The Dead Sea is called ‘dead’ because there are bodies of water running into it but not moving out. It is the same with the skill of acupuncture, or any skill for that matter. If we do not use it, or give it away, we become, in a sense, ‘dead’ to our potential. “Use it, or lose it,” as the saying goes. It is important not only to practice, but to refresh our skills as well. Acupuncture, the world’s oldest medicine, has been cultivated in our country by a good number of Western practitioners for over thirty years. It has produced some impressive ‘fruits’.

Last week I went to San Diego for an intensive course in “sports medicine acupuncture” or SMAC. We focused on head, neck and shoulder injuries. Our instructor presented new ways of addressing common issues such as frozen shoulder, bicipital tendonitis, tension headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and rotator cuff injury. We also considered the ubiquitous ‘shoulders creeping closer to the ears’ syndrome that almost everyone I treat has to some degree.

It was inspiring as our class of about 30 that came from around the country learned to blend sports medicine with Chinese medicine in order to incorporate it into our diverse practices. Life is challenging enough. Having the tools to help alleviate pain, disease and dysfunction is an awesome gift. Our patients benefit not only from the lineage of thousands of years of Eastern masters practicing the skill and art of acupuncture, but from our American masters as well. Sincere thanks to Matt Callison, for sharing his unique style in a clearly organized and easily applied manner. It will help to keep our ‘seas’ of knowledge fresh and renewable.

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