(Written by Sara Beth)
On June 8th, I was honored to be part of a group of acupuncturists who were the first to provide on-site acupuncture treatment for riders in the MS 150, a two-day bike ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities. This event helps the National MS Society fund research and support programs and services for more than 17,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in the Upper Midwest Chapter area.
In addition to being used in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, acupuncture is also frequently used for sports performance enhancement. Acupuncture can benefit sports injuries at any stage: to prevent, to treat acute pain, swelling and spasms, and to address conditions that make athletes vulnerable to re-injury. It can also be used to treat nagging pain from past injuries. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood circulation to specific areas of the body, which not only promotes healing of sports injuries but could also boost athletic performance.
Over 4,500 riders participated in this year’s race, and when they arrived at their overnight stop in Hinckley, our team of acupuncturists was waiting to help treat aching joints, reduce fatigue, and give the riders a boost to give them more energy and less pain for the second day of the ride. The First Aid tent even referred a few riders to us to help relieve swelling and pain from minor injuries. We treated and tuned up over 100 riders, and it was wonderful to hear how many of them felt immediate relief.
All in all it was a great day (the sun was even shining!). I’m looking forward to helping out again at next year’s race and supporting the riders in our shared quest to end Multiple Sclerosis!