McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Gray Line

Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum: Important Message from Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco


“A personal commitment to a process of professional excellence requires clarity and depth, attention to detail and focus, as well as purposeful action and intelligent observation of results in clinical practice.”

Dear Manual Medicine Colleague,

Below you will find all the relevant information regarding the New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum at McMaster University that will lead you to a Certification as a Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner, when you complete the four courses presented below.

For those of you truly interested in achieving maximum skills in this field, in 2015, I will have  an additional process for you to become a Certified Neurofunctional Sports Performance Specialist. The full process is still in development but involves presenting several Neurofunctional cases from your practice, plus a review paper on a related topic of your choice, plus completing some Exclusive Advanced Courses on special topics. On due time all the information will be available.

Meanwhile, this essential curriculum presented throughout four three-day courses is the synthesis of my best work of the last decade, empirically validated by the successful treatment of hundreds of athletes by myself and an elite group of graduates and instructors from the McMaster University Contemporary Acupuncture Program. The strategies and techniques developed and refined throughout this process are the ones presented and practiced throughout the four courses of this New Curriculum.

Professional excellence to me means mastery of one’s trade, and like mastery in any complex discipline, it requires a long life commitment.

McMaster Medical Acupuncture ProgramPersonally, I have been practicing and studying medicine for over 30 years. During all these years, I have spent literally thousands of hours learning live from other practitioners; many times in formal training courses, sometimes at their clinics, and occasionally in odd places like the sports arena. More than anything, exposure to these experienced colleagues have provided invaluable technical guidance and inspiration to continue the refinement of my clinical skills until today.

Some times, I had to travel very far away to find the clues to open new avenues of improvement for my diagnostic and treatment skills. A few times, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do so without leaving my town, but these occasions were uncommon. As a result, in order to fulfill my commitment to continuous learning and professional excellence, I had to invest literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in my continuing education.

I am glad I did. The investment has paid back handsomely in knowledge, skills, ability to help people, and ability to generate value in the market place. My patients, my students and myself will be able to enjoy the benefits of it for as long as I practice and teach, likely for the rest of my life.

As an integral part of my commitment to a process of professional and personal excellence, I consider my responsibility to teach others what I have learnt. It also is the best way for me to refine my skills, to share them with others.

And this is what I do when I teach. Full disclosure, no gimmicks. I show exactly what I do and how I do it. It will defeat my purpose to do it any other way. When I teach I really want you to be successful.

McMaster Medical Acupuncture ProgramAccordingly, sharing my more advanced clinical experience, knowledge, methods and techniques, all organized in a clear, clean and practical manner has been the reason behind my development of this New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum on How to Design and Integrate Effective Neurofunctional Acupuncture and Manual Treatments for Sports Injuries and other complex Musculoskeletal Problems that encompasses all the clinical aspects involved in the diagnosis and treatment of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction including Neurofunctional Electroacupuncture, Advanced Needling Techniques, as well as my original Living Anatomy Palpation Manual Techniques for the Treatment of Peripheral Nerves and Soft Tissue Dysfunction, plus miscellaneous strategies for the training and rehabilitation of the injured athletes.

This New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum is the accurate reflection of how I assess and treat Sports Injuries and other Musculoskeletal Disorders; it reveals in minute detail what are the fastest and most effective approaches I use to restore neuromotor and biomechanical function when dealing with musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. It also reveals my strategies for The Protection of Athletic Performance, and the methodology to address athletes when they are not injured.

This New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum is about clarity and depth, attention to detail and focus, as well as purposeful action and intelligent observation of results in clinical practice.

As I said on my general message elsewhere in this web site, the singular elements of any craft when examined in isolation can be deceitfully unimpressive. But, when combined with the power of understanding, insightful vision, and precision, these humble elements suddenly become the fundamental components of superior performance.

This essential curriculum for Neurofunctional Practitioners interested in a full array of effective assessment and treatment tools consists of four different courses that lead to a Certificate on Neurofunctional Sports Performance:

  • New Advanced Functional Assessment of  Sports Injuries and other Complex Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Advanced Living Anatomy Palpation Techniques for the Treatment of Peripheral Nerves and Soft Tissue Dysfunction
  • Advanced Neurofunctional Assessment and Integrated Treatment of Upper Extremity Sports Injuries and other Complex Movement Disorders
  • Advanced Neurofunctional Assessment and Integrated Treatment of Lower Extremity Sports Injuries and other Complex Movement Disorders

The first course, the New Advanced Functional Assessment of  Sports Injuries and other Complex Musculoskeletal Disorders is now a pre-requisite to take the second course on the Advanced Living Anatomy Palpation Techniques for the Treatment of Peripheral Nerves and Soft Tissue Dysfunction. Together these two courses are the pre-requisite for the two Advanced Neurofunctional Assessment and Integrated Treatment Courses, Upper and Lower Extremities.

