Neurofunctional-Meridians-Dissection-Program

Testimonials

McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Gray Line

Testimonials

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Chiropractors
Doctor of Osteopathy
TCM/Licensed Acupuncturists
Medical Doctors
Naturopathic Doctors
Occupational Therapists
Physiotherapists
Registered Massage Therapists
Registered Nurses

Chiropractors
Very effective learning of needling technique and how to incorporate into practice. Nick Barber, DC, Barrie, ON
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This course is not only about learning how to do acupuncture, though you definitely do; the emphasis is on learning to assess and treat the nervous system with your hands. Dr. Elorriaga masterfully demonstrates time and again that “pain is in the brain,” but can be accessed and influenced through the peripheral nervous system. By using electro-acupuncture along nerve paths rather than traditional meridians, you can “talk” to nerves in their language and achieve unbelievable results. This may be the answer to all those elusive patients whom you have been unable to help in the past. If you are a manual practitioner, you must take this course! Larissa M. Juren, DC, Vancouver, BC
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Contemporary Acupuncture is the course that brings all the basic sciences and professional training into clinical practice in a way that makes sense and produces results. For anyone wanting to move forward in medical and manual therapy practice this course is the one that will bring you at the forefront of modern medicine and manual therapy. Chris Michailidis, DC, BA Kin (Hons), Toronto, ON
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Well organized, very cutting edge & hands on; excellent instructors. Ryan Broddick, DC, Burlington, ON
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A dramatic shift in paradigm that will make any practitioner a better doctor or therapist. Jacob Kang, DC, East York, ON
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I found McMaster’s Contemporary Medical Acupuncture for Health Professionals course to revolutionize the way I look at pain from musculoskeletal origins. Dr. Elorriaga’s ability to explain the way the body PERCEIVES pain & how we can affect the pain pathway is like nothing I was exposed to throughout my schooling. His passion comes out in his lectures. A great course for both veteran clinicians & new grads. Henry Candelaria, DC, Toronto, ON
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The Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course was a terrific learning experience, with hands on practical knowledge that I use proficiently in my everyday private practice. I would recommend it to all Doctors of Chiropractic. Stana Djurdjevic, DC, Mississauga, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture program was one of the best things I did for my practice. I learned a lot and have used the techniques taught to help patients who may not be ideal candidates for chiropractic treatments. This gives me another approach or “tool” to help my patients. The instructors were very knowledgeable and I would recommend this course to anyone. Elizabeth Koehle, DC, Wasaga Beach, ON
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Thank you Dr. Elorriaga and Dr. Fargas-Babjak for creating a course that presents acupuncture in the language of basic science. I am always amazed by how many of my patients improve with acupuncture after failing to respond to chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments. Dave Olujic, DC, Oakville, ON
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I absolutely loved the McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture program and would recommend it to anyone. As a chiropractic intern, I found it was the missing piece in my education that helped pull everything together. The instructors were friendly and knowledgeable and the small group teaching setting was ideal for learning. I found the functional approach fascinating and will continue to take the advanced courses to further my knowledge. Meredith Brady, DC, Oakville, ON
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The Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Course at McMaster University offered me a great evidence-based program in which to learn acupuncture. I love being able to offer my patients an additional tool to help treat a variety of conditions, and look forward to following up with the range of continuing education programs that are being offered. Carole Smith, DC, Oakville, ON
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Great for professionals wanting to expand their horizon. It is also kept in a reasonable time frame that works for busy professionals long hours. Rema Zawi, DC, Mississauga, ON
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Being a chiropractor and traditionally trained acupuncturist, I had a special appreciation for this course. It provided an organized, condensed and directly applicable approach with a contemporary neuroanatomical approach, appreciate as a chiropractor. This course not only made me a better acupuncturist but also a better doctor. Dave Adich, DC, Bellingham, WA
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So far I am pleased. It is like learning a new language. Anthony Lombardi, DC, Hannon, ON
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The content and presentation of the material allows me to apply acupuncture in a clear and concise manner. Gil Chimes, DC, Mahopac, NY
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Very useful and practical. It gives you an avenue to enhance the treatments of your patients. Jessica Kim, DC, Ajax, ON
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Acupuncture has become a large component of my treatment protocol. With the addition of acupuncture, along with the traditional adjustment and soft tissue therapy, I am able to treat more conditions and see greater results in less time. Thank you for offering us such a valuable course! Saryu Aggarwal, DC, Ottawa, ON
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Very comprehensive and pertinent for health care practitioners. I highly recommend the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course. Erik Suokas, DC, Toronto, ON
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A very unique course that offers equal opportunities to learn hands-on technique and in-class lectures. Integrated evidence-based acupuncture was well explained through a multitude & variety of instructors. Jennifer Illes, DC, Treasure Island, FL
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Informative and well done. Great for clinical practice. Stephan Lemak, DC, Chatham, ON
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The perfect paradigm to use in a chiropractic practice to take your practice and patient outcomes to the next level. Carson Smith, DC, Toronto, ON
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An excellent course that provided information I could immediately put to use with my patients. This course has allowed me to provide more comprehensive and integrative care in my practice. David O’Connor, DC, Toronto, ON
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Thorough, comprehensive and very hands on. Clinical tools are taught that can be used in your office Monday morning! Marc Baker, DC, Bedford, NS
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The most informative, clinically relevant and organized program I have taken. Would highly recommend to anyone who wants to add to their arsenal when treating neuromusculoskeletal disorder as well as functional disorders. Ralph Sciullo, DC, Hamilton, ON
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Wonderful program. Clear, concise and very well presented. David Salanki, DC, Port Colborne, ON
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This course has been well taught and well received. The information can be applied very quickly and effectively into chiropractic practice. It is a must for every senior practitioner in modern health care. Colin Wellum, DC, Burlington, ON
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I am a chiropractor in practice for 6 years. I had an interest in acupuncture while attending Chiropractic College so I took our school course as an elective. In the first three years of practice I used acupuncture on roughly 5% of patients. Then I took the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course at McMaster and my use of acupuncture increased to 50% of patients. I became significantly more confident when needling patients. My knowledge of anatomy and needle point location increased tremendously.

The Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Course offers a nice balance of “hands-on” needling, in-class lectures and anatomy lab review with actual cadavers.

