Athletic Performance and Recovery with Acupuncture

Test of metal Squamish With spring just around the corner, Squamish and Whistler are full of a vast assortment of competitive and participatory athletic events – from The Test of Metal, Squamish 50, Coast Mountain Trail Series, Tough Mudder, GranFondo and much more.

There is a lot of dedication and hard work to achieve optimal athletic performance.  Injuries, muscle tightness, muscle or joint instabilities, pain, fatigue or other health issues can interfere with one’s peak performance.  Acupuncture has long been recognized for its ability to treat pain, and should be included as a complement to conventional pain management programs.

Rest and recovery are essential components to any training program.  Achieving an appropriate balance between training, competition stress and recovery is important in maximizing the performance of athletes.  Elite and professional level training is a 2 sided coin; effort and recovery.  There is a reason why elite athletes and pros wear heart rate monitors and other data sensors during and post training.  This technology measures cumulative training loads so recovery can be properly assessed.  Once you go beyond a certain point in training there is simply no added benefit.  Recovery and restoration must take place before achieving further performance gains.  This is where acupuncture can add value.

GranFondo Acupuncture can help enhance between-training recovery in elite athletes and boost performance.  Acupuncture has been shown to have the ability to enhance the rate of blood lactate removal following high intensity exercise and to reduce the severity and duration of exercise induced muscle injury and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  Acupuncture is also associated with other potentially important factors related to recovery, such as the rate of post-exercise glycogen synthesis, the role of inflammation in recovery and adaptation process.

Muscle stiffness occurs frequently after various physical activities.  Helping athletes recover from muscle fatigue or soreness is essential to getting back in the game faster.  Acupuncture is proven to be effective in reducing post exercise stiffness and pain.

One study was done on elite university male basketball players.  The result of the study showed acupuncture has significantly lowered the player’s heart rate max, VO2 max and blood lactic acid compared to the 2 groups that didn’t receive acupuncture.  A study done from Birinder Singh Cheema and colleagues (University of Western Sydney) found that acupuncture applied during exercise exerted significant beneficial effects in peak power output, heart rate and blood pressure.  The study also assessed recovery from aerobic exercise and found significant improvements in blood lactate levels, consumption of oxygen and heart rate following acupuncture.

Whether you need to address inflammation, muscle fatigue or soreness, injuries, boost your recovery or take your athletic performance to the next level; it’s no surprise more and more athletes are turning to acupuncture. Acupuncture is a means to enhance exercise performance and post exercise recovery for all forms of athletes.

Book your post training treatment today as spaces are limited. Contact us for more information on post training package specials.

About Katherine Smyth

Katherine Smyth, is a registered Acupuncturist with the CTCMA, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and counselor and owner of Squamish Mountain Medicine. Squamish Mountain Medicine is an alternative medicine clinic helping people live pain free without the use of prescription drugs. Squamish Mountain Medicine provides natural health options to people of all ages, with a specialty in pain, injuries, stress, depression & anxiety, headaches, digestive issues, women’s health, fertility and pregnancy care. Kat is a proud part of the integrative team of practitioners at Reach Physiotherapy Clinic in Squamish, British Columbia. To book an appointment or for more info go to

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