Matt Maneggia, owner of Connecticut Family Acupuncture, treats a runner with acupuncture to reduce inflammation and increase blood oxygen levels which helps marathoners run faster and longer. (contributed photo)
WEST HARTFORD, CT - As Hartford Marathon runners rejoice in their accomplishment last weekend, many already have their eyes on the next long distance race. For a true competitive edge, Matt Maneggia, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Connecticut Family Acupuncture, says look no further than the tip of a needle.
“Running marathons is obviously very taxing on the human body and acupuncture is an ideal natural therapy for runners,” said Maneggia. “Acupuncture simply helps the body operate at its optimum potential. It can increase blood oxygen levels which helps marathoners run faster and longer.”
Maneggia further explains acupuncture also excels at opening up capillaries, delivering all of that freshly oxygenated blood more fully to every muscle. This can help muscle fibers move more smoothly, reducing the tension and tightness that result from over-exertion.
To be in prime shape before a marathon, Maneggia recommends treatment once a week starting as early as three months before race day. The relaxing treatments can also relieve stress to improve concentration and visualization.
For those looking to speed recovery time between races, acupuncture can combat the microscopic muscle tears, joint pain, and tightness in the tissues that connect bone to muscle. When running a marathon distance, the body recruits every single type of muscle fiber. It uses up a lot of blood and almost all of the carbohydrate energy supplies stored in the muscles and blood.
“By increasing circulation, all of the lactic acid can be more efficiently removed from the body, said Maneggia. “Acupuncture has a major anti-inflammatory effect in general, so by reducing inflammation, acupuncture helps runners recover more quickly and get back out on the course.”
Other benefits include releasing endorphins for pain relief, while boosting the immune system that is compromised for several months after running a marathon. Immediately after a race, within a few days, Connecticut Family Acupuncture can help athletes recover their energy more quickly and eliminate fatigue.
The practice also utilizes a number of Chinese herbal interventions that can help runners, both before and after a race. Many of these herbal treatments are used by Chinese athletes for the Olympics and other international competitions.
Additionally, cupping is another Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy that the practice uses to help increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and speed recovery. Many people in U.S. became aware of cupping therapy during last year's summer Olympics as Michael Phelps and other swimmers were seen covered in reddish-purple circular bruises.
For those who have suffered an injury, acupuncture stimulates the body’s own healing power. Pulled muscles (hamstrings in particular), stress fractures, and foot problems like plantar fasciitis, are the most common issues runners seek treatment for. An injury is treated more aggressively and more short-term - perhaps 2 or 3 treatments per week for a couple of weeks.
“One of our acupuncturists is an avid runner, so we now have dozens of runners coming in each month requesting the ideal combination of therapies that we offer,” said Maneggia. “Once runners discover the amazing benefits of acupuncture, they rely on it as a crucial piece of their training regimen.”
Since 2007, Connecticut Family Acupuncture has utilized acupuncture, TCM work, and cupping to help thousands of people realize their optimum health naturally, without the use of pharmaceutical or surgical interventions. All practitioners exceed state and national requirements for licensure in acupuncture combined with an extensive knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Nationally certified by the NCCAOM and licensed by the CT Department of Public Health. Two locations: West Hartford Acupuncture at 173 Oakwood Avenue in West Hartford and 1212 Boston Turnpike in Bolton. To schedule a FREE 20 minute consultation, call 860.809.1125 or visit www.ctfamilyacupuncture.com.