A Long Distance Runner’s Emotional Endurance Case Study

Patient Information:

The patient is a 28-year-old long-distance runner who has been struggling with anxiety and stress during competitions. Despite her rigorous training schedule and physical preparation, she often finds herself feeling overwhelmed and mentally fatigued during races. She has tried various strategies to manage her emotions, including meditation and self-talk, but she still finds it challenging to stay focused and motivated during races. Her coach recommended that she try acupuncture to help improve her emotional endurance and reduce her anxiety during competitions. She consulted with a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in sports medicine and emotional well-being.


During the consultation the acupuncturist develops a treatment plan that includes twice weekly acupuncture sessions in the lead-up to her next competition which is in 6 weeks. After that competition the acupuncturist recommends continued treatments the spacing of which will be determined based on how the patient felt during the race. 


During each acupuncture session, the acupuncturist places thin needles at specific points on the patient’s body to help regulate the nervous system and promote relaxation. The needles are retained for 20 minutes after which the patient can continue her day. After six treatments the patient noted that she felt more relaxed and focused while running. After 12 treatments the patient had her first competition. She reported that she was better able to manage her anxiety and maintain mental resilience throughout the race. She also experienced fewer physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension or headaches.

After the first competition the acupuncturist modifies the treatment schedule to once a week for 2 weeks and then once every two weeks. In the patient’s forth competition while receiving acupuncture treatments, she achieved a personal best time in a long-distance race and attributed her success in part to her improved emotional endurance.


Acupuncture is affective in treating more than physical pain – Acupuncture can be used to improve an athlete’s emotional endurance. By working with a licensed acupuncturist to develop a personalized treatment plan, athletes like this patient may be able to regulate their emotions and maintain mental resilience during prolonged periods of physical activity or competition.