The Blog of Minnesota Community Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Runners

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r650c650_acupuncture-kneeRunners at all levels will benefit from adding acupuncture to their running program.  Acupuncture stimulates the immune function for maintaining general health, it is very effective in relaxing the muscles and tendons in the body reducing pain and stiffness, and aids in reducing inflammation in the nervous system and joints.  This is useful in keeping you running, but it is also necessary when you experience an injury.

Many runners look to acupuncture after they’ve sustained an injury, however, acupuncture should be part of your regular training routine to avoid injuries. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Most of us are more familiar with the sympathetic nervous system often referred to as the “flight or fight” response stimulating the adrenals and other stress hormones. The parasympathetic nervous system is the “rest and digest” response of the body. This system is the “off” switch to the other’s “on” switch. Therefore acupuncture helps to reset the body to a more balanced state to maintain good health.

If an injury does occur it is best to receive acupuncture as quickly as possible so we can interrupt the body’s injury response and stop the over production of lactic acid, and inflammation and swelling, thereby getting you back running with fewer residual issues.

Acupuncture works well on soft tissue; muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves which are most of the issues that plague runners.  We treat back injuries, hips, knees and leg issues such as plantar fasciitis, pulled hamstrings, shin splints and ankle pain.

Consider adding acupuncture to your running program in order to maintain the good health that you’ve worked so hard to get, when starting a running program to avoid injuries, or before your event to get you ready and after to re-balance your system. Usually it is best to have acupuncture two times a month as regular maintenance, and once to twice a week when training for an event or just beginning a program. If you are injured you will need treatments two to three times a week until your pain decreases and then move to once a week until gone.

Acupuncture should be a part of your regular routine.  Just as you need to perform regular maintenance on your car, you can get the most out of your body if you are taking care of it.

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