“Becoming a certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture (SMA) has been the best decision I’ve ever made for my acupuncture practice. I’ve learned so many brilliant and effective techniques for treating orthopedic conditions and musculoskeletal pain. I finally got what I was wanting in an acupuncture educational series—breaking down orthopedic acupuncture into different modules of cervical, upper extremity, lumbar, and lower extremity conditions, then going through each condition methodically in order to learn treatment methods based on anatomy and science that actually work—predictably and reliably!
I’ve learned treatments for bulging/herniated discs, tendonitis, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, migraines, rotator cuff injuries, chronic neck, shoulder, and lower back pain, and so much more. I also learned postural assessment and how postural disparities contributes to these conditions, thus I was able to give more lifestyle advice and self-care tips to my patients. Now when somebody asks me, “How did my neck/low back/shoulder pain get this way?,” I finally know what to say and how to give them the tools to correct their posture in order to prevent injuries in the future.
Besides learning incredibly effective treatments, our deep study of anatomy gave me the knowledge, instinct and intuitive skills to develop my own treatments and run with what I’ve learned. I recently treated a 67 year-old woman with a severe case of vertigo that wouldn’t respond to traditional acupuncture protocols nor to the Epley maneuver (exercise for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). While needling extra point dijia to release the scalenes and levator scapula, I found the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) to be extremely tight. In the SMA seminars, we practiced needling the SCM and learned how to do it safely. I would have never had the confidence to do acupuncture on the SCM motor point without taking that class, because of the proximity of the carotid and jugular vein. I needled the motor point of the SCM along with extra point, jingbi to release the clavicular head of the SCM, another point that I had avoided until learning how to needle it safely in class. I then improvised to develop a technique to needle obliquely into the upper attachment of the SCM below the mastoid process until the muscle releases and tension melts away. This released the pressure on the patient’s ear canal which completely resolved the vertigo! Now when my patient feels an onset of vertigo coming on, she comes in right away and we know exactly what to do.