As many of you know we have an acupuncturist come to the gym every other Monday to treat members in our Therapy Room. “AcuFX on our big calendar inside the door.”
We’ve asked Jen Redding our Acupuncturist to do a guest blog post for us explaining some of the benefits of acupuncture for those who maybe don’t understand what it is, or are sitting on the fence about trying it.
We all come to the gym and train hard, but do we put as much care into our recovery as we do into our training?
Acupuncture and CrossFit
We’ve all been there…OUCH!! A super duper crazy WOD! You killed it, PB’d everything you did, amazing!! On top of the world, ready to get a good meal and off to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. But, no! Body starts to cool down, muscles start realizing what they just did, and nooooooo!! You can’t get out of the car. Your body can’t move, the muscles are fatigued, even your pinky finger won’t budge. What’s happening and why? You ate well, you stretched (a bit), you feel hydrated and yet you are in pain. Acupuncture to the rescue!! It’s like magic because of how quickly it works and without medications, shots, or surgery. Often, results are seen immediately. I look at it as 90% science, anatomy, and physiology, and 10% magic. It is both an art and science that the body loves. The most common question that I’m asked is: “Does it really work?” Yes. Acupuncture really works, or I wouldn’t do it! Duh!
So, what is acupuncture? Acupuncture is the insertion of fine stainless steel needles into the body for the purpose of pain relief and so much more. Examples: alcohol dependence, angina pectoris, ankle sprain, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, bell’s palsy, traumatic brain injury/concussions, carpal tunnel syndrome, cardiac arrhythmias, constipation, depression, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, dry eye, dysmenorrhoea, enuresis, endometriosis, epilepsy,erectile dysfunction, hypertension, glaucoma, gynaecological conditions (specifically fertility and nausea/vomiting), hot flashes, insomnia, induction of childbirth, labour pain, irritable bowel syndrome, lumbar spinal stenosis, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, myopia, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, smoking cessation, stress urinary incontinence, stroke rehabilitation, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), tennis elbow, tinnitus, uterine fibroids, vascular dementia, whiplash and on and on and on!!
It’s a system that came to us from China about 2,000 years ago. It has been practiced in China for over 4,000 years, but the written records only date it back to the 2,000-year mark. Regardless of the confusion about the start date, we know that it’s been around a long time.
Ok, back to the point, CrossFit has built up a reputation for causing a high rate of injury among participants. This style of training (and sport) is relatively new in comparison and demands a high level of output from its athletes, but does it truly lead to a higher incidence of injury? Tough question, and the answer could be YES if your not treating the body right, giving it what it needs, and repairing what needs to be repaired. That’s where acupuncture can help. It’s all about balance, and if the body is off balance then issues can arise. Muscle cramps, extreme fatigue, lack of ‘get up and go’ and general injuries.
Luckily, the treatment of muscle pain is acupunctures specialty. In my opinion, acupuncture really should be a person’s first choice for muscle pain. (True True!). People often overlook this very simple and effective therapy when it could provide the relief they are looking for.
Acupuncture treats muscle pain through a variety of ways, the most direct being a needle inserted into the body and the body releases chemicals called Endorphins. Heard of a runner’s high? Yep, same thing! Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, and they help you feel relaxed, alert, and mobile. This is the body’s natural method of killing pain, which can lead to less pain killing pills and maybe even deleting them entirely from your system.
Releasing endorphins does more than just mask the pain. The relief from the endorphins helps you to relax the entire body. Amazing!
Acupuncture can also help if the pain is the result of a tight muscle or some tissue between muscles sticking together (a fascial adhesion). In this case, a needle is inserted directly into the trigger point or place of ‘pain’ to help resolve the problem. Acupuncture can also work to prevent damage from overuse or repetitive strain…Yes, its true! Keeps you balanced and ready for the next workout.
Lastly, acupuncture helps to bring fresh blood to an area of pain. The body engages the immune system against the foreign object (the needle) that has just entered it, and the side effect of this is that body area will receive fresh powerful nutrients. This to can speed the healing and recovery of the tissue that is damaged. Like, torn tendons, or cartilage.
Your Favourite AcuPunk,
For those interested, Jen is back in the gym with available appointments this coming Monday, October 3rd. If interested in booking please chat with Jen or Steph.