How Acupuncture Can Help Your Surfing

by Kim Drolet, L.Ac.

At some point in your surfing adventures, you start having pain. Maybe you injured your ankle, wrist or neck catching a wave. Maybe your shoulders and neck ache from overuse. Or maybe you're just getting older. The bad news is that surfing, like all sports, puts wear and tear on your body that will result in pain.

The good news is that you don't have to live with pain. There are options besides suffering through it, taking over the counter medications, or getting on the road of stronger narcotic medications. Acupuncture is extremely effective at pain management, injury recovery, and strengthening your body's muscle and tendon system so you are able to withstand the beating you put your body through. The results: pain relief, less injuries, and shorter recovery times when you get injured.

What to Expect

Acupuncture Treatments last around 45 minutes and most people look forward to the relaxation and relief. Like other medical professionals, a licensed acupuncturist will ask you questions about your health. They may ask questions that seem unrelated to your problem, such as how you sleep, if you have allergies, digestion problems, or get sick often. Acupuncturists also do things that seem "odd", like look at your tongue, feel your pulse on both sides, and touch your feet and hands to examine temperature and other factors. They may recommend an herbal formula. They will probably give you some lifestyle or dietary advice for your particular condition and age.

In addition to the ultra-fine needles you hear so much about, there are many other techniques acupuncturists may use, all of which are safe and painless. Most even feel very good. These include Fire Cupping, Gua Sha, and special massage techniques.

If you are interested, definitely ask questions. If you could care less why it works and just want your pain to go away, that's OK too. Just have an open mind, let the Acupuncturist do their thing, and do your best to follow their recommendations.

Overall Health

It's also important to know that Acupuncture is helpful for more than just pain, because in every treatment, an Acupuncturist is affecting your whole body. Many problems surfers deal with can be treated and/or prevented with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine:

  • Catching colds often;
  • Digestion issues because of unsanitary water after it rains;
  • Feeling cold when others are warm;
  • Skin problems from sun and salt exposure.

Chinese medicine can be difficult to understand because the theories are not familiar to us. Maybe you have heard of Yin and Yang, or the 5 Elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. Maybe you've heard about energy, Qi, meridians or channels. The underlying dynamics of all those "words" are extensive, complicated and time-tested ways of analyzing health and disease. Luckily, you don't have to understand it to take advantage of its benefits. You don't have to "believe" in it, or even know anything about it. But, of course, if you are interested, you can ask your Acupuncturist, or the Almighty Google.

How Much Does It Cost?

Cost of treatment varies depending on many factors. Acupuncturists usually charge anywhere from $75.00 to $150.00 per session. Some acupuncturists take insurance, and many can offer discounts for multiple treatments. You can also check Groupon, Living Social or UT Deals for affordable first-time discounts from an Acupuncturist in your area.

by Kim Drolet, L.Ac.

Kim Drolet, L.Ac., is a Licensed Acupuncturist working in Imperial Beach California.

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