9 October, 2020 Physician Klaryce Lim

Optimise Your Peak Performance In Sports Through TCM

With competition amongst athletes getting fiercer than ever, more and more athletes are looking for alternatives like TCM to enhance sporting performance. Intensive workout can lead to muscle soreness, strain, sprain or even trigger old injuries. TCM aims to speed up the process of recovery and regulate overall body wellness to improve the athletic capacity of the body. 



How It Works


Acupuncture has gained wide recognition for pain management over the years. The insertion of a needle stimulates the acupoint and enhances the production of Nitric Oxide (NO). NO-mediated vasodilation increases local blood circulation, which brings about inflammatory mediators to speed up the healing process. The increase in blood flow also accelerates the elimination of lactic acid, reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. 

Though acupuncture has been primarily used for pain management, recent studies have demonstrated good prospect in the application of acupuncture for performance enhancement in recreational and professional athletes. 

Electroacupuncture is able to generate similar excitatory characteristics within the muscle, as achieved in exercise, to strengthen muscles. Muscle strength improvement is essential for injury prevention and achievement of peak performance.


In 2016, Michael Phelps brought fame to cupping therapy when he was spotted with the distinctive circular marks on his shoulders and backs during the Olympics. Cupping therapy involves the placement or movement of cups along our body’s meridian points. According to TCM, pain can be an indication of possible stagnant points in your body. Cupping promotes the movement of Qi by opening up stagnant points, therefore relieving muscle soreness.

The suction created by pressure difference causes the vasodilation of superficial capillaries and increases localised blood flow and lymphatic flow. Over time, prolonged increment of vascular pressure can lead to ruptured capillaries, which will be reflected as the cupping marks. 

As a result, anti-inflammatory substances are drawn to the area, reducing local inflammation and recovery duration. Though cupping marks resemble bruises, it does not involve tissue damage found in trauma-induced bruises. 


The integration of Chinese medication can be invaluable for an athlete’s optimum performance. TCM treatment is well known for its personalised and dynamic approach. Depending on patients’ needs, a physician may prescribe herbs to improve one’s body condition. This includes boosting oxygen uptake for endurance sports, improving energy levels, enhancing nutrients absorption and strengthening bone and muscle. 

Example of herbs prescribed includes:


Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Learn more about how TCM can help with Sport Performance:

Tagged: , , ,

About the Author

Physician Klaryce Lim

Physician Klaryce Lim

TCM Physician

Double Degree (Honours with Distinction): Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences & Bachelor of Medicine (Chinese Medicine), Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Physician Klaryce Lim graduated with double degrees in Biomedical Science and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine respectively. She was a scholarship recipient of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Foreign Student Scholarship.

Having been exposed to TCM since a young age, Klaryce has experienced first-hand the healing properties of TCM. As a physician now, she aspires to share her knowledge and hopes that more people can benefit from using TCM. Klaryce strongly believes in treating the body holistically and tailors individualised treatments for all of her patients.

Physician Lim’s expertise: General Wellness, Pain & Injury management, Women’s Health.