The Acupinch Technique Should be Applied Abovethe Upper Lip by Squeezing with the Thumb and Forefinger
The Acupinch Technique Should be Applied Abovethe Upper Lip by Squeezing with the Thumb and Forefinger

Training Room Tips: The Acupinch Technique Can Relieve Muscle Cramps

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

Muscle cramps can occur any time and almost anywhere. Unfortunately, they often appear during the competition.

The traditional methods for treating cramps include stretching and contracting the opposing muscle group. Other methods include gentle massage and the application of moderate pressure by placing the hands around the muscle.

However there is another method for curing cramps that can be very effective and is much less disruptive to performance. It's called acupinch, and although it's used by many team doctors and trainers, no one seems to know exactly why it works.

The Technique
The technique is amazingly simple, although it might seem rather strange. As soon as you begin to feel a cramp, pinch the upper lip - just beneath the nose - between your thumb and index finger. Maintain a firm, constant pressure until the cramp subsides. This usually takes 20 - 30 seconds.

This technique has been used by a number of sports physicians and staff members of the sports medicine division of U.S. Olympic teams. From reports received from those who have used it, acupinch seems to work for most people most of the time - especially when applied immediately after the cramp is felt. Dr. Donald Cooper, a former Olympic team doctor, estimates it is effective in over 90% of his cases.

Its effects range from complete prevention for reduction in the pain and duration of the cramp. And it appears to work more quickly than conventional techniques.

There is also some evidence that it can be effective in curing side stitches. Dick Moss

1. "Acupinch: A pinch is all it takes to relieve muscle cramps." Texas Coach, January 1989.;menu=TXCOACH
2. "The Secrets of Accupressure or Shiatzu. "Body and Health Secrets, October 31, 2007.

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