physical or energetic (which does not allow the proper flow)–pain will result.
Healing the underlying injury as opposed to masking pain (with painkillers) and potentially causing further injury is imperative for long term athletic success. You don’t need to be injured to benefit from an acupuncture treatment; in fact, maintenance of a healthy body is just as important as treatment of an injured one.
– Anita, New York Marathoner