I use what I have learned at the Mac course on a daily basis and it was very easy to perform these new techniques on my patients, with better treatment results compared to when I began using acupuncture 6 years ago.
If you are going to incorporate acupuncture into your practice then the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Course at McMaster is definitely the course to take!! Dr Ryan Davidson, DC, Oakville, ON
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The McMaster program is a clinically applicable, evidence based program that is sure to benefit manual practitioners of all disciplines. In our practice, it is a key component in getting our athletes back to competition quickly. Andreo Spina, DC, Mississauga, ON
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The MAC Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program was taught in a practical and clinically relevant way in treating musculoskeletal complaints, yet addressing the often complicating factors of chronicity. Unlike other programs, upon completion I felt armed and confident using the needling techniques taught. Throughout the program I have been practicing on friends and family, and experiencing tremendous results. I am excited about incorporating contemporary acupuncture into my practice today. Tammy Langedyk, DC, ART, Toronto, ON
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Fantastic course, efficient use of time. Learned a lot and would recommend the course to others. Thanks for everything! Elizabeth Hutchesson, DC and James Koehle, DC, Wasaga Beach, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program has helped me in my practice immensely. The acupuncture theories and skills were taught in a way that was very easy for any health professional to comprehend – I particularly appreciated the emphasis on anatomy and neurology. The instructors also focused on acupuncture as a treatment modality for conditions commonly seen in a Chiropractic office, and this has made a big difference to my patients. I use the skills I learned from this course daily, and it has given me a safe and effective tool with which I can treat my patients. Michelle Fagen, DC, Toronto, ON
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Very clinically useful with concise, functional information you can use immediately in practice. Karolina Bujak, DC, Oakville, ON
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The science behind acupuncture will add clarity to tradition. This course represents the potential of what health care in this country should aspire to. An integrated, multidisciplinary, co-operative effort focused on the needs of the patient and their wellbeing. Thank you for creating this opportunity. Steven Passmore, DC, Grimsby, ON
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The course was very informative and up to date. It allowed me to apply the information immediately in practice. Christopher Mah, DC, Staten Island, NY
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Since incorporating acupuncture in my daily practice with patients, I have seen healing times decrease and patient satisfaction increase. As a manual practitioner, my greatest assets are my hands and acupuncture needle. The clinical knowledge and application of acupuncture theories is well presented and practically applied within a classroom environment. What really sets this course apart from all others is the opportunity to learn needle placement on cadaveric specimens. Not only will the student leave the program confident in acupuncture needle placement and neurophysiology, but also feeling secure about technique effectiveness and patient safety. Ernie Bagnulo, DC, Niagara Falls, ON
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The McMaster program is very current and incorporates the latest evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture. It is easily applied in practice and is a great complement to manual techniques. It has become a big part of my practice in helping athletes return to sport quickly and pain free. Michael D. Chivers, DC, Toronto, ON
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Contemporary Medical Acupuncture has become an integrate component of my treatments for both Professional Athletes and the average patient. The McMaster CMA course has provided me with an amazing tool to speed the recovery of my patients. Kevin Deonarine, DC, Toronto, ON
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As a recent Graduate from CMCC, my career as a chiropractor is ahead of me. This course has provided me with ample confidence and skills to make a difference to my potential patients. Joel Kerr, DC, Scarborough, ON
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Great course for a chiropractor student, due to the highly integrative nature of the information taught. James Parliament, DC, Fairview, AB
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program provides today’s health care practitioner with treatment skills they can immediately employ in their busy practice. The course design takes an age old paradigm and applies it to Western society’s understanding of human anatomy and physiology. This allows for seamless integration of evidence based acupuncture with any other modern treatment modality. In my practice, the concomitant application of acupuncture with manipulation and soft tissue techniques has led to unparalleled improvement in patient outcomes. This in turn has led to greater patient satisfaction and contributed to personal fulfillment in my commitment to improved patient health. I would encourage health professionals from many different backgrounds to explore the benefits of acupuncture through the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program. Davor Cepo, DC, Mississauga, ON
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For any of you who may be thinking “I’m too old to take on this educational load” or “I’m close enough to retirement that I can just cruise the next few years without any new challenge”, you may be right. But, if you are looking for a little excitement as well as an antidote for staving off the obvious cerebral manifestations of the onset of maturity, this acupuncture program will stimulate your heart as well as your synapses. The teachers and assistants were each professional, personally invested in their time and talents and sincerely caring in their efforts to share in their success secrets. Make no mistake, there is a cost with regard to finances and family sacrifices, but the personal reward of achievement has made it pale in comparison for all parties. Go for it! Thomas M. Serra, DC, Conyers, GA
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The Contemporary Acupuncture course at McMaster is the present and future to the therapeutic care of patients. Its neuromechanical approach provides a great understanding of the functioning of the body and how to care for it. Mahmoud Zaerian, DC, Stouffville, ON
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To all my past students at chiropractic college I would like to say that, no matter how long you have been in practice you owe it to yourself to take this amazing course. Not only will you be challenged in ways you never thought possible, you will learn not only a new technique but a new approach to practice and diagnosis. Your patients will greatly benefit, especially your most challenging ones. This is a course that is well organized, expertly taught and presented in a way that I can assure you will enable you to achieve greater success. Ted Blackmore, DC, Mississauga, ON
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Taking this course far exceeded my expectations! How refreshing to learn a functional, hands-on approach to wellness care. Dr. Alex and his associates are very knowledgeable and upbeat. His teaching methods made learning the concepts that involve acupuncture easy to understand. What a pleasure to be taught by him. I plan to take more courses in the future! Leslie MacEwen, DC, St. Catharines, ON
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Not only is the contemporary medical acupuncture course a wise investment, but a modality that I will be integrating into my practice for years to come. Alejandro teaches a practical neurofunctional approach that instills the necessary knowledge to successfully practice the art and science of acupuncture in any modern health care setting. The results are proven and the interactive tutorials allow for optimal engagement and learning. This course will serve as the perfect adjunct to my Chiropractic practice. Dr. Adrian Rossi, D.C., B.Sc. (Hon.), Toronto, ON
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At this stage of my career, I judge the quality and value of a course on if it was worth it to travel away from my practice and family and to sustain lost income from days out of the office. I would jump at the opportunity to do both again enthusiastically. The contemporary neuro-functional approach is stimulating and appealing. Alex is a gifted teacher and thinker in the field of manual medicine. Anyone looking to become an elite provider should not hesitate to take this course. Thank you Alex and Angie! Brian R. Murer, DC, Bloomington, IN
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Dr. Elorriaga made simple the assessment of patients and provided a step by step guide to distinguishing areas of dysfunction within the body. In the Functional Assessment course I not only learned thorough assessment techniques, but a clearer understanding of what is happening in the body when there is dysfunction. Mahmoud Zaerian, DC, Stouffville, ON
