Keeping your Body Healthy with Physical Activity Recovery
Possibly one of the most helpful treatments in muscle tension and recovery is…needles? We know it may not sound pleasant as most people do not enjoy the sight of a needle, let alone being poked with one, but the century old therapy of Acupuncture is becoming more popular in treating those who stay active.
To understand Acupuncture, you have to understand your body. Your body is a collection of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, organs and nerves. Each has a unique task and helps the body function efficiently as a whole. Every structure counts, but when push comes to shove, your nerves are arguably the most influential structures in the body. The nervous system controls everything including allowing you to bike, run, swim, play sports, and experience pain, pleasure, happiness and despair.
Acupuncture is a series of small needles inserted to specific points along the body that create micro pulses to reduce pain and promote healing. There are also various types of acupuncture including electro-acupuncture which can provide a more intense pulsing and healing sensation. When an acupuncture needle is inserted through the skin, it allows the blood vessels to immediately open up and increase the blood flow. Muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons thrive off of good blood flow and can bounce back from hard training or accelerate injury healing when they get a healthy blood supply.
Acupuncture also causes the release of B-endorphin, Met-enkephalins and other pain-reducing molecules called neurotransmitters. These natural bodily substances help reduce pain and anxiety throughout the area and body overall.
Who can Acupuncture Help?
In addition to those who experience chronic pain, acupuncture can be beneficial for athletes, those with a sports injury, and those who continually stay active as they age. Now, if needles are something you are deathly afraid of, then this may not be the best option for you, but if needles don’t bother you and you want to explore ways to promote optimal performance, reduce inflammation/pain, and restore balance in the nervous system, then acupuncture could be a helpful outlet for you. Most people need at least 4-6 treatments prior to determining if it is an effective therapy for them and worth the cost benefit. Treatments are typically 30-45 minute sessions and there are little to no restrictions afterwards.
In terms of coverage, since acupuncture is a holistic medicinal approach, the only insurance that currently covers acupuncture is Medicare. While more may cover it in the future as more research progresses and the need is there, the out of pocket cost for a session at our office is $150.
So, yes, needles might just be the way to help reduce your physical activity associated with pain or injury, and promote faster recovery to stay mobile and active as you age!