Top athletes get acupuncture to boost sports performance and improve recovery.
For example, the 2014 Tour de France winner, Vincenzo Nibali had acupuncture before and after each day's racing, as did the rest of his Astana team. There is an interview with the acupuncturist here.
As well as helping the athletes with their performance and recovery, he treated their stomach complaints and joint pain.
A number of studies show the positive effect acupuncture has on sports performance. A review found that acupuncture had been demonstrated to be associated with increased muscular strength and power, and that the haemodynamic parameters were improved in endurance athletes (1); a study has a positive effect on pressure pain threshold, vertical jump, and isokinetic evaluation in athletes with induced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (2); and acupuncture was found to relieve pre-competition anxiety in athletes (3).
- Ahmedov, S. Ergogenic effect of acupuncture in sport and exercise: A brief review. JStrengthCondRes 24(5): 1421–1427, 2010
- Cardoso R; Lumini-Oliveira J; Santos MJ; Ramos B1; Machado J; Greten HJ. Effect of Acupuncture on delayed onset muscle soreness: series of case studies. Experimental Pathology and Health Sciences 2016;8 (2): 85-92
- Shi Shu, Ying Yuan,Yan-li You, Xiao-lu Qian, Wei Gu, Shuang Zhou Wrist-Ankle Acupuncture for Precompetition Nervous Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial 2017 Neuropsychiatry 7(6)