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I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to take his course so early in my career. Dr. Elorriaga’s clinical pearls and method of functional assessment has changed the way I practice. From the moment I started implementing just a few things I learned, I saw the results. The live real patient case studies were one of my favorite parts of the course. I would highly recommend this course to each and every manual health practitioner. Salomeh Redjvani, DC, Richmond Hill, ON
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I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Elorriaga`s advanced assessment course two weeks ago. I am a chiropractor who has been practicing both chiropractic and acupuncture for 14 years. I have been utilizing the contemporary medical acupuncture approach for approximately 10 years. I am very happy the program offered this advanced training opportunity. I have had tremendous fun at the office in the last two weeks since returning. I have put a powerful array of new observational and palpatory techniques into play that have allowed me to easily discover neurological and adaptive dysfunction from head to toe (literally). There is real meaning in this new exploration of the body. I have easily incorporated my acupuncture skills and applied them to very specific deficiencies and dysfunctions that only now I can actually see and recognize. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to have a more in depth, practical, working knowledge of the body. Rosanne Metz, DC, Toronto, ON
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Utilizing the neuro-functional assessment framework Dr. Elorriaga presents has enabled me to diagnose musculoskeletal dysfunctions more accurately and to provide improved treatment specificity and clinical outcomes for my patients. This course is a must for anyone wishing to improve and refine their clinical assessment skills. Andrea Nalborczyk, DC, Oakville, ON
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The information presented was detailed, organized and the most clinically relevant approach to diagnosis of movement disorders. It was Advanced Functional Assessment at its best and will change the way you manage musculoskeletal problems from now on! John Strebul, DC, Welland, ON
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This course deepened my understanding of acupuncture points that produce a significant change in the body. I’ve been out of the course a couple of days and I have noticed a dramatic improvement in the treatment of my patients. I’m more confident and sure of needling. Mahmoud Zaerian, DC, Stouffville, ON
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The advanced neurofunctional needling course helped to deepen my understanding, practice and appreciation of the neurofunctional approach. I have no doubt that the course will be impactful immediately and for years to come. Thank You! Chris Michailidis, DC, Vaughan, ON
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The Advanced Neurofunctional Needling course was fantastic! I was very excited to apply the techniques presented the very next day. Alex is a wonderful teacher and gave us some excellent clinical pearls. It is always an enlightening experience to learn from him. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to add new acupuncture techniques into their practice. I can’t wait until the next one! Kirsten Thomas, DC, Markham, ON
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The Advanced Needling course teaches you the most precise and clinically efficient needling techniques which can be easily implemented with your patients. The well planned combination of lectures, intensive practical workshops, live patient case presentations, and viewing of cadaver specimens will make this one of the most enjoyable and comprehensive weekend courses you will ever take. Andrea Nalborczyk, DC, Oakville, ON
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I continue to learn and develop as a practitioner to better serve my patients. The skills and insight I have gained from the Advanced Needling Course and the Advanced Functional Assessment Course are invaluable to my continued success. The methodology of treatment is based on a sound framework of accurate functional assessment, a clear understanding of past and present illness, and a fundamental understanding of anatomical, neurological, metabolic, and physiologic mechanisms. Using the information gained allows for rational decision making and application of treatment with the most optimal gains to the patient. When working with elite athletes, there is no room for inconcise irrational treatment, only precise timely results. These skills allow me to achieve results faster and with permanent long lasting impact. Dr. John Cipriani, DC, Charolotte, NC
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The Advanced Functional Assessment course provides a totally unique approach to not only neuromusculoskeletal assessment, but the entire concept of movement disorders and MSK clinical entities. Dr. Elorriaga’s approach combines functional anatomy, functional palpation and general movement and orthopedic analysis to assess and treat the entire body as a biological structure, not just a specific pain presentation. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in the field of manual medicine. Matt McGrath, DC, Toronto, ON
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The Advanced Functional Assessment of Musculoskeletal Problems far exceeded my expectations. I feel I have a much deeper understanding of the functional integrated model. After 2 weeks of using what I’ve learnt, the clinical results have been absolutely tremendous. Patients are extremely happy and impressed with the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the treatments. Thank you! Chris Michailidis, DC, Thornhill, ON
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The Contemporary acupuncture course has given me a system for not only assessing musculoskeletal injury and dysfunction but also a great treatment protocol. The instructors are fantastic and the course is well organized and a pleasure to follow. Dr Alex’s enthusiasm for teaching is obvious as the course allows you to think about dysfunction in a whole different light. I would encourage any practitioner who wants to incorporate a system of acupuncture into their practice to attend. Brian Deutsch, DC, Miami, FL
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The Advanced Neurofunctional Needling course allows the practitioner to really hone their skills acquired in the main acupuncture program. The small class size provides a unique opportunity for one on one feedback and the needling techniques accompany the assessment techniques. It’s courses like this that allow the good practitioner to become great, and you will likely see improved results almost immediately. Matt McGrath, DC, Toronto, ON
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Doctor of Osteopathy
The CMA course was an excellent, concise and very clinically useful introduction to acupuncture. The techniques and philosophies are easily integrated into almost any practice or style. I highly recommend the course to other physicians. Excellent course for physicians who would like to incorporate acupuncture with a solid scientific basis. Joshua Usen, DO, Getzville, NY
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Very good. Well organized. David Waterson, DO, DeWitt, MI
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The course is very well planned, the information is taught in a straight forward manner with a strong focus on the structure and function of all tissues to be treated ie: how and why they do what they do and how to do them accordingly. Chris O’Connor, RMT, Osteopath, Guelph, ON
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Medical Doctors
The Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course at McMaster University offers a dynamic and comprehensive foundation for practitioners seeking to incorporate acupuncture into their scope of patient care. The functional and highly anatomical driven instruction by a wide range of accomplished and accessible instructors is the emphasis of this course. Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga, MD (course director) challenges each and every student to seek these foundations and takes a sincere interest in each student’s individual progress. The well-organized and systematic course format provides the body system lectures, theories, current research, hands-on laboratories, and interaction with students from a wide array of other health care disciplines. The course provided me with the foundation and course material resources to learn and apply new aspects of functional anatomy and applications of Contemporary Medical Acupuncture in patient care every day. Most importantly, I have added a new and dynamic modality that I was quickly able to utilize to really help my patients. Robert D. Kelly, MD, Harvard Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Boston, MA
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I have been attending the Contemporary Acupuncture courses since 2006. As a physician who was already practicing acupuncture I have found that these courses have provided me with the scientific background that I needed in practicing in a hospital setting. The courses have taught me the anatomical relevance of the neuroreactive sites in relationship to musculoskeletal anatomy, function and disorders. Using the theories of neuromodulation lends credibility about acupuncture when conversing with other physicians at work.

