Acupuncture can reduce blood lactic acid and enhance recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise, according to Taiwanese scientists. Thirty male university basketball players were randomly assigned to three groups: acupuncture, sham and no treatment. Acupuncture was carried out at Neiguan P-6 and Zusanli ST-36 beginning 15 minutes prior to exercise and continuing until exhaustion of the subject. In the sham group needling was one centimetre away from the acupoints. Results showed that the acupuncture group had significantly lower heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid than both the sham and no treatment groups at the 30th minute post-exercise. Blood lactic acid in the acupuncture group was also significantly lower than that in the other two groups at the 60th minute post-exercise. (Effects of acupuncture stimulation on recovery ability of male elite basketball athletes. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(3):471-81).

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