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The Olympics Bring Attention to Acupuncture for Athletes

The Summer 2008 Olympics are held in Beijing, China, in the country where acupuncture originated thousands of years ago. Perhaps it is no surprise then that this ancient practice is gaining further interest and media attention now that China is the host of a world-class athletic event. The Olympic Village in Beijing is offering free acupuncture to athletes and officials of the games - making it the first Olympic Village in history to do so. With the presence of the Olympics in China, acupuncture is finally gaining the recognition it deserves as a remedy for sports ailments.

Especially when combined with Western therapy, there is little that acupuncture cannot do to help improve sports injuries. Acupuncture can quickly lessen inflammation, as well as to release pressure and improve blood circulation. Long used for the relief of chronic pain, acupuncture not only provides instant relief from painful injuries, but can also accelerate the healing process by reducing swelling, boosting the immune system, and providing energy and serenity to the patient. Acupuncture has been found to be especially effective in treating tendon and ligament sprains, which are common injuries for athletes.

One of the differences between Chinese medicine and its Western counterpart is that an Oriental medicine diagnosis always focuses on the root of the problem, rather than merely symptoms of the problem. Chinese medicine focuses on the athlete and the injury; in the West, treatment is usually more geared towards just the injury. By centering on the problem's origins, more complex issues can be resolved and a complete sense of well-being can be achieved through acupuncture. A traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis will include taking the athlete's history of past injuries into account as well as other health issues, sleeping and eating patterns, and the strength of various systems throughout his or her body.

Another important draw that acupuncture holds for athletes is the fact that it goes above and beyond merely alleviating an injury. Consistent acupuncture treatments can improve performance and provide more energy. Treatments can support the body during training, help to build muscle mass, promote liver glycogen storage, and to lend the body those bursts of energy that are so integral to a great performance.

For more information on how acupuncture can improve physical performance, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit www.PacificCollege.edu 

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