My needling skill confidence rose dramatically after learning new needling techniques at the workshops.

Dr. Elorriaga’s enthusiasm for teaching and his remarkable knowledge of neuroanatomy, musculoskeletal anatomy, and function makes him an excellent lecturer. His lectures are concise, relevant, and updated with the most recent scientific articles regarding acupuncture and neuroplasticity.

The needling workshops and anatomy labs are superior to any other courses I have taken. The trained preceptors that guide the workshops are actively treating musculoskeletal dysfunction in their practices and are using acupuncture in their own practices daily. A team approach is used to guide the student to better assessment skills in evaluating MSK issues and in perfecting needling technique. Physicians with varied backgrounds of practice and knowledge of anatomy and MSK dysfunction will find this a comfortable learning situation.

The Contemporary Acupuncture program is well organized. The reading material and homework is relevant to the learning of acupuncture and to the clinical applications of acupuncture in the physicians practice.

I would recommend this program of training to any physician who is serious about wanting to gain knowledge and clinical skills to use acupuncture successfully in their practice. Brenda Donaldson, M.D., FAAMA, Corporate Director of Acupuncture, William Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak, MI
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I couldn’t let another day go by without conveying my thoughts regarding the CMA Core course.

The material was presented in a very organized fashion. The Contemporary Medical Acupuncture approach is comprehensive, scientifically grounded in evidenced-based medicine – and as such – is very applicable in the clinical setting in which I work, i.e. office-based musculoskeletal medicine.

The combination of instruction in the gross anatomy lab at the McMaster University Medical School, with classroom lectures emphasizing relevant neuro-anatomy was extremely valuable. The computer generated visuals in class were very helpful; I continue to use this tool daily in my own work.

The content of the lectures were interesting and engaging, exploring a wide range of topics, from the neuro-anatomical to education in the multi-disciplinary approach that treating pain – especially chronic pain – requires. The material presented was, again, very applicable in the day-to-day practice of medical acupuncture.

The five syllabi and workshop materials given us at each of the Core Modules were well organized and useful. Each syllabus contained up to ten relevant articles on acupuncture from the medical literature. I found this very helpful.

Each module featured clinical workshops with live patients undergoing evaluation and treatment by Dr. Elorriaga. He teaches a ‘hands-on’ – ‘get-results-now’ approach to medical acupuncture utilizing his deep understanding and knowledge of neuro-anatomy, medical physiology and functional musculo-skeletal medicine.

As an anesthesiologist with many years of practice and research in the field of medical acupuncture, Dr. Babjak brings to bear a wealth of experience and knowledge to the application of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain.

Drs. Elorriaga and Fargas-Babjak are assisted by a cadre of able instructors – physicians, chiropractors and physical therapists – who are clearly dedicated and – to a person – demonstrate an impressive knowledge of the material. Each instructor took pains to assure that each of the students understood what was being taught both in the lecture/classroom as well as in the clinical workshops.