These last two courses of the Certificate Program will show you in detail how to assess in depth the multi-layered complexity of the ongoing adaptations developed by the musculoskeletal system in athletes, and how to correct them (when possible) or support them (key concept: how to support adaptations optimally) combining Advanced Needling Techniques with Advanced Manual Techniques, and Advanced Rehabilitation with other Functional Training Strategies.

Upon completion of these four courses, you will receive a Certificate as a Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner.

After you have obtain your Certificate and practice for a while, if you want, you will have an additional process to become a Certified Neurofunctional Sports Performance Specialist. As explained above, the full process is still in development but involves presenting several Neurofunctional cases from your practice, plus a review paper on a related topic of your choice, plus completing some Exclusive Advanced Courses on special topics. On due time all the information will be available.

As an added value, successful completion of the four courses of the Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner Curriculum fulfills one of the pre-requisites to join the Instructors Development Program at the McMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program.

In additon to, and to complement this New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum, I plan to offer ocassionally New Monographic Courses, open to any qualify practitioner, that will cover specific clinical aspects related to the Neurofunctional Diagnosis and Treatment of  Musculoskeletal Dysfunction. Later these programs will become online programs to be used as “distance learning resources” for members of the websites created for that purpose.

Likewise, the New Advanced Neurofunctional Programs will also be linked eventually to a membership website where participants will have ongoing access to DVDs and other support materials for the review of the techniques and strategies learnt during the courses. When that happens, all participants in a given program will be given access to the corresponding online program at no additional cost.

In this manner, I will fulfill my mission by supporting my students for the rest of their careers (or for as long as they wish to continue to benefit from these materials).

As part of my plan to facilitate the quick implementation of these techniques into your practice, I am planning as well to offer these new four Advanced Programs in a Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum Intensive Format consisting of two blocks of five days each, to take place Monday to Friday, so practitioners living far away can come to Canada and complete two programs in one week, thus saving traveling time and accelerating the return on investment as in the Intensive Format the New Curriculum will be completed in just two [separate] weeks.

Over the upcoming years, I look forward to working with those of you who wish to participate on this New Advanced Neurofunctional Curriculum. In these courses, I will help you personally to continue your development as an excellent Neurofunctional Manual Medicine Practitioner and to become a Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner, Neurofunctional Sports Performance Specialist with the highest qualification to help athletes and individuals with functional adaptive problems recover their Neurofunctional Performance.

A final reflection for all of us, but specially for those who believe is possible to master something by having access to the secrets that simplify the complex. There are no secrets, there is only understanding, and a lengthy process of refinement of this understanding (through repetition and focused practice).

The power of the the excellent Manual Medicine Practitioner, like the chess master, the artful writer, the accomplished musician, or the genius sculptor and painter—the secret that makes their “technique” superior—is simply their ability to master the elemental components of their craft, specifically the ability to combine these elements timely and with timing for the service of a higher purpose. This is the secret of all mastery.

McMaster Medical Acupuncture ProgramAnd, as it is often the case, to master such a simple recipe requires a lifetime of intelligent observation of our own “modus operandi” and the purposeful determination to apply this controlled experience to refine our next output. Patience, passion, vision, determination, and purposefulness can infuse quality and even immortal life on a chess piece, a collection of words or musical notes, a piece of marble, a canvas, or an in our case, an acupuncture needle or your fingers.

The choice is literally and figuratively in Your Hands, our Hands, everyone’s hands. If you choose professional excellence in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and movement dysfunctions, sports injuries, functional problems, problems of dysregulation, headaches, stress-related disorders, chronic pain, etc., I am committed to providing the friendly and productive learning environment where you can refine your clinical skills to better help your patients with these problems.

These new Advanced Courses have the potential to accelerate your professional development tremendously. If you use in the intended manner what I am going to show you in these Advanced Courses (and help you practice during the courses), I promise you that your clinical results will improve significantly for the rest of your professional career. Not because I am going to show you “a secret method” to do things but because I am going to assist you to clarify, refine and re-engineer the process of analyzing and understanding a movement dysfunction and the methodology to generate the most effective neurofunctional acupuncture and manual medicine inputs to extract existing adaptive potential from your patients, as well as to develop new adaptive potential to the available extent.

With this clear and clean, no nonsense methodology, clinical success is inevitable. The kind of individualized clinical success that depends on the identification, extraction and/or promotion of adaptive potential for each individual case of movement dysfunction. The kind of clinical success supported by Superior Results.

Whenever our professional paths cross, I will be grateful and excited for the opportunity to assist you on your lifelong learning journey.

Remember, Medicine is in Your Hands.

Your colleague in excellence,

Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco, M.D., Sports Medicine Specialist (Spain)

Director – McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program

Director – Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner and Specialist Programs

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