Diane Wintzer, L.Ac., C.SMA
SMAC Program has helped shape her practice:iane Wintzer is one of our graduates who is now a successful sports medicine acupuncturist in Camas, Washington. Here is what she says about how the
“I pursued training with the SMAC program because I was hoping to get more guidance in the assessment of conditions that walked in my door. I realized I was too tired at the end of my days in clinic after working with patients—I had too many questions and not enough results. I wanted to gain more understanding of why some things I was doing were working and why some things were not working; I wanted to hold myself up to a higher level of comprehension through my professional community. I love being part of something bigger than my day-to-day practice, and the SMAC community has introduced me to practitioners who strive for more out of their practice.
Since graduating from the SMAC program, I have been able to grow my practice into a clinic where I employ other acupuncturists to help handle the patient load coming in as referrals from DO’s, MD’s, and other patients! SMAC has definitely given me a framework to have better conversations with referring doctors, and to have better conversations with my colleagues about proper assessment and treatment strategies. In the clinic, the material from the program has provided inspiration behind our daily practice, our teamwork, and our goals with patients.
A few years ago, I would have really struggled knowing whether what I was doing was really helping or not. It was just not enough for me to hear a patient say, ‘I feel better.’ I was not utilizing proper assessments in a patient’s presentation. The material learned during SMAC has given me multiple ways to assess what is going on for a patient, create an individualized road map for patient progression, and have multiple ways to measure that change. Measuring change—this concept was exactly what I needed in order to continue to feel connected to what I was doing, and to show my patient the actual ways acupuncture was helping.
Recently, I had a patient with long standing bilateral tarsal tunnel syndrome where one foot was significantly worse post-surgery and the doctors were telling him he needed a second surgery. He was struggling daily to be on his feet working longer than four hours. Every day he felt crippled with pain by the time he would get home to spend the evening with his family. The tools I learned in both the Lower Extremity Module and the Low Back and Hip Module provided me with confidence that I could create change for this patient in his daily life. Within six treatments, this patient reported being pain-free for days post treatment, an ability to navigate between footwear with greater ease, and resolved the burning and tingling he had in his feet constantly by at least 40%. With continued treatment at greater intervals now, this patient is working eight hour days and still going home to enjoy his family and feel ready for work again the next day. He reports having days where he really has no foot pain despite it being a daily issue for the past 15 years. He no longer hobbles in barefoot with red hot angry toes. Before my training with SMAC, I would not have had the confidence to treat his condition and expect improvement nor would I have been able to maximize multiple treatment strategies to create change in a short period of time.”
To see our other featured C.SMAs, please visit our C.SMA of the Month page.