In summary, the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Core Program is a comprehensive, well-organized, practical and extremely useful course for any provider working in the clinical areas of Musculo-skeletal or Pain Medicine. Without hesitation, I can say that it is the most valuable acupuncture training in which I have participated. Brahman Levy, M.D., Medical Director, WORKNET Occupational Medicine, Stratford, NJ 08084
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I’m an Argentinian medical doctor, and I have been practicing acupuncture for years when I noticed about this course. I took part on it and I can say that it is the best way to learn acupuncture, suitable to our occidental way of thinking, very practical, and reliable. I need to say thank for all you gave us your kindness, and your friendship. Dimack Reyt, MD, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
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I would like to congratulate McMaster University for the initiative of providing education on Contemporary Medical Acupuncture in such a high level. Norton Moritz Carneiro, MD, Florianopolis, Brazil
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As a graduate of both the UCLA course and the McMaster course, I would recommend this course overwhelmingly to any physician as their initial experience in learning acupuncture… Because of the magnitude and unfamiliarity of the material, learning acupuncture can be an overwhelming experience. This course was exceptionally well organized, which made the material manageable. The course had a very practical and systematic approach which makes sense to physicians. Kevin J. O’Rourke, MD, Anaesthesiologist, Annapolis, MD
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Having had the good fortune to take the course Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga lectured in Oporto back in 2005, I always had the desire to perfect my training. Going to Hamilton 8 times during the past two years was the perfect way to do this. I now feel much more confident in my practice, and all of my patients benefit greatly from it. Even when I´m not performing acupuncture treatments, all the knowledge that I was introduced to during the core training and the advanced programs has helped me become a much better physiatrist. I recommend this program for all doctors, especially those in Sports Medicine, Physical Medicine, Anesthesiologists or anyone performing neuro-physiologic studies. The proficiency handling needles you can get by going through the training process will surely help you be a better physician. I have. António Encarnação, MD, Braga, Portugal, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Sports Medicine Resident
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I first became interested in Acupuncture after attending a CME seminar on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. I was even invited by the speaker at the conference, who also happens to be a vascular surgeon, to be personally trained at his clinic in Hong Kong. I selected the McMaster course after an exhaustive Internet search of available training programs in North America, Europe and Far East. I strongly considered going to China to learn at the source. I settled on the McMaster program primarily for it’s a) Modular approach, b) Emphasis on neuro-biology and pathophysiology, c) integration of focused workshops with lectures; and d) scheduling (mostly weekends). For the students who are trained in ‘Western’ healthcare, the course as it is taught in terms of neuro-anatomy is much easier to understand compared to traditional approach. As a general internist, I see applicability of acupuncture as adjunct treatment for treatment of conditions far beyond what is traditionally accepted in western medical culture (i.e: musculo-skeletal disorders). In fact, I have several patients that are willing to try acupuncture for conditions such as fibromyalgia, diabetes, and migraine headaches. As acupuncture becomes more accepted, I expect (or wish) it be a medical sub-specialty. Sarma Jayanthi, MD, Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, Oxford, CT
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When I came to Canada the last thing I expected was a whole acupuncture course up and running alongside conventional medicine practice. In England acupuncture courses are the initial foundation course followed by the intermediate courses. In the foundation course you get a taste of acupuncture. The McMaster Modular Course is more intense and extensive, a deeper understanding of acupuncture is attained which helps when dealing with different case scenarios and the hands-on workshops enable us to improve on needling techniques. Having come to Canada to do a “Pain Fellowship” for a year the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Course will help me to provide another modality of treatment for my patients. I hope to administer acupuncture where indicated and follow up their progress. I would definitely recommend this course to my colleagues because acupuncture can be applied to so many different conditions with success. It is safe and the best part is that you avoid the side effects of medications. With acupuncture you aim to treat the cause of the problem. Susmita Oomman, MD, Clinical Fellow in Pain, Anesthetist, London, England
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I find that this course allows more people to learn acupuncture very easily. Maria Parada, MD, London, ON
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Great course to whoever wants to have knowledge to help their patients. Ramesh Kaza, MD, Franklin, MI
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At Hamilton Health Sciences Hospital the patient’s wellbeing is a priority, not only through conventional medicine but in all spectrums of medical technique. Medical acupuncture brings an alternative to patients to achieve relief from common illnesses and could be used as a single treatment or as a coadjutant for medical conditions that under-conventional medicine has no improvement. The medical Acupuncture weight of evidence makes us confident in the many uses of this centennial knowledge. Maria Eugenia Calvo, MD, Anesthesiologist, Pain Management Specialist, Panama (McMaster)
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The evidence-based information presented has precipitated a dramatic paradigm shift in the way I approach patients with orthopedic injuries and diseases, as well as chronic pain and has awakened my awareness of the connections between the somatic and the visceral systems.

Alejandro and Angie are awesome teachers and the neuro-physiologic / neuro-anatomic /neuropathic scientific approach (peppered with historic and philosophic pearls for the sake of culture!) rang true for me. Our ability to see the relevant anatomy in the lab on cadaver specimens served to reinforce the concepts taught in the classes and workshops and the instructors, both in the labs and in the workshops, were excellent.

