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Can Acupuncture Improve Optimal Performance For Athletes?


With the Olympics here it is a matter of real importance for athletes and all serious sports people to achieve their maximum state of fitness, health, well being and performance.

The rules are so tight on drugs that it is really interesting to see that there are studies completed using acupuncture to prove that it can improve an athletes ability to perform without side effects.

The particular studies I am writing about is to do with measuring the VO2max. This refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. In short it is a measure of fitness and aerobic maximum. The first study was carried out in Germany(1) and it showed that the group using acupuncture showed significant increase in their VO2max. The second study is on the entirely different subject; Polycystic Ovary syndrome by Dr Elisabet Steiner-Victorin in Gothenburg University Sweden(2).

She studied two PCOS groups to improve ovulation. One group having acupuncture only and the other using exercise only. The acupuncture group VO2max increased by 13% and this is without any set exercise regime prescribed for the acupuncture only group. This seriously suggests the use of acupuncture for the serious athlete not only for the use of preventing and treating injuries that is well known but to be now part of their serious training regime they undertake to achieve their optimal performance.

Written by Suzanne Cafferky

  2. REF; Jedel E et al. Am J physiol Nedcrinol Metab 2011 Jan;300(1):E37-4

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