An Australian systematic review has found preliminary support for the use of acupuncture as a means to enhance exercise performance and post-exercise recovery. Four trials were reviewed by the researchers, of which three evaluated the effect of acupuncture on exercise performance. One of these trials noted that electro-acupuncture stimulation at either Jianshi P-5 and Neiguan P-6 or Lieque LU-7 and Hegu L.I.-4 significantly increased peak power output, blood pressure and rate pressure product (RPP) versus control. Two trials documented no effect of acupuncture on exercise performance. The other trial evaluated the effect of acupuncture on post-exercise recovery and found that heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactate were significantly reduced following acupuncture at Neiguan P-6 and Zusanli ST-36, versus control and placebo conditions, at 30 or 60 minutes post exercise. The authors recommend more high-quality studies. (Effect of Acute Acupuncture Treatment on Exercise Performance and Postexercise Recovery: A Systematic Review. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print]).

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