Oftentimes individuals will not think to seek out an acupuncturist until they are actively injured or in pain. While this is a great place to start, we’re missing out on all the other benefits acupuncture has to offer outside of pain management.
For the athlete/adventurer/weekend warrior…
Acupuncture can be used to make sure you are “firing on all cylinders”. Using a series of muscle tests and range of motion screens, we can identify areas that are inhibited/weak or restricted in movement. Once these imbalances are found, acupuncture is used to stimulate muscles that are under-active, and release muscles that have too much tension. When these areas are brought into balance, athletic activities and daily tasks should feel stronger, smoother, and more stable.
For the “workaholic” or stressed out individual…
Acupuncture can be an amazing tool to help downregulate the nervous system and bring calmness to the mind. Feelings of stress come with a host of unwanted symptoms such as mental restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, digestive disturbance, and faulty breathing mechanics. What becomes even trickier is that these side effects tend to further perpetuate feelings of stress. While acupuncture can not magically eliminate stressors from your life, it does have the ability to impact how you react to stressful events.
For the fatigued, low-energy individual…
Lastly, acupuncture can be highly beneficial for those that experience low energy or fatigue. For this type of patient it will not be a “quick fix” but rather one piece of the larger plan to bring energy up. Other factors that the patient must manage on their own are proper sleep hygiene, regular exercise, stress management/meditation, and diet.
A regular schedule can help
Acupuncture has some benefits to offer every individual. Whether it be muscle tension or something more complex, regular acupuncture combined with simple lifestyle modifications can make you feel better than you ever thought possible. Having a regular, standing appointment each month or even bi-weekly can be a great way to stay at your best, no matter what your goals maybe.
Every time I sit down with a patient we uncover something that needs attention even if they didn’t come in with anything in particular in mind. The days can fly by and, without intention, several months have gone by without an acupuncture visit. Creating a standing appointment ensures you never miss a beat.
Author Adam Gawlak is a Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc) and personal trainer (CSCS). His specialities include sports medicine acupuncture, motor point acupuncture, trigger point needling and traditional Chinese medicine, along with strength training, athletic performance, and corrective exercise.