Saturday, April 7, 2018

Injection and the Sinew Channels

Tomorrow I am a guest instructor with Christina Captain's excellent injection certification in Sarasota, FL. I have taught this class for several years. Below is a description of what I will be teaching, and what my philosophy is when using injection and when teaching.

First, I think that it is fantastic that some states have injection in the scope of practice for acupuncturists, as Florida does. It is a worthwhile endeavor for the state professional organizations to work towards expanding the scope to include injections in the states that do not have this. However, I don't think that acupuncture physicians should get too allopathic when using injection. We have this wonderful and extremely advanced channel system that is easy to lose sight of when we are all of a sudden using a hypodermic needle, especially when treating musculoskeletal pain and injury.

When I teach as part of this injection certification in Florida, I am there as a guest instructor from the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Certification program (SMAC). As a guest instructor, I am teaching injection for musculoskeletal pain, sports injuries, and other orthopedic conditions. So, much of what I teach is very influenced by what is taught in SMAC.

In SMAC, we do not teach injection. Very few states have this in the scope of practice and this is an international program. We teach how to assess and treat orthopedic conditions and how to integrate these treatments with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to build a comprehensive treatment protocol. These treatments build on what acupuncturists already know. For instance, is this an excess or deficient pattern? Does the person have Blood deficiency, Spleen Qi deficiency and Dampness, Kidney Yin deficiency? All of the elements that make our medicine so powerful are included and highlighted. Added to this is a comprehensive ability to assess specific musculoskeletal injuries while understand the muscle imbalances that contribute to these injuries. This means that we teach how to diagnose the specific injury and assess the imbalances in the sinew channel (jingjin) that contribute to the injury and prevent proper healing.

Treatments include the following local, adjacent and distal approach:
  1. Specific, advanced needle techniques for the condition.
  2. Treatment to balance the sinew channels which entails balancing overactive (excess) muscles  and inhibited (deficient) muscles. This includes acupuncture to the motor points of the muscles involved and to distal points along the channel that these muscles are a part of.
  3. Myofascial release techniques to support the treatment and increase the therapeutic outcome.
  4. Prescription of corrective exercises to support the treatment and correct muscle imbalances and postural disparities. 
In my mind, nothing changes when using injection. I can use injection as part of the local treatment. Often, I will be using the same local, injury specific technique. These techniques were developed by the founder of SMAC, Matt Callison, and are extremely effective with an acupuncture needle and can easily be adapted for injection. Added to this will be placing a homeopathic injectable solution (I use Heel products such as Traumeel and Zeel) at the site of injury which, depending on the injectable,  can help reduce inflammation, reduce irritation of a joint, nerve or muscle, and stimulate lymphatic circulation.

However, I still want to use acupuncture, myofascial release techniques and corrective exercises to balance the sinew channels and I still want to treat any zangfu imbalances that present with the patient. What I do not want to do, and what I want to encourage acupuncturists adding injection to their treatments not to do, is simply to inject the local tissue that is affected and lose sight of the comprehensive, holistic, and advanced nature of our medicine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Ligaments and The Kidney

Here is a post written by Matt Callison and featured on the Sports Medicine Acupuncture blog. It is an excerpt from his soon to be released book, Sports Medicine Acupuncture. The suggestion is that the ligaments really belong under the influence of the Kidneys in TCM as part of their correspondence with bone, not the Liver.

www.sportsmedicineacupuncture.com/kidneys-influence-on-ligaments/