Acupuncture for Surfers





How can acupuncture help prevent or treat surf injuries? 
  • Relieve pain: Acupuncture can help to both reduce the perception of pain, as well as address pain triggers.
  • Improve range of motion: Acupuncture can help improve range of motion by reducing muscle tension and promoting circulation.
  • Speed up healing: Acupuncture can increase blood flow to affected area(s), promote tissue repair, and reduce inflammation, which can help speed up the healing process.
  • Prevent future injuries: Regular acupuncture sessions can help prevent future injuries by improving overall health and wellness, reducing stress, and maintaining proper balance and alignment in the body.
What are the most common surf injuries? 
  • Surfboard-related injuries: Cuts, lacerations, and contusions from surfboard fins, rails, or noses.
  • Shoulder injuries: Rotator cuff strains, impingements, and dislocations.
  • Back injuries: Lower back strains, sprains, and herniated discs.
  • Wrist and hand injuries: Sprains, fractures, and carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive paddling.
  • Knee injuries: Ligament sprains and meniscus tears from twisting or impact.
  • Ankle injuries: Sprains and fractures from landing awkwardly or getting caught in the waves.
  • Head injuries: Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries from impact with the board or ocean floor.
  • Sunburn: Overexposure to the sun, which can cause painful burns and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Preventative measures such as proper stretching and strength training can help reduce the risk of these injuries. If an injury does occur, prompt medical attention and appropriate treatment, including supportive acupuncture, can help minimize the impact on a surfer's health and performance.

How can cupping benefit surfers? 

Cupping can help:

  • Relieve pain
  • Improve range of motion
  • Increase circulation
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Speed up healing
How can electrical stimulation benefit surfers? 
  • Relieve pain: Electrical stimulation may block pain signals and promote the release of endorphins.
  • Improve muscle strength: Electrical stimulation activates the motor neurons that control muscle contractions.
  • Speed up healing: Electrical stimulation can help stimulate circulation and promote tissue regeneration.
  • Improve flexibility: Electrical stimulation can reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
  • Reduce swelling: Electrical stimulation can promote lymphatic drainage and increase blood flow.


What are some supportive herbs for surfers?


  • Turmeric or ginger rhizome can be added to foods, taken as a supplement, or brewed as a tasty anti-inflammatory tea.
  • Sage or eucalyptus can help knock out lingering seawater from sinuses, relieve respiratory congestion, and improve breathing. Soak in a bath, inhale as a steam, or brew as a tea.
  • Chamomile flowers help soothe irritated skin from board-rash or sunburn, and calm frayed nerves or senses after a big surf sesh or tough tumble. Enjoy as tea, or add to bathwater for a relaxing soak.


  • Arnica is often used to relieve muscle soreness and inflammation. Apply topically as an infused oil, salve, or cream.
  • Aloe vera can help relieve sunburn and other skin irritations. Keep pure aloe vera gel in the fridge. Apply a thin layer of gel to your skin after surfing on sunny days as needed.
  • Calendula has traditionally been used to treat wounds and skin irritations. Make your own calendula oil by steeping calendula flowers in a carrier oil, such as olive oil, for several weeks. Apply a few drops of calendula oil to your skin before and after surfing to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
What should I look for when I purchase sunscreen? 

Choosing the best sunscreen for surfing can be tricky, as it needs to be able to withstand water and sweat, provide effective sun protection, and be safe for both you and the ocean environment. Here are some things to look for when selecting your sunscreen:

  • High SPF: Choose a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of at least SPF 50 or higher.
  • Water resistant: Look for a sunscreen labeled as "water-resistant" with a water resistance rating of 80 minutes or more, to ensure that the sunscreen stays on even when you're in the water. Follow reapplication instructions listed on the bottle.
  • Broad-spectrum protection: Choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This will help prevent sunburn, skin damage, and the risk of skin cancer.
  • Reef-safe ingredients: Find a sunscreen that is free of harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can damage coral reefs and other marine life. Opt for mineral-based sunscreens that use ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
  • Non-greasy: Look for a sunscreen that is lightweight and non-greasy, so it feels good, looks good, and helps you surf at your best!


Which yoga postures help support my surf conditioning training? 

Surf better, and get injured less. Practice these (and other) yoga postures and sequences regularly to improve flexibility, strength, and balance:

  • Down-dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) stretches hamstrings, calves, and spine while also strengthening arms and shoulders.
  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) strengthens legs, hips, and core muscles, helping you maintain stability and balance on your board.
  • Tree pose (Vrksasana) improves balance and concentration, prepping you for navigating uneven and unpredictable waves.
  • Extended triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana) stretches hips, hamstrings, and spine while also strengthening legs and core muscles.
  • Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) strengthens back, glutes, and legs, which can help you pop up more efficiently.
  • Dolphin pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) strengthens shoulders and upper back, to help prevent shoulder injuries.
  • Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) expands the chest and shoulders while also strengthening back muscles, to support proper board posture through core stability.
  • Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) lengthens hamstrings and low back, which can help relieve low back tension from repetitive sitting, paddling, and popping up.
  • Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) stretches hip flexors and quadriceps, often tight in most civilized hominids of our modern era.
  • Child's pose (Balasana) releases tension in back, neck, and shoulders, common surfer hot-spots for soreness, stiffness, and discomfort.
What are some restorative yoga postures that can be helpful after surfing? 

