Sports Medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Many professional sports now have a Sports Medicine Team to look after their players. The team can include a medical practitioner, physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor and as well now, a team acupuncturist.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been used for many centuries in China and practitioners have gained much experience in the treatment of injuries and the rehabilitation of injured people. In ancient times in China, the monasteries had kung fu as part of their training and then with the training of kung fu came injuries. Over the centuries, Chinese medicine physicians continually developed acupuncture treatment techniques to improve the results. Herbal medicines were used externally as well as medicines were taken internally as a pill or tincture to help accelerate the healing and rejuvenation. A well known and commonly used external formulae known as Zheng Gu Shui is readily available.
Injuries such as back sprain, pulled hamstring, tennis elbow, infraspinatous tear of the shoulder, hematoma, Achilles sprain, knee ligament tears and so forth have all been successfully treated by Chinese medicine physicians over the centuries.
Other aspects of Chinese medicine such as moxibustion, cupping, gua sha and tui na are also utilized in the rehabilitation of injured patients. Combining all these different modalities of Chinese medicine has proven to greatly enhance results and hence proven so popular with sports medicine.
Acupuncture in particular has been researched in the western world over the past 30 years and there have been numerous studies validating the effectiveness of acupuncture in injury rehabilitation. In fact, the World Health Organization, in an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports and Controlled Clinical Trials, has listed and confirmed the following sports injuries to be effectively treated by acupuncture.
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Knee pains
In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) covers members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc to be able to treat a number of injuries, commonly seen in sports. These include lumbar sprain, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, tennis and golfers elbow, prepatellar bursitis, Achilles tendon sprain, tendonitis, sprain of infraspinatous tendon, wrist sprain, quadriceps sprain, calf sprain as well as cruciate ligament knee sprain.
There are many techniques and styles of acupuncture that have evolved over the centuries and even recently new methods have proven to be effective in injury rehabilitation.
One recent method is a technique developed by Australian registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner Mr Daniel Deng. He has developed what has been called the Mirror X system. The basic theory is a modern development out of an ancient technique where for example if there is an injury of the left wrist, specific acupuncture points on the right ankle are selected for treatment.
Another modern method is the use of electroacupuncture and is now also being utilized for not only tissue regeneration but also for pain relief. Extensive research has identified which specific frequencies and wave forms maximize the result potential. The book, Electroacupuncture: A Practical Manual and Resource by David F Mayor came out in 2007 and has become the bench mark text for qualified acupuncture physicians using electroacupuncture, especially in sports medicine and sports injuries.
However one of the most exciting developments in the treatment of sports injuries is the development of Sports Medicine Acupuncture ®.
Sports Medicine Acupuncture ® is a unique and modern acupuncture technique developed by United States specialist acupuncturist physician, Matt Callison M.S; L.Ac. This system was developed over many years of observation, research and clinical proven practice.
Mr Callison is a keen sports person himself and has traveled the world surfing, looking for that ultimate wave. He has degrees in physical education as well as acupuncture and his writings have been published in professional journals and his second book, The Motor Point Index was released in 2007.
With his findings, he has pioneered the marriage between traditional Chinese acupuncture and modern scientific nervous system anatomical based acupuncture point locations.
Matt Callison contributed to the development of acupuncture in the modern scientific world by mapping out the location of the motor points when he categorized them according to acupuncture points. He went on to develop a system of using motor points in conjunction with traditional Chinese channel points and meridian correspondences. These Motor Points are special acupuncture points that are the most electrically excitable areas containing the greatest concentration of nerve endings found in the central aspect of muscle fibers.
Using these points has a profound benefit in the treatment of musculoskeletal injury ensuring even more successful outcomes.
In addition to motor points, the Sports Medicine Acupuncture ® technique also utilizes the more traditional Chinese medicine Huatuojiajia acupuncture points but Mr Callison has reclassified them so they can be specifically used in conjunction with the motor points. These huatuojiajia points specifically relate to spinal segments and their nerve distribution to the injured area.
There is specialized acupuncture needling techniques associated with using the methods of Sports medicine Acupuncture ® such as for example directing the needle directly to the fascial layer covering the underlying muscle tissue. This technique can be specific to releasing muscle spasm associated with many common sports injuries.
Matt resides in California and is currently teaching his Sports Medicine Acupuncture ® Certification Program throughout the United States. For more details on this, please visit www.sportsmedicineacupuncture.com
Heiko Lade has not completed the US certification program, but he has attended all the “Foundational Courses” in Sports Medicine Acupuncture ® taught here in New Zealand by Matt Callison in between his surfing expeditions. Even though Heiko has had 30 years clinical experience, he is still a keen student of acupuncture and is eager to learn more about any new development to improve his skills and aim for optimum results.
Heiko Lade’s experience in treating sports injuries goes back to the days when he worked in Sydney’s Chinatown treating many of the martial artists from the local Kung Fu schools. In Napier, Hawke’s Bay, Heiko became endorsed by the New Zealand Institute of Sport and thus has been recognized to treat elite athletes and sports people in the area.
Many different sports people come to have treatment at The Acupuncture Clinic, including rugby, volley ball, basket ball, tennis, soccer and hockey players. The Acupuncture Clinic also sees runners, weight lifters, body builders as well as martial artists.