Laser Therapy for Conditioning and Performance
Laser therapy never ceases to amaze me regarding its multitude of applications. In this article I discuss the use of laser in athletic conditioning and performance. It is no wonder Olympic athletes and professional sports teams utilize laser therapy regularly to achieve high levels of success.
Lasers are commonly used in athletics at four different stages: 1. A person may have an acute injury, 2. they may need rehabilitation from an injury, 3. they may want help with conditioning between events and/or 4. they may want to enhance performance before an event. Other articles have focused on injuries and rehabilitation so in this article I will discuss conditioning and performance enhancement.
Conditioning involves balancing and re-integration of brain-muscle communication. This treatment is often received between games or events. Laser therapy can provide targeted activation of: joint mechanoreceptors (for accurate feedback to the brain), ganglia near the spinal cord (for smooth muscle execution), the midbrain (to improve coordination), the vestibular system (to improve balance), and the motor cortex (to improve planning and initiation of muscle activity). Treatments targeting the blood passing through large veins can increase oxygenation, improve the immune system, improve viscosity, normalize acid/base balance, reduce inflammation and stimulate blood cell production.
Performance is maximized by treatments just prior to important events, to prepare vital tissues necessary for the upcoming tasks. Laser is known for its ability to energize the mitochondria of the cells, which allows one to gain an extra edge. The ideal schedule for performance treatment is two days before, the next day, and two hours prior to the event. Clients will receive the benefits of the conditioning treatments described above, plus extra muscle energy for stronger contractions, greater endurance, and a reduced chance of injury.
Athletes are usually at one or more stages of injury, rehabilitation, conditioning and/or performance. There is no other modality known to provide some much benefit at each stage as Laser Therapy. Laser can be a stand-alone therapy, but for ultimate results one can also integrate the skills of a chiropractor, physical therapist, nutritionist or personal trainer.