Sports Acupuncture: The Meridian Test and Its Applications
The meridian test (or ‘M-test’ ) is a powerful assessment, treatment, and self-care system that can be used to improve athletic performance and physical fitness. It simplifies the assessment of strain and injury so that even nonacupuncturists and athletes can learn to apply massage and stretching more effectively.
The M-Test is one of the most popular methods of sports acupuncture in Japan. Developed by Mukaino Yoshito, M.D., of the Sports and Health Science Department at Fukuoka University,the M-Test is based on his extensive experience in physical education and sports medicine. The M-Test uses the meridian system of acupuncture to analyze the movements of multiple joints and muscles in a holistic way. The most suitable meridians for treatment are identified by evaluating a sequence of movements. Flexibility and ease of movement in relation to the meridians are assessed to identify the areas and muscles that need treatment.
Based on the M-Test results, the synergistic action of the joints and muscles involved in the movements can be facilitated with acupuncture, massage, or stretching.
For the acupuncturist, the M-Test provides another powerful assessment tool for the treatment of pain and compromised movement. This system is compatible with the traditional understanding of the meridians, but takes it a step further to clarify the relationship between the meridians and movement. Practitioners can render treatment with a better understanding of this relationship and identify the most effective points for treating pain and improving movement. The M-Test can also be used to evaluate the results of treatment or the stretching regimen so that a better strategy can be formulated if the results are unsatisfactory.
Athletes can learn to perform M-Test movements before or even during competition to identify and correct abnormalities to improve their performance and prevent injuries.