The effects of acute acupuncture applied during exercise on performance factors such as power and blood pressure and on the body’s ability to recover post-exercise were evaluated in a review article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal website.*
A review of the literature uncovered four studies designed to test whether a person receiving acupuncture while exercising would have enhanced exercise performance and/or recover more quickly from an exercise session.
In their systematic review article, Paola Urroz, Ben Colagiuri, Caroline Smith, and Birinder Singh Cheema, University of Western Sydney (Campbelltown), and University of Sydney, Australia, suggest that based on these four published studies, acupuncture may have a positive effect. They caution, however, that additional trials, with larger numbers of participants and randomized, controlled study designs, as well as standardized reporting of research methods and results, are needed to confirm and more thoroughly explore the effects of acupuncture on exercise performance and recovery.