I would firstly like to bring to attention that this is not just a book review but an acknowledgement and written congratulatory to a great man, Matt Callison, who has helped transformed the traditional acupuncturist to become part of the modern and accepted medical system.
To call it a book is an understatement, even to refer to it as a comprehensive text is too limiting. I would have suggested the title to be the Encyclopedic Text of Sports Medicine Acupuncture.
Matt Callison and I go back almost twenty years when I first helped organize the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists conference in 2002. I like to think I was in harmony with the Tao at the time when I was searching for guest speaker and someone said to me “I know of this guy from San Diego who is really amazingly good at musculo-skeletal stuff and motor points.” He was easy enough to convince to come to New Zealand, with his only stipulation being I help him organize a station wagon big enough to fit in his surfboard.
As it turned out, his presentation of the weekend mesmerized our members who then couldn’t wait for him to come back and deliver more workshops. This is what he did for the next eighteen years, either each or each second year and always with his workshops fully subscribed.
Each year when I met him I would ask, how is the book coming along? And each time he would respond with something like “I am just working on another chapter. I need to add something“. And that’s what he did year in, year out, he just kept adding and adding.
He added sections on orthopedic assessments, photographs, anatomical charts, diagrams, tables, charts, headings, sub headings, quotes from the classics and summaries.
Matt never lost sight of his commitment to the classical acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. This book is designed for use by the physician who must understand how traditional acupuncture works, where the points are, how the channels flow and what the TCM patterns are.
Acknowledgement must be given to Matt here, because he could have easily “Sold Out” a long time ago and started teaching a cheapened, bastardized and easy version to physiotherapists who would have been more than keen to take it on board. The traditional trained acupuncturists around the world should honor Matt for that.
This text is the ultimate integration of Sports Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine with sections explaining specialized needling techniques for specific stimulus to nerve distribution to treat specified injuries.
Treatment strategies are also not just limited to needling though, but includes the full plethora of what the true TCM practitioner should have in their basket, namely gua sha, external herbal formula application, cupping and blood letting.
Nearly one hundred injuries have detailed discussion as to diagnosis, assessment and treatment. All this of course, with photographs, diagrams and detailed instruction so as to how to obtain success in treating those conditions.
If any acupuncturist out there was contemplating doing some physiotherapy study to learn about appropriate exercises and rehabilitation programs for their patients, there is no need, as it’s already all in the book.
There is honestly no point to describe in great detail what is in the book, apart from everything that you would ever need to know to treat injuries.
So what is my summary of the book. It’s a masterpiece. I think it goes something like this. We need the Nei Jing, Nan Jing, Great Compendium, Deadman’s- A Manual of Acupuncture, Maclean’s – Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine Acupuncture by Matt Callison.
If I believed in things like that, I am sure Matt Callison is the reincarnation of Hua Tuo, now coming back to receive the acknowledgement that he truly deserved.