This article is part of Endurance Planet’s ultrarunning article series. If you have questions, comments or feedback about “Ultrarunners Can Treat Injuries Through Acupuncture”, please leave it below in the comments section…
Ask ultrarunners why, even with all the physical pain afterwards, they still continue to join extremely difficult marathons. You’ll get the same answer every single time – an ultrarunning experience wouldn’t be complete without all the aches and soreness.
Sometimes though, the bodily pains signal much deeper problems or injuries. And if a dedicated athlete is to continue with his or her ultramarathon endeavors, these injuries have to be treated timely and effectively. And one of the options available out there is acupuncture.
Is it really possible to treat sports injuries with acupuncture?
Time and again, it has been proven that this age-old practice can in fact successfully cure a wide range of health problems, musculoskeletal issues included. Plus, acupuncture cures the underlying cause of the injury, not just the manifestations of it. So athletes who undergo acupuncture not only have their chronic or acute ailments addressed, but they tend to perform better in their chosen sport afterwards because of an overall healthier body.
What can I expect during an acupuncture session?
An acupuncture session first starts out with a consultation wherein the practitioner checks the injuries so as to identify exactly which organs to treat. The number of needles to be utilized, the depth of needle insertion, the span of needle retention, and the number of follow-up sessions will all depend on the severity of the injury.
5 to 8 acupuncture needles may be used, but as many as 40 needles may be utilized to treat particularly severe conditions. Low-frequency electrical currents may also be applied onto the tip of inserted needles for further stimulation. Each treatment may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and weekly follow-up sessions may be required as well.
Acupuncture is dreaded by some because of the needle factor. And indeed, acupuncture used to be painful as thick and blunt needles were used back then. But thinner and sharper needles are the ones being utilized today so treatments are practically pain-free.
Acupuncture displays relatively quicker results too. An injury which requires 2 months of treatment with Western medicine, for example, can be cured by acupuncture in as little as 4 weeks.
How do I find the best acupuncturist out there?
Start your search for an acupuncturist by asking for referrals from friends, relatives, and fellow ultrarunners. Once you’ve created a shortlist of practitioners, talk to each and every one of them to ensure that they have all the licenses and certifications necessary.
Also, it would be best to settle for an acupuncturist who is trained in Sports Medicine as well. A professional who’s well-versed in both disciplines will implement an integrated approach to fully treat your injury and get you back to running in no time.
Do you have questions about acupuncture treatment, or what you’ve read so far? Do you have any ultrarunning pointers of your own to add? Please leave your feedback, comments and questions below, and we promise we’ll respond.