When we train for athletic endeavors, we break our bodies and our muscles down with every running, lifting, leaping step. Each workout causes microtears to our muscles. We think that we’re stronger after a workout, but it’s actually when we’re resting that we grow stronger. While we sleep or sit quietly, our bodies rebuild themselves to be better and stronger.
But sometimes the tiredness and tightness from workouts lingers. You know you’re building strength, but you just can’t seem to tap into it.
This is where I have found acupuncture to be an invaluable tool. Acupuncture and cupping support and speed the recovery process. Treatments encourage circulation to the muscles where we most need it. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of endorphins to help manage pain and encourage even better rest. When I see Soleiana for athletic maintenance, I get the most out of my body when I’m training and maximize my improvement while I’m resting. I feel more energetic and more in tune with myself as I progress through a training plan. My rest days feel more restorative. Most encouraging, I can find the strength I’ve been building with each week instead of getting worn down and frustrated.
After my first set of regular maintenance visits for this purpose, I did notice the occasional, short-term side effect that I don’t experience with other self-care tactics like foam rolling or massage: Sometimes upon leaving Soleiana’s office I’d have temporary stiffness—even soreness—in the areas where I most needed the benefits of Chinese Medicine. It was always followed by complete relaxation, then feeling really strong, so I never worried about it. But since Soleiana is always so helpful in explaining my health and her treatments, I finally asked her what this short-term soreness meant.
She explained to me that acupuncture causes capillaries to open and improve circulation, which also cleanses the muscles of that familiar foe, lactic acid. The result of this flush is a sensation of sore, fatigued muscles faster than the natural process would allow. So the brief (and hour or two) soreness after a treatment is evidence that acupuncture truly facilitates—even speeds—the daily healing process athletes require.
When I train hard, I thank my body for taking me the places and paces we go by seeing Soleiana regularly for acupuncture and cupping.