The mixture of disciplines in the class – MD / DOs, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and athletic therapists – greatly enhanced the learning experience.
The bottom line – I would recommend this course to anyone in the healthcare industry who is interested to learn and understand more about this unique modality. Jeff Morris, MD, Hudson, OH
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Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is an excellent complement to any physician who is pursuing training in acupuncture and it is an ideal complementary course to the Helms Institute for Medical Acupuncture for Physicians. The focus of CMA on neuroanatomical elements is an invaluable counterpart to the classical Chinese system of acupuncture. As a result of CMA’s approach, I have been enabled to market my acupuncture practice to fellow physicians in western scientific terms, thus furthering the integration of acupuncture into my hospital-based practice with referrals from different medical specialties. Brenda S Donaldson, MD, Farmington Hills, MI
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Finally an evidence based and physiology based acupuncture course! Alex Hoechsmann, MD, Yellowknife, NT
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An excellent adjunct to my medical training, by learning how to treat the whole person from a system-based functional perspective. Devon Christie, MD, Hamilton, On
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The course was a stimulating, well-integrated medical education experience that conveyed an extremely valuable contemporary approach to the functional assessment of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Through live case demonstrations, hands on sessions, and high yield lectures, Dr. Elorriaga teaches a very useful clinical methodology in a fun, dynamic workshop. Matthew Diamond, MD, PhD, New York City, NY
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The Advanced Functional Assessment of Musculoskeletal Problems was an excellent course to obtain a higher degree of learning on how to assess MSK problems. Dr. Elorriaga’s lectures and live case demonstrations on examination techniques that are related to nervous system dysfunction and MSK problems were clinically relevant to the practicing manual therapist. The hands on assessment workshops and the gross anatomy lab solidified what Dr. Elorriaga taught in his lectures and live case treatments. A manual therapist of any training background and level of experience will benefit from this course. The course delivered cutting edge material with clinical relevance that will improve understanding of neuromuscular dysfunction during assessment and thereby improve treatment plans for recovery. Brenda Donaldson, MD, Royal Oak, MI
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The Advanced Needling Techniques workshops provided many hours of hands on practice supervised by Dr. Elorriaga. There was ample time to effectively practice needling the neuroreactive sites. The gross anatomy lab was well organized with small groups of students at each work station. There was sufficient time to examine and palpate the structures that helped to reinforce the anatomy knowledge required in the needling workshop practice. The syllabus that Dr. Elorriaga prepared is a work of art and is clinically useful in displaying the anatomical structures and needling sites. Another excellent workshop developed by Dr. Elorriaga. Brenda Donaldson, MD, Director of Medical Acupuncture, Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak, MI USA
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Physiotherapists
Among all the courses I have taken so far the Contemporary Acupuncture program is by far the best. The clarity in which Dr. Elorriaga presented this material truly makes him an expert in this field. I personally enjoyed observing Dr. Elorriaga treat patients in the live case studies and was amazed by his results. The instructors at the program were very knowledgeable, friendly, and acted as great mentors. I truly was excited and looked forward to each unit of the program. Since completing the program I use acupuncture on a daily basis with most of my patients. I continue to be amazed on the effectiveness of this modality on improving function, healing, and nociception. I constantly review the course material along with anatomy to continue to hone my technique. Eric Lau, MSc, PT, Oakville, ON
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This is the most valuable training I have had for understanding and treating neuropathic pain. As my skill in this technique has improved, so have the effectiveness & outcomes of my treatments. Joanna Speller, PT, Hamilton, ON, Hamilton, ON
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Since taking the McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture Program & especially the advanced courses, I have gained invaluable skills for treating my patients. My success with treatments has provided me with a large referral base, as doctors and previous patients continue to refer clients based on my results. Heather MacKay, PT, Caledonia, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program was the most useful course I have ever taken. The course provides so much hands-on education and feedback that upon completion, I had acquired a new skill that I was able to incorporate immediately into clinical practice. I have used acupuncture in private, hospital and home care based clinical settings and it has made a real difference in clinical outcomes. I would definitely encourage physiotherapists to take the course as it can really enhance the quality of your practice and it is so fitting in the scope of what we do. Diana Hatzoglou, PT, Burlington, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of how to provide focused treatment and get excellent results. It has truly been a career altering experience to participate in such a wonderful course. The instructors were exceptional. I highly recommend this course at any point in your career. Maureen Bellavia, PT, Ancaster, ON
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After taking other courses offered by other acupuncture groups, I found the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program to be superior in many ways. The instructors were very approachable, their small group teaching was outstanding and the anatomy labs helped to solidify a deeper understanding of my acupuncture practice. This course was easy to integrate into my practice right away and I’ve seen my client base grow directly because of this course. Darlene Losier, PT, Caledonia, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture Program is an integral piece in my continued development within the healthcare spectrum. All the courses offered teach individual practitioners invaluable skills and how to treat neuropathic pain based on an anatomical platform. My success is directly linked to this program and its teachings. I would recommend to any entry level graduate to take this course as it will assist, tremendously, in bridging the gap between anatomy and treatment. Daniel C. Agostinelli, PT, Stoney Creek, ON
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Since taking the McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture course I have produced better results in treating musculoskeletal dysfunctions. I now use acupuncture for over 80% of my patients with over 95% of my patients showing marked improvements in just a few treatments. I would recommend this course to any therapist who wants to produce the best outcomes for their patients as they can. Michael Hofstatter, PT, Kitchener, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course is an excellent complement to an orthopedic manual therapy physical therapy practice. The anatomy and neurophysiology basis to identifying points and designing treatments has fit very well into my practice. I appreciated the comprehensive approach to learning acupuncture and my clients have responded well to this treatment approach. Cindy Coneen, PT, Sherwood Park, AB
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The McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture Program is an excellent course involving superb teaching using research based on the anatomy and physiology behind the use of acupuncture. I have been able to immediately apply this teaching to my practice for both musculo-skeletal injuries and acquired brain injury. It is a superior asset I am delighted to have. The courses offered teach individual practitioners valuable skills that produce enhanced results in the treatments of neuropathic pain. The small groups, anatomy labs, and excellent staff make this course one that would benefit all practitioners. I would recommend to all graduates to take this course. Merle Duchesne, PT, Windsor, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program provided an in-depth understanding of the neurophysiological and neuroanatomical basis of acupuncture in order to ensure competent practice. The course instructors were extremely helpful, encouraging and knowledgeable. I strongly recommend this program to other practitioners who are considering being trained in acupuncture. This invaluable course has enabled me to practice acupuncture with positive results and high patient satisfaction. Jennifer George, PT, Leamington, ON
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Very worthwhile, excellent learning experience and stimulating. Douglas Fearman, PT, Alliston, ON
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I wanted to insure that I took the time to write this brief letter, congratulating all of you on putting together one the finest post graduate courses I have had the privilege to attend. The program was highly informative, extremely well organized and executed wonderfully. The theory and practical components were relevant not only in relation to each other, but for any healthcare professional looking to expand their horizons and ability to serve their patients. Every instructor was well prepared and took the necessary time and effort to provide information and guidance to those students who asked or needed additional help. Each went above and beyond my expectations.

Although the course was intense in its very nature with copious amounts of information to assimilate in what can be considered a brief amount of time, there was never a weekend that I did not feel motivated and anxious to attend this learning experience.

I would like to take a moment to single out Alex on his superior skills as a teacher and lecturer. Never did I leave one of his presentations without feeling that I had been gifted with information and insights that I would carry with me my entire career. His intelligence and devotion to his field makes him a mentor to everyone he interacts with. “Be, Do, Have”.

