I recently read an interesting article in cycling weekly about Vincenzo Nibali, this summer’s Tour de France powerhouse. Apparently, he and his team mates have been using acupuncture as part of their training regime.
The article notes that as well as its use in healing injuries, can relieve muscle and joint pain, reducing inflammation, improve blood flow and also reduce psychological stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture is used in this way by a number of sportspeople of all levels to improve performance, help prevent injuries (or speed up recovery following an injury), and reduce stress. For instance, at the 2008 Olympics in China, acupuncture was readily available to all the athletes competing.
For world class athletes like Nibali, this can be the extra little edge that makes the difference between gold and silver – or for the rest of us, it could just make our sport a little safer and more enjoyable, while helping us to improve our skills at a faster rate.
And the mind/body link is particularly important in sports. As acupuncture can work on psychological and emotional levels as well as just physical, it can helps sportspeople to have more focus and concentration and not let worry and stress get in the way of a good performance. You could say, it helps you to ‘get in the zone’.
So if you play sports at any level, whether just for recreation or competitively, consider acupuncture as part of your training regime, and see if, like Nibali, it gives you the extra edge you’re looking for.
Click here for details of my UK (S.Wales and Bristol) acupuncture clinics (for sportspeople, and others!)