For a long time, alternative medicine has been used in conjunction with and as an alternative to modern medicine. Its popularity depends on its natural and non intrusive nature. Having originated
mainly in Asian countries, these practices have spread to other parts of the world and have garnered much appreciation. More and more people in western nations, like the United States, have
started using these practices to cure and prevent ailments. Due to its growing popularity, alternative medicine has found fans among athletes in the sports industry. These practices have helped
athletes cure sports injuries and improve their overall efficiency. Here are the 4 most famous alternative medical practices that have been known to be used by athletes.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice dating back 2000 years. The principle of acupuncture dictates the manipulation of a patient’s chi flow to cure ailments. Chi (qi) is a natural energy that resides within a person’s body. Practitioners insert thin needles into pressure points of a body to manipulate the chi flow. There are over 400 pressure points through which a practitioner can gain access to the chi flow channels of a body, known as meridians. Athletes undergo acupuncture treatments to cure pain resulting from sports injuries.
Massage therapy is a common practice used to cure pain and release muscle tensions in the body. It is mainly administered by chiropractors and other licensed practitioners. Practitioners use their hands to apply pressure on parts of the body that have developed muscle tensions. This pressure is applied in stretching motions to break adhesions that have formed between muscles. When administered by a licensed practitioner, massage therapy can improve the body’s functionality without any side effects. Athletes undergo this therapy on a regular basis to prevent immobility due to pain and cure disorders such as tennis elbow.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that was introduced to the west by Swami Vivekananda. It is a form of physical exercise and deep meditation technique that has been used by Indian monks for thousands of years. Yoga is known to improve blood circulation in the body and prevent symptoms of diabetes and asthma. It is used by people around the world to keep fit and improve health. The constant stretching and deep meditation required by yoga can prevent pain and stress. It is used by some athletes as part of their fitness and training regime.
Meditation is sometimes used in conjunction to yoga, but it is a standalone practice. Using slow breathing techniques, a person aims to achieve a peaceful state of mind. Meditation improves focus and reduces the effects of attention deficit disorder. It is known to decrease stress and depression along with curing insomnia. It can also regulate pain, asthma and high blood pressure. Individuals can practice this alone at home or as part of a group in a guided meditation exercise. More than 10% of the U.S. population has been known to practice meditation. With so many benefits to its name, meditation has also been used by some athletes to improve focus and reduce stress.
The alternative medical practices mentioned above are easy to perform and when practiced correctly, they cause no side effects. Athletes from different sports have greatly benefited from these alternative forms of medical practice.