Once again I extend my thanks and wish all of you the very best in the future. Ed White, BA, RMT, PT, Brantford, ON
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I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire course and I feel it has changed my practice as well as my personal life. All the instructors have been extremely helpful and have so much valuable knowledge. Thank you for a very rewarding experience. Darlene Evans, PT, Hamilton, ON
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As a graduate of the McMaster course, I would recommend this course as a must for all modern health practitioners to begin any Acupuncture studying. Well presented and organized, clinically relevant and very practical, this course can quickly and effectively be applied and used as an extraordinary tool in any medical practice. This course is a blessing for our patients. Thank you. Alexandru D. Mihaileanu, Toronto, ON
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Very engaging! I appreciate the hands-on practical approach and the obvious way these skills will dramatically enhance my practice. Jennifer Baker, PT, Toronto, ON
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Awesome! Puts your anatomy knowledge into a whole different perspective! Daniel Agostinelli, PT, Stoney Creek, ON
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We chose the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program of McMaster University because it is a university-based program and accredited by the American Board & Academy of Medical Acupuncture. It is an evidence-based system with fundamental neuro-anatomical and functionally integrated approach in pain management particularly for musculoskeletal dysfunctions and chronic pain syndromes. This program was educational and clinically relevant on daily practice in different settings. Clinical sessions and anatomy labs were very valuable in enhancing the principles of theoretical classes and developing skills for precise needling techniques. Hands-on training sessions in small groups with experienced and knowledgeable clinical instructors were valuable. Having the opportunity to learn from other practitioners experience was a great asset. We strongly recommend this program to other healthcare professionals who are interested in integrating medical acupuncture in their clinical practice. It was fun, friendly and educational. Afshin Ryan, PT & Manijeh Ryan, MD, Scarborough, ON
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I initially thought that I had just signed up for another acupuncture course, but this turned out to be a program that offered a renewed understanding of patient presentations and a cutting edge clinical approach. With philosophies that challenges conventional thinking added to a line-up of impressive instructors, this course has been eye-opening and inspirational. I left each unit with a heightened sense of how I may start to bring about greater change in my practice. Although I have had previous acupuncture training, only since I began taking this course did my patients consistently experience a dramatic improvement in their outcomes from acupuncture. This program has been pivotal for my career. Amy Thieu, PT, Toronto, ON
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Going into this acupuncture course, I expected to learn a few acupuncture points, and how to add this treatment to my practice as a physiotherapist. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to take so much more out of this experience than I ever expected. It wasn’t just about learning acupuncture points. I learned a whole new way to look at the pain experience that I had never considered before. I feel that I am much more equipped now to deal with any injury that comes my way. This course also helped me consider more than just the body structures when thinking about an injury. I was reminded that you must look at the whole person in order to treat patients effectively. The instructors were remarkable. I was impressed on a daily basis as to, not only how intelligent and insightful they were, but also how helpful and approachable they were. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience and to be considered a part of the contemporary acupuncture family. Thank you! Rhonda Page, PT, Cambridge, ON
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I came as “boy” to Unit 1 and left as a “man” at the end of the course. This is THE MOST important course I’ve taken. It was a game changer for me and the results I’m getting with my patients are beyond what my imagination could create before. Vladimir Egorov, PT, Stockholm, Sweden
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Dr. Elorriaga is able to simplify and consolidate complex information that clinicians can immediately put into practice. His systematic approach should be utilized in all medical schools for teaching and training purposes. He is an engaging speaker, using real patients to reinforce his message of the importance of determining the cause of the problem and not simply rehabilitating the dysfunction. I highly recommend this course to any health care professional. It will make you deeply reflect on how you assess and treat your clients. Maureen Bellavia, PT, Ancaster, ON
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As a graduate of the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program over 10 years ago, I was amazed at the course content and attention to detail back then…. and with the advanced course, Alejandro has built on the sophistication of his craft. Extremely clinician friendly with techniques that produce immediate results. Jeff Bird, PT, Toronto, ON
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The neuro-functional model of MSK medicine presented by Dr. Elorriaga is definitively ahead of the present time. The three prongs approach of assessment combining segmental, arthokinematics and soft tissue tensegrity examination can really facilitate the identification of system dysfunction. With this network system thought process, the clinician can then truly address the dysfunction of the MSK system instead of solely working on the symptomatic care. With live case demonstrations, the utilization of the neuro-functional assessment is vividly presented to the participants of the course. Yangwei Dai, PT, Mississauga, ON
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The theory I learned in this course has changed the way I practice. It has provided me with an entirely new and effective framework for assessing and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders which is more comprehensive and integrated compared to what I learned in school. Susan Jones, PT, Toronto, ON
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Learning from Dr. Elorriaga is an incredible privilege as he shares masterful anatomical insights that have assisted me in all aspects of my assessing and treating of clients. The neurofunctional approach to acupuncture has truly revolutionized the way I see and treat the body and I am forever grateful. Jennifer Dynes, PT, Oakville, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture Program’s approach to needling is one that makes sense from a neuroanatomical and functional perspective. I have been able to successfully incorporate acupuncture into my daily treatment for several years now since taking the main program. Adding on the practical knowledge and application of the Advanced Neurofunctional Needling Course allows me to treat clients in another dimension and adds to my current acupuncture practice and skill set. The knowledge imparted by Dr. Elorriaga challenges our approach, thought process, and engages one to be a better, more mindful clinician. Natalie Greig, PT, Dundas, ON
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The Advanced Neurofunctional Needling Technique course was a great follow-up after the Advanced Functional MSK Assessment course, as it completes the assessment and treatment process of contemporary medical acupuncture. With a review of the functional assessment, the utilization of needling to target various neurofunctional inputs was presented. In addition, as a participant, the opportunity to have Dr. Elorriaga to directly supervise the lab session and to review anatomical structures with cadavers was invaluable. Yangwei Dai, PT, Mississauga, ON
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The course really improved my knowledge of anatomy, my palpation skills and provided me with some new and powerful needling techniques. Susan Jones, PT, Toronto, ON
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Dr Elorriaga developed a painless model of neurofunctional needling based on modern sciences of neurophysiology and anatomy giving a place to quickly and effectively diagnose and treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Giannis Kikilis, PT, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Registered Masssage Therapists
This past weekend (Unit 1) was fantastic! I keep telling myself how fortunate I am to be taking the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course. Many different professionals studying toward one common goal, these are good times. The program is very well designed and details are outlined so well that one’s own personal responsibility can take over and maximize results. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fantastic. Simon Steele, RMT, Woodstock, ON
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It was an eye opener for me. I believe for RMT’s Contemporary Acupuncture (CA) is a better choice because it speaks our language (trigger points, nerve path, etc.). All other courses treat locally only, however CA approaches the situation not only locally but also segmentally and extra segmentally. Instructors are highly informed and willing to share their knowledge. Thanks everyone. Majid Golchini, RMT, Brampton, ON
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The Contemporary Acupuncture course was a very deep experience. It gave me a completely new paradigm and inspired me to work with the body in a more functional and integrated way. It taught me how to think out of the box and how to look at the anatomy and neurology under new lens. It was a practice-changing experience. Alberto Lunati, RMT, Toronto, ON
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Course provides an excellent explanation of the scientific basis for acupuncture. Robert Mostbacher, RMT, Delhi, ON
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This course exceeded my expectations. I believe that I received the most advanced acupuncture training being offered today, provided by a team of instructors that bring a wealth of technical and practical knowledge to the program. I also appreciate feeling that I am part of a broader community of practitioners that continues to provide support, education, and advocacy. Given G. Cortes, RMT, Little Current, ON
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It has been a couple of years since I took the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program and I have used it every day in my clinic since. The integration of McMaster’s contemporary concepts blends very easily into a manual therapy practice. Their teachings, incorporating Western medical models, evidenced based medicine and functional assessment have provided me with a powerful treatment tool that is very effective in conjunction with manual techniques. Ken Ansell, RMT, Regina, SK
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The Contemporary Acupuncture Program provides you with the tools to develop neurological roadmaps for treatment protocols. As well, you will develop a paradigm shift in your understanding of pain and dysfunction in such a way that the focus of your treatments will be fine-tuned. This entirely unique modality has greatly increased the efficacy of my treatments, with strategies that I was able to implement straight away. In addition, I am able to address somatic and visceral dysfunction together in one treatment. How cool is that? Lisa M. Foreman, RMT, Hamilton, ON
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Acupuncture is very effective in treating a variety of painful disorders, both acute and chronic. When I do acupuncture and massage therapy together my clients say its magic. Khadja Afzal, RMT, North York, ON
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This course was exactly what I had been looking for – it was challenging, motivating and interactive. I was able to implement new skills and concepts learned immediately after the first unit and two years later I am still evolving and expanding my treatments combining acupuncture and massage therapy. Best of all, graduates have access to ongoing support and feedback from clinical instructors and staff, which I have found to be priceless. Tonia Nisbet, RMT, Sarnia, ON
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Fantastic course. Very efficient in its delivery of information. Sean Goodwill, RMT, Georgetown, ON
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Training is from top notch instructors and practitioners in their respected fields, which provided a broad spectrum of knowledge for assessment combined with “pin point ” accuracy in acupuncture education. Ryan Bond, RMT, Hamilton, ON
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Well organized, good variety of learning styles and teaching. Teresa Ellis, RMT, Burlington, ON
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The McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program provides a modern medical interpretation of an age old treatment modality, helping to explain some of the mysticism associated with traditional acupuncture. The integration of acupuncture with modern neurophysiological concepts, neuroanatomy, functional assessment and evidence based protocols provided me with a wealth of practical knowledge that could be immediately integrated into my practice with astonishing results.

