Dry Needling at The Rio Olympics!

Aly Raisman, the captain of the American “Fierce Five” gold medal winning team in 2012 is seeking back to back golds in Rio 2016, a feat that has never been accomplished! The reason back to back victories in gymnastics is such an unattainable feat is due to the physical demands of gymnastics.  Gymnastics requires phenomenal strength and flexibility – best attained at a young age,  however, the 22 year old Raisman is ready for Rio and she attributes intense physical conditioning, in addiction to acupuncture/dry needling for her success to date!

In Dry Needling, acupuncture needles are inserted at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold.

  • A stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening).
  • The needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process, increasing oxygenation.
  • The treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle, restoring the normal chemical discharge from the nerve, thus restoring normal muscle tissue.

Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. Athletes place extreme demands on muscle tissue resulting in biochemical imbalances and the development of fibrotic bands or trigger points that can hinder performance.  Dry needling can attain results quickly, and for this reason it is a treatment favoured by athletes.

To read more about Aly – check out the following article!