Acupuncture is one of the most frequently used therapies in complementary and alternative medicine today. Originating in China thousands of years ago, acupuncture is rapidly becoming a viable alternative therapy for a myriad of conditions. Acupuncture utilizes needles inserted into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy or life force (referred to as qi or chi ).
A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology investigated the use of acupuncture on muscular strength, power, and endurance in athletes. Researchers tested 33 athletes, placed into 3 groups to receive either acupuncture, sham acupuncture and placebo laser acupuncture.
The results indicated that acupuncture treatment did improve strength as measured by researchers. Overall researchers concluded that a short and long term effect of acupuncture as an alternative treatment should be further investigated. This research supports the mind body approach to training and rehabilitating athletes by examining alternative modalities. Future research should be conducted and evaluated to assess whether or not theses strength gains could also enhance athletic performance.