The clarity, content and presentation of the curriculum, as well as the faculty, are second to none. Classroom lectures, practical workshops with countless supervised needle insertions and invaluable hands-on anatomy lab instruction created a well-rounded educational experience that left me feeling completely confident in my abilities.

I can’t say enough about your program! I will definitely be back for your advanced courses. Ken Ansell, RMT, Regina, SK
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By far the best decision I ever made! The course not only provided me with a new therapeutic skill, but I also walked away with a true understanding of the anatomy. As an RMT, I often found myself referring clients to other health professionals when I couldn`t get the results I was looking for with soft tissue therapies. I won`t be referring anymore. I now have the knowledge and the ability to tackle each individual issue that walks through my door and I`m getting stunning results. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and I look forward to attending an advanced course in the near future. Kristen Myers, RMT, Saskatoon, SK
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What fundamentally changed my clinical approach from this core course are: 1.Treatment Goal: Recovering the Active Daily Living Functions instead of pursuing perfect musculoskeletal structure. 2. Pain: “In the Brain” – Taking Neurological Approach instead of only treatment of the muscles, neurologic, metabolic, nutritional, and mental as important factors; Process based model in pain treatment. I am inspirited by Dr. Alejandro’s wonderful client intake and attitude, his wisdom and knowledge, his honesty and braveness, and his logical approach in the treatment. I feel I am learning a beautiful piece of art and in the process of discovery of the simple truth of the myth. It is so challenging and exciting and enjoying that I will always treasure the time spend in this course. I have to repeat the Philosophical quotes from Dr Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco: 1. No lazy way. 2. Challenge and question everything before you take it for granted, and that is your learning. 3. What is basic component of the personal success? feeling peace of mind; ability to enjoy and gilt free; enjoy of wellbeing. Jerry Nie, RMT, Toronto, ON
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As a health care professional, I feel that we must be the best we can be – for the sake of our clients and for our careers. I must tell you that taking this course at McMaster carries weight in the health care field. This course helped me finally understand where exactly the Pain is. Preet Mehandiratta RMT, Maple, ON
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The Advanced Functional MSK Assessment and the Advanced Neurofunctional Needling courses were wonderful and amazing. I will practice new methods of approach (Neurofunctional approach) and I will add those new learned techniques to my tool box. I recommend both these courses to those who want to understand the concept of traumatic and non-traumatic injuries and practitioners who work with athletes. I want to thank Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco for his excellent teaching methods. Robert Boghossian, RMT, Richmond Hill, ON
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I would like to thank Dr. Elorriaga for completely changing the way I evaluate patients. I just completed the Advanced Neurofunctional Acupuncture course, and it delivered far more than I could have expected. The course was well organized, informative and most importantly allowed lots of time for practical work. His model of neurofunctional assessment and treatment has allowed me to successfully treat some of my most complex cases, and it’s only been 2 Days. As a traditionally trained acupuncturist I appreciated the neuro chemical explanation of this powerful approach. I look forward to more courses with him in the future. Rob Booth RMT, RAc, Victoria, BC
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Registered Nurses
Essential for all practitioners of acupuncture, a wealth of information, fabulous practical component. Ethne Munden, RN, DAc , St John’s, NL
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Great is an underestimated word. Learned so much in a short amount of time. Deborah Horton, Paramedic, RN, Grimsby, ON
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Naturopathetic Doctors
Excellent course. It clarifies a lot of concepts that are not made clear from a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint. It makes acupuncture less esoteric and mystical. Susan Walker, ND, Ajax, ON
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Great – exceeded my expectations. I really liked the combination of anatomy lab and practical needling workshop. Peter Lundgren, Dr. of Naprapathy, Tyresco, Sweden
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TCM/Licensed Acupuncturists
This course has provided me with additional tools to enable me to be a superior acupuncturist. Linda Young, TCM Masters, New York, NY
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As an acupuncture intern trained in traditional Chinese medicine concepts, I approach patients who present with musculoskeletal pain according to diagnostic and treatment principles of Ying and Yang, stagnation of Qi & Blood, Five-Phase (Zang-Fu Organ) Theory, Six Levels, and Bi-Syndromes – all of which have a basis in medical paradigms developed over 2000-3000 years ago. I enrolled in the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program to learn how to integrate evidence-based bio-western medical approaches into my practice – primarily to provide even more effective treatments to my patients, but also to be able to better explain my diagnostic and treatment strategies in a more common functional language that is perhaps more widely understood by patients and by other health-care practitioners.

From the program, I have learned more about the neuro-anatomy concepts of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction – and most importantly, how musculoskeletal pain is a multi-dimensional experience that requires a functional integrative therapeutic treatment model that seeks to (i) neuromodulate activity of the autonomic and somatic nervous systems, (ii) restore soft-tissue tensional integrity and adaptability, and (iii) restