Acupuncture stimulation enhances the recovery ability of elite basketball athletes. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of acupuncture stimulation on recovery ability of male elite basketball athletes.
Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(3):471-81. PMID: 19606508
Developing effective methods for helping athletes recover from muscle fatigue is deemed essential, particularly on the eves' important competitions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of acupuncture stimulation on athletes' recovery abilities. Subjects were selected from 30 male elite university basketball players who were randomly assigned to 3 groups: acupuncture group, sham group, and normal (control) group, each containing 10 subjects. Acupuncture was carried out on each athlete in acupuncture group at the Neiguan (PC6) and Zusanli (ST36) acupoints, beginning at 15 min prior to exercise and continuing until exhaustion of the subject. Similar acupuncture was also carried out on each athlete in the sham group but the positions were 1 cm away from the PC6 and ST36 acupoints. No acupuncture was conducted on the athletes in the normal group. During the experiments, each subject performed separate runs on the treadmill. The data of heart rate (HR(max)), oxygen consumption (VO(2max)), and blood lactic acid were measured during the rest period and at 3 recovery points of time (5th, 30th and 60th min) post-exercise. The results showed that the acupuncture group (PC6 and ST36) has significantly lower HR(max), VO(2max) and blood lactic acid than both the sham and normal groups at the 30th min post-exercise. Blood lactic acid of the acupuncture group was also significantly lower than that of the other two groups in the 60th min post-exercise. Our findings have shed some light on the development of effective acupuncture schemes to enhance the recovery ability for elite basketball athletes.