Surfing can be physically demanding. Restorative yoga can help improve circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and promote relaxation to help you recover after and between surf sessions. Here are five restorative yoga postures that can help with surf recovery:

  • Child's Pose (Balasana) gently stretches hips, thighs, and ankles, and can help relieve tension in the lower back. Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels with your arms extended in front of you and your forehead on the floor. Place a bolster or folded blanket under your chest and forehead to make the pose more comfortable. You can also place a blanket or pillow between your thighs and calves to help support your hips and knees.
  • Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani) is a gentle inversion to reduce lower limb swelling and promote relaxation. Lie on your back with your legs extended up the wall and your arms at your sides. You can place a bolster or folded blanket under your hips for added support. You can also place a folded blanket or towel under your head and neck for extra comfort.
  • Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Badha Konasana) can help stretch inner thighs and hips. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent, then allow your knees to open to the sides. You can place a bolster or folded blanket under your knees to support your hips and thighs. You can also place blankets or pillows under your arms to help support your chest and shoulders, or under your lumbar curvature, or along the length of your spine for back support.
  • Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) can help relieve tension in the back and hips, and promote relaxation. Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides, then bring one knee up to your chest and twist it across your body while keeping your other leg straight. You can place a pillow or blanket between your knees to help support your hips and lower back, or nudge a bolster or folded blanket under your bent knee for added support.
  • Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) can help open chest and hips. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, then place a yoga block or bolster under your hips and lift your hips toward the ceiling. You can place a yoga block or folded blanket under your sacrum for added support. You can also place a bolster or folded blanket under your shoulders to help open your chest and shoulders, or between your knees to engage the pelvic bowl.

Use supportive props to increase your comfort in these postures, and safely deepen into the stretches. Listen to your body. Choose supportive props and movements to modify postures and honor your individual needs, which will change over time.

How can I improve my posture to prevent injury and optimize performance while surfing? 

Improving posture can not only help prevent injury but also improve your surfing performance. By maintaining good posture, you can improve your balance, stability, and overall control while riding the waves. In addition to these tips, it's important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Give your body time to rest and recover between sessions! If you experience pain or discomfort while surfing, it's important to seek medical attention and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to poor posture. Here are some tips to help improve posture while surfing:

  • Strengthen your core to stabilize your spine while you surf with exercises like planks, sit-ups, and bridges.
  • Stretch your chest and shoulders with chest-openers and shoulder rolls. Tight chest and shoulder muscles can pull your shoulders forward and cause a rounded posture.
  • Engage your glutes and legs to stabilize your pelvis and lower back with exercises like squats, lunges, and bridges.
  • Use proper paddling technique to prevent injury. Hug your elbows toward your body. Use your whole arm to paddle, not just your hands and shoulders.
  • Be mindful of your posture while surfing and make adjustments as needed. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and head up while riding the waves.
What are some mobility exercises that can help me surf better? 

Surfing requires dynamic movements, so it's important to incorporate mobility exercises that mimic the range of motion used during surfing. These exercises can be performed as part of a pre-surf warm-up, or as a standalone workout to improve flexibility, range of motion, and overall performance while also reducing the risk of injury. Gradually increase intensity, and only perform exercises that feel comfortable and safe for your individual level of fitness and mobility.

  • Alternating Lunge with Rotation helps improve hip mobility and rotational range of motion, which is important for generating power during turns while surfing. Step forward into a lunge position, then rotate your torso to the side of your front leg. Return to standing and switch legs, alternating sides for 10-12 reps.
  • Side Lunge with Reach helps increase flexibility in hips and hamstrings while also improving balance and stability. Step to the side into a lunge position, reaching your opposite arm overhead. Return to standing and switch sides, alternating for 10-12 reps.
  • Scorpion helps improve spinal mobility and flexibility in shoulders and hips, which can improve paddling and general mobility in the water. Lie face down with your arms extended to the sides. Lift one leg up and over your body, reaching your foot towards your opposite hand. Lower your leg and switch sides, alternating for 10-12 reps.
  • Inchworm helps stretch hamstrings, calves, and lower back while also improving core strength and stability. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hinge forward, walking your hands out to a plank position. Walk your hands back towards your feet and stand up, repeating for 10-12 reps.
  • High Knees helps increase range of motion in hip flexors and improves cardiovascular fitness, which can help increase endurance in the water. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift one knee up towards your chest, alternating sides for 20-30 seconds.

Are you a Ventura surfer? So is Jiling. Come in for Ventura surf acupuncture, cupping, and stoke.