Goal-Directed Acupuncture in Sports—Placebo or Doping? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The modern pentathlon (MP), sports discipline including fencing, swimming, steeplechase and a cross-country run, requires a rapid change of central nervous and peripheral neuromuscular activity from one sport to another in order to achieve the best possible results. We describe the case where a top MP athlete was supported by a program of acupoint stimulation, which was directed to relieve the symptoms, preventing him from effective performance. Although the fact of acupoint stimulation was associated with improvement of his results, other factors like training effect, placebo and nonspecific physiological effects and their mechanisms in sports are discussed in a literature review. The popularity of complementary and alternative medicine methods among the athletes raises the question of their potential misuse as a doping in competitive sports.

publication date

  • 2011