The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 1: Setting sun in San Diego on the last day of class in the 2017-2018 SMAC program

Another successful Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification (SMAC) program has come to an end and we are pleased to have many excellent new C.SMA practitioners. Below is a picture essay of the last class for the 2017-2018 SMAC program that finished April 29th in San Diego, California.

San Diego is a beautiful city and, while we have a very active class schedule in SMAC, there is opportunity to visit the beaches, watch the sun set on the Pacific Ocean, take in some of the fabulous local eateries, catch a baseball game, and enjoy the local sights (Fig. 1).

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 2: Boat harbor at Marina Village Conference Center

We are gearing up for the next 2018-2019 SMAC program in San Diego starting this coming June. It will be the start of our 9th program and classes are held at the beautiful Marina Village Conference Center, which is in biking or short driving distance to many popular beaches and literally seconds away from Mission Bay (Fig. 2).

The SMAC program presents an incredible amount of information in a well-structured format, with many demonstrations and ample time to practice the techniques. SMAC faculty and teaching assistants emphasize student learning with individualized instruction (Fig. 3).

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 3: Individualized attention is emphasized for student learning and is a highlight in each SMAC class of the program.

The final class in the 2017-2018 SMAC program was Assessment and Treatment of Lower Extremity Injuries. Participants in this class learned how to apply Sports Medicine Acupuncture (SMA) protocols using principles from both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Sports Medicine.

One of the injuries treated in this class is patellofemoral syndrome and the related injury, chondromalacia patella. Patellofemoral syndrome involves a misalignment of the patella associated with a frequently seen muscle imbalance between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis. These muscles are part of the Stomach and Spleen channel sinews (jingjin), respectively.

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 4: Student practicing Surround the Dragon (wei long ci) needle technique used to treat the local pain associated with chondromalacia patella

Comprehensive assessment of the injury and the associated imbalances of these biao li related channel sinews were demonstrated and practiced. Other pertinent factors to this injury, such as pelvic and foot postural disparities and potential zang-fu disharmonies, were presented. These SMA assessment and treatment protocols include—innovative acupuncture techniques to treat the fixed pain site and point prescriptions of motor and TCM channel points to address the associated muscle imbalances and the patient’s constitution (Fig. 4).

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 5: Student practicing myofascial release techniques taught in the Channel Sinews class

Information from the previous month’s class, Assessment and Treatment of the Channel Sinews, gave participants the tools to properly diagnose muscle imbalances that can lead to injury. Students learned to effectively use adjacent and distal points to improve function. Myofascial release techniques were also demonstrated and practiced to further improve therapeutic outcome (Fig. 5). The information taught in these two classes—Assessment of the Treatment of the Channel Sinews and Assessment & Treatment of Lower Extremity Injuries—provided the student with sequential information to achieve maximum results for patients.

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 6. A and B: Diligent students studying using flash cards

After the last class of the SMAC program, many students are eligible to take the Final Practical Exam and become certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture®. It is not an uncommon sight to see students using break time to squeeze in a little study (Fig. 6).

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

Figure 7. SMAC student with her binder full of Sports Medicine Acupuncture information

This program provides a mountain of information (Fig. 7). SMAC is the most comprehensive program available for orthopedic acupuncture—no other program offers the amount of depth and experience. Surely, very few of us love taking exams, and a great deal of study is necessary in this program. However, testing allows us to keep standards high. Those graduating and passing the Final Practical exam are proud to have C.SMA (Certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture) after their names and are happy to be part of a growing body of excellent practitioners who are elevating the standards in the field.

We are happy to announce the graduating class of the 2017-2018 Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification program.

The Ending of Another Successful SMAC Program |

About the author(s):

Brian Lau, AP, C.SMA is has been on the faculty of the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification since 2014, and also teaches foundation courses with AcuSport Education. Brian lives and practices in Tampa, FL where he owns and operates Ideal Balance: Center for Sports Medicine Acupuncture ( He blogs on anatomy and TCM at

Matt Callison is the president of the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification program. He has been combining sports medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for over 26 years. He is the author of the Motor Point and Acupuncture Meridians Chart, the Motor Point Index, The Sports Medicine Acupuncture textbook and many articles on the combination of sports medicine and TCM.