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Updated by Fusion 360 on Oct 27, 2014
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Acupressure For Runners

Acupressure is the application of pressure to specific places on the body. Many believe that applying pressure to the body can prevent injuries that are associated with running and training. Acupressure is also known as acupuncture, a technique that uses thin needles to break the skin’s surface. Although acupressure is growing in popularity, many individuals are unfamiliar with the practice. It is essential for runners to understand how acupressure works before adding it to their training routine.

The Beginning

Acupressure is an Asian bodywork therapy and is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, individuals argue that each person has a vital energy source called Qi. Furthermore, in order to achieve perfect health, practitioners of acupressure argue that an individual’s Qi must be balanced.

Types of Points

Generally, there are thought to be two types of acupressure points: trigger points and local points. Trigger points relieve pain in a part of the body that is distant from the original point of contact. Local points resolve tension in the area of original contact.

Meridians

Individuals who believe in acupressure state that meridians are pathways that connect acupressure points to each other. Meridians are also thought to attach individuals to a universal life energy.

How it’s Done

Individuals who provide acupressure treatment use their hands, feet and elbows to apply pressure to a client’s body. Some practitioners also use special devices during their acupressure treatments. Normally, acupressure is conducted on a soft, massage like table. Due to its calming nature, many athletes receive acupuncture after finishing a running or training workout.

Common Points

Although there are thought to be hundreds of acupuncture points on the body, some are more common than others. A very common insert point is in between the thumb and the forefinger. This point is thought to correspond with the large intestine. Another common point is in between an individual’s big and second toe. This point is believed to be connected to the liver.

For runners, the most common trigger points are tied to muscles that can cause knee pain. Generally, practitioners will focus on individual’s quadriceps, which are often harmed during running. Individuals who experience inner knee pain when training often receive treatments in trigger points on their vastus medialis, a muscle located in the middle of the thigh. Running that causes pain on the outer knee is often treated thorough the vastus lateralis, a muscle on the outside of the thigh.

Ailments Treated by Acupressure

Although there is not a large amount of research on acupressure, there are some health problems that appear to improve with acupressure. Several studies argue that wrist acupressure is an effective way to prevent or treat nausea. Other studies argue that acupressure is helpful for patients with cancer because it can reduce stress and relieve pain.

Overall, acupressure is known as a very safe practice. However, individuals must ensure that their acupressure practitioner is licensed and certified to practice. Furthermore, it is always wise for individuals to consult their doctor before trying any new therapy.

Selecting an Practitioner

Individuals who want to enhance their training or running through acupressure should begin by looking for practitioners online. It is also a sound idea to get personal recommendations from friends or family who have visited an acupuncturist in the past.

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Mackenzie Martin writes for Mettis Trainer. She is a writer at Fusion 360, an advertising agency in Utah. Find her on Google+.

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