With Ironman just around the corner, triathletes are in their last-ditch efforts to increase their endurance and delay "the wall." During this time, and while tapering training, many have learned that acupuncture in a couple of specific points allows them to increase their endurance while delaying their muscle fatigue point. These treatments, combined with care for any health or physical issue that may be occurring, decrease recovery time and allow the triathlete to perform longer without fatigue. Recovery is a key at this point in training to prevent injury and increase aerobic capacity.
Athletes that have acupuncture and cupping done weekly, if not twice weekly, during the last six weeks prior to race day report better stamina and less post-workout muscle fatigue. They are able to go longer, harder and faster than when they did not have acupuncture done.
Research is now substantiating those anecdotal claims stated by athletes. Two research articles were published in the last few years documenting the effects of acupuncture on decreasing muscle fatigue and improving running times and pulse rates. In one article, the group receiving acupuncture's point of muscle fatigue was delayed significantly over the non-acupuncture group and control group. The results demonstrated that by treating two simple points, the endurance of the muscle group tested was far superior to the group with no treatment. This shows that acupuncture can and does delay the onset of muscle fatigue so an athlete can perform longer without fatigue.
The other article looked at running times at 5000 meters at 75 percent maximum pulse rate. It compared three groups: control, placebo and treatment. The group with acupuncture showed improved running times each run (hence faster runs), improved heart rate recovery (faster return to normal heart rate), and overall recovery.
These articles show something that acupuncture has shown for centuries: endurance and recovery improves with its use. For my athletes that have acupuncture, their recovery times improve and they feel better while training than without it. If you are wanting that specific edge that really does work, get Acupuncture!
Jerry Lee Bailey II, BAA, DC, CAc, FIAMA, MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Chiropractic Physician, Acupuncturist and Functional Nutrition. Visit him at Lakeside Holistic Health, PLLC at 518 N. Fourth St. in Coeur d'Alene (208) 758-0568, or 21651 E. Country Vista Drive, Ste F., in Liberty Lake, (509) 385-0218.