When it comes to wellness, thinking outside the box is not always recommended. Western medicine has proven to be an effective method of healing, so don’t fix it if it isn’t broken, right?

Although Western medicine has been proven effective, there’s nothing wrong with trying alternative methods. For athletes looking to combat pain associated with an active lifestyle, acupuncture can be an effective, safe method.

Acupuncture is an alternative form of Chinese medicine that works with the body’s pressure points to release endorphins and provide muscle relief.

The method of healing gained mainstream popularity after the 2008 Olympics; in fact, according to Active, many organizations, including the U.S. Open of Surfing, keep a licensed acupuncturist on staff.

During the process of acupuncture, hair-thin needles are inserted into acupuncture points in the body, with each point running along an energetic pathway that provides a specific function and physiological change in the body.

Not only does acupuncture increase physical well being, but it also helps with emotional well being. According to UC San Diego, hundreds of studies have proven that acupuncture can also help with conditions ranging from “musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.”

Acupuncture has also been used to treat muscles spasms and pain, as well as allergies.

For athletes, who must rely on both physical health and mental fitness to excel in their chosen sport, acupuncture is a valuable method for staying in the best shape possible.

While the alleviation of pain is an obvious advantage for athletes, the myriad other health benefits of acupuncture can apply to active individuals as well.

If you’re interested in this method of healing, make sure you do your research and find a qualified provider before giving it a try.

Check out more wellness tips from GrindTV

5 nutrition tips for distance paddling

The best natural foods to pack for a multi-day camping trip

The most effective stretches to prepare you for the hiking trail