Olympians sporting large, round, red, cupping marks all over their bodies…
yes… it’s the Rio Olympics!
Acupuncture and it’s various modalities have been used by athletes for many years but this year it’s deservedly getting recognition as a remedy for sports related injuries and ailments. Chinese, American, Canadian and Australian athletes are all turning to Traditional Asian Medicine to support their bodies in gruelling training programmes and competition work.
The Australian swimmer and Olympic Gold medalist Daniel Kowalski says acupuncture was integral to maintaining his health whilst training for the Olympics, and has helped him recover from shoulder injuries, improved his sleep, fend off colds and flu, and enhanced his general well being.
US Bronze medalist and track-athlete Dee Dee Trotter received daily treatments from her local acupuncturist to help unlock the potential needed to win 3rd place in the 400-meter run and gold in the 4 x 400 meter relay at the 2012 London Olympic Games. According to Trotter, her regular acupuncture treatments played a key role in making these medals possible.
Acupuncture is not only used to enhance sporting performances and address injuries. Athletes are often passionate, driven and perfectionists by nature. This can lead to over-training which results in a complete exhaustion of the body. Regular treatment and temporarily stopping training can result in a good recovery.
Cupping Self Help
The great thing about cupping is that it’s easy – if it hurts then put a cup on it. Silicon suction cups are widely available for home use. They’re not as effective as fire cupping performed by a professional, but they’re very helpful. We use cupping to treat ‘Blood Stagnation’ – this simply means the blood is not flowing adequately due to injury or disease. Cupping increases blood flow to the damaged area and relaxes the muscles.
US gymnast Alex Naddour told USA Today that cupping was “…the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,” and added that it had saved him from “a lot of pain”.
You don’t have to be an Oympic athlete to benefit from regular acupuncture treatment. Many of my clients run marathons, train regularly in the gym, or teach yoga, pilates, Tai Qi etc. Acupuncture and cupping has helped all of them.