There are many different styles of acupuncture. Here in our clinic, we make a point to practice a variety of the different styles because not every method works for each patient. One style is called Trigger Point Acupuncture. This is where we actually get into the neural epicenter of the muscle and get it to let go. Often a muscle is tight and turned off or contracted. This can be due to overuse, injury, or general muscle imbalance. Getting into the muscle and getting it to let go with a hair thin needle, and a very slight and subtle movement, is extremely effective at treating pain and tension in tight muscles.
Trigger Point Acupuncture is really just encouraging the muscles to go from a state of being contracted, to relaxed. As we are treating a patient, we actually witness the muscle fisculate, or jump as it relaxes. When this happens, patients do not report pain, they just say that it feels weird. It is a strange sensation to have your muscles move involuntarily, but this is where the magic happens. Trigger Point Acupuncture provides incredible relief for patients who are experiencing low back pain, hip pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, knee pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and so many more syndromes. If you have questions about your pain or health, feel free to call us for a quick consult, we would be happy to speak with you honestly about your health condition and if we think we can help.
Your body is one giant tissue network. Your tissue ( muscles, tendons, ligaments etc.) forms and settles depending on how you move or do not move your body. If you sit on a couch all day or at a desk chair your tissue will become very good at sitting in a chair position. When you try to move your tissues in ways they are not use to (run, yoga,stretch) they goes through an adaptation period,you may experience tightness or soreness. This does not mean you should not move, and run, and be active! You may just need a little bit of manual manipulation after you get started to help you perform your best. The body tissues will get gunked up from being sedentary, holding onto stress, or from lack of stretching after bouts of movement/exercise. Foam rolling is a great way to un-gunk the tissues and release tension and knots and alleviate fatigue.
Position the foam roller on top of one leg. Begin by rolling from the top of the knees and over the quads. Maintain pressure throughout, and breathe evenly. After spending some time at the quads move to the posterior hips. You can sit on the foam roller with your hands at the sides for support. You can work on one side at a time here. Start at the glutes and roll down toward the back of the knee. Do this on both sides. From here you can move to the hip flexors. These get so gunked up! The space between the top of your quads and hip bone. Turn onto your belly with the foam roller placed into one side hip flexor. Apply pressure and roll back and forth slowly and evenly into the space. Repeat on the other side. To get into the low back/mid back place the roller at your low back with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to the back of your head interlaced to support the neck. Roll up and down while applying pressure. Feel free to move in different directions to break up any specific areas around the spine. From here you can place the foam roller right below your cervical spine at your shoulder blades and roll down the back toward your sacrum. Keep your fingers interlaced at your neck for support. As you roll down exhale deeply through your mouth to allow muscles to relax as you move over them. If at any point during foam rolling you feel sharp pain in an area, stop the movement and adjust the body or move to a different area.
By utilizing the foam roller for just a few minutes a day not only are you breaking up knots you are also bringing blood flow and nutrition into areas that need to recover. A test you can do before and after you use the foam roller is a simple full body roll down. Start standing with feet underneath the hips and roll down to touch your toes. Recognize how far you are able to reach and then once you have completed foam rolling, do this again. It is very likely you will see increased length in the body with just those few minutes of manipulation.
Everyone has by now heard of CrossFit, the strength and conditioning program that has taken the exercise world by storm. It’s a specific style of working out that uses a wide variety of exercises, including running, rowing, plyometrics, gymnastics, weight training and Olympic weightlifting techniques. It is a workout style well known for its pain, and also its camaraderie. Every block seems to have a CrossFit gym popping up, and we treat many patients who are in love with the sport. CrossFit gets you in great shape, but because of the intense nature of the workouts, it can also get you injured.
CrossFit coaches put enormous focus on teaching proper lifting form to their students. It is one of the cornerstones of the workouts, and key to getting good results. For people who disregard the importance of form, or do too much too fast, injury is often a common occurrence. For some, even if you power snatch and dead lift with impeccable form, old injuries and imbalances can come to the surface and demand attention.
The most common areas of injury we see in our CrossFit patients are the low back, shoulders, neck and knees. Many WODs (workout of the day) involve heavy weight or high repetition, and these areas are often affected because they involve transitional vertebrae (neck and low back) or joints with many types of range of motion (the knees and shoulders), which are more susceptible to injury. The great news it that acupuncture is an amazing tool for CrossFit athletes.
Acupuncture is one of the most effective and noninvasive ways to treat pain, and improve range of motion and functionality in a muscle group. We use traditional techniques to relieve pain and tension, as well as trigger point acupuncture to release targeted muscles. Rather then allowing an injury to linger and having to modify every workout, athletes can get treatment and correct the problem, preventing further imbalance in the muscles and overall body structure. It allows for faster recovery time, which lets you get back to doing the sport you love. We all know how much you would hate to miss a “filthy fifty”.
Whether you are a CrossFit beginner, or training for the games, acupuncture will help you get back into the box.