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David Macgillivray, DOM AP LMT View Entire Blog

Injury Recovery: Healing with Nutrition, Acupuncture and Massage

9/9/2012
Acupuncture, massage and nutrition can help your injuries heal faster. I see many people each week with both new and old injuries ranging from pulled muscles, post surgery recovery and more. Here is a little info about how your body reacts to injury and ways that you can help speed the healing process.

Nutrition for Injury Healing

Where vitamins are concerned, A and C are the biggies for injury healing. Dark green and orange fruits and vegetables are rich sources. Eat foods like spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables, along with carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and other orange squashes, mangoes, peaches, apricots, cantaloupe, and papaya. Milk and eggs are also good sources. Vitamin C is readily available from most of these foods, as well as berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables.

Zinc and copper are two minerals strongly tied to injury healing. Both are readily available from many dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Scallops and other seafood also provide both of these important minerals.

Balance saturated fat intake with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Doing so promotes efficient healing and helps control inflammation. Eat fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils also provide unsaturated fats. However, too much vegetable oil can supply an unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. If you don't eat much fish, fish oil is a smart supplement.

Of course, the other essential vitamins and minerals play parts in injury healing, too. A well-balanced diet is important; where dietary intake is inadequate, consider supplementing. Other nutrients, herbs, and supplements noted for their ability to promote natural healing include protein, bromelain, glucosamine, turmeric, garlic, flavonoids (antioxidants found in teas, red wine, cocoa, berries, and elsewhere), and Boswellia.

Acupuncture and Massage for Injury Healing

Circulation is a primary factor in injury healing. Oxygenation and nutrient delivery to the site of injury via the blood is needed for the restorative process. That's why people with diabetes, arterial or venous insufficiency, claudication, and other conditions marked by poor circulation are prone to chronically non-healing wounds.

There are plenty of ways to improve circulation on your own; for starters, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and manage your cholesterol. When these measures are insufficient, when your injury is significant, or when you just want to heal faster, call in some professional help to boost your circulation. Massage therapy and acupuncture are both great ways to naturally accomplish the goal.

Acupuncture also stimulates key meridian points associated with injury healing. Acupuncture supports various organ systems that each are in control of different physiological functions relating to blood, connective tissues, immunity, muscle and more. The benefits don't stop there, though. The practice reduces inflammation and associated pain, and because it speeds healing, it can minimize scarring. Both massage and acupuncture help you physically and mentally decompress, too, bringing about a calmer and more well-balanced state that is conducive to natural healing.

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