Deb Engelgau—C.SMA of the Month (July 2022)

Deb Engelgau, L.Ac., C.SMA

Sports Acupuncturist in Columbus, Ohio — Deb Engelgau, C.SMA | SportsMedicineAcupuncture.comDeb Engelgau, L.Ac., C.SMA completed the SMAC Program in June 2013, and has been a practicing sports acupuncturist in Columbus, Ohio for almost 14 years.

“I have a diverse practice treating everyday people with everyday issues, but always manage to incorporate my sports medicine acupuncture training into each treatment. I completed the program quite a while ago, but am grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow and learn with the new and updated material.

Each year I give a Clinical Forum lecture on Sports Medicine to graduating seniors at the local acupuncture school in Columbus—the American Institute of Alternative Medicine. The faculty advisor tells me that my lecture is among the most popular with students. I doubt it’s because of my scintillating personality or oratorical skills, but rather the subject matter and innovative techniques taught in SMA. I just present the work of Matt and Brian and demonstrate its effectiveness on student volunteers.  Their work speaks for itself!

In searching for a successful case study to report, I decided to discuss a group of adults with functional and/or structural scoliosis. Generally, there is a lateral curvature of the spine in the lumbar region with a secondary (compensatory) curve in the thoracic spine.


In this example, the R lumbar region is concave (shifted left) and I often find:

R – tight/shortened QL, psoas and adductors with weak erectors and hamstrings

The R thoracic is often convex (shifted R) with mid- and lower traps weak and shortened rhomboids


I often incorporate Kiiko Matsumoto’s (Master Nagano) work into my treatment plans; thus, in this case, a treatment plan might be:


R – LU 7, TW5, GB39.5 (Matt’s 39.5 for anterior tilt in place of Kiiko’s GB39), ST 20 (for diaphragm-psoas involvement), LR4 and pectineus or adductor MP

L – KI 7, GB27 (for deficient psoas on L)


R – Yaoyan, QL, and Piriformis, Huato Jiaji’s at upper convexity (perhaps T4-T7) with moxa on L

L – Glute medius and hamstring MPs, Huato Jiaji’s at lumbar convexity (L2-L5) with moxa on R

Obviously, there will be individual differences depending on how a patient’s spine curves and their lifelong compensatory movements. In many cases, I rely on palpation and patient feedback to decide which muscles to treat. I suppose you could call me a “SMAC Hack,” but without exception, each scoliosis patient reports improvements in as few as two or three treatments.

While scoliosis is something I can’t “fix,” some say they can breathe more deeply, others say family members have commented that they stand straighter and hip and back pain is less.

Without my SMA training, I wouldn’t have begun to know how to treat their structural issues.”

To connect with Deb, visit her C.SMA Directory Listing.

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