Exercise is a crucial part of everyday life. Whether you opt for a brisk 15-minute walk or an intensive 4-hour powerlifting session, dedicating time to physical activity is one of the day’s most important endeavors. And, on many days, it proves to be the single most significant accomplishment.
When I see clients at Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, one of the most common questions I get asked is: When should I exercise? Before acupuncture or after acupuncture? Or should I exercise at all? In this article, we’ll thoroughly examine this set of (super popular) questions. We’ll delve into the role of exercise and acupuncture, exploring this dynamic relationship and how you can get into the best shape of your life by using the two together. Let’s get into it.
Exercise and Acupuncture
So, the question is, “Can I exercise on a day when I have acupuncture?” The answer is “YES,” but there are a lot of things to consider.
When I was treating sprinters for shin splints who were training for the olympics, they were coming in mid day after their early training runs, so that they could excel in their afternoon training sessions.
When I was treating professional soccer players, they were coming in for treatment after their training for the day.
When I was treating a group of fitness instructors they were coming in between classes because that was the only time they had.
That being said, professional level athletes have different requirements. For the other 95% of us my advice is if you are going to workout hard do it BEFORE you come in for treatment.
Before or After
I tell my patients, if you are coming in before treatment for leg pain we do the manual bodywork, we do the needling and then get things flowing with traction. This is a workout. The muscles will be fatigued after. So you cannot go and do another intense leg day workout. It would be the equivalent of doing 4 rounds of heavy squats, going to work and then doing the same thing again. You would cause more problems then you would build strength. Fatigued muscles get injured more easily.
Go for a Walk
After acupuncture I tell all of my patients to go for a walk, nothing major just get the blood flowing. This will help with any post treatment soreness. Then there are some patients who I know will go workout anyway, and for those people I tell them at least do not work out the same area we just treated.
A General Rule
General rule I give people is, for at least 2 hours post treatment do not do anything strenuous. If after 2 hours you have no residual soreness then you can resume moderate exercise so long as it doesn’t tax the tissues we were treating. The next day after a treatment if you are not still dealing with aches or soreness then it is ok to resume your daily workout routine. Again, I would highly advise you to have a discussion with me first.
If we are treating your bad knee that always gets worse after tennis. I might tell you, let’s get 2-4 treatments in before you go back on the court. Work the exercises I give you. They will test the muscles we are repairing in the precise way we need to build them up so you can confidently get back to doing what you love.
If you have bad hips that flare up every time you bike, I will tell you something similar to the person in the case of the bad knee. But after 2 or so treatments let’s talk about your progress because, resuming your workout and exercise routine is the goal, we just have to be calculated about it.
I for sure want you to test things as we go through treatments so I can address any potential issues that may arise. This is how we will get you back on the court or in the gym. There is no one set of rules that will work for every situation so I advise people to keep an open dialog during treatment so that I can get you back to doing what you love as fast and confidently as possible.
How Can Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center Help?
Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center gives you world class diagnosis coupled with acupuncture plus cutting-edge hands on treatment to quickly ease your pain. Once your pain levels are down I will guide you through a graduated movement strategy so you don’t have to keep coming back for the same issues. We can also discuss proper warm-up techniques, exercises, and stretches you can do at home before and after physical activity. At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, I will piece the parts of your story together using our unique assessment that looks at your body as one. Here is how I do it.
- Discussion: I will investigate the cause of your problem and explain it in simple terms.
- Assessment: This will reveal the underlying dysfunction(s) and show why you are suffering from your pain.
- Treatment: I will ease your symptoms quickly using acupuncture and other hands-on techniques that quickly relieve your pain and improve function.
- Rehab: I will give you simple movements that you easily can fit into your busy day to improve recovery and give lasting relief. Your graduated movement strategy and pain treatments continue as needed to help you build your confidence in your body again so you can quickly get back to thoughtless, fearless, movement. Through this phase of treatment, I can add to the rehabilitation by focusing on specific things like working on speed, agility, flexibility, or strength.
- Freedom: I plan to make you so happy that you’ll actively tell your friends and family about us. You see, I have built our clinic on word of mouth referrals and I expect my clients to be so happy with the results that they tell their friends and family about me, so they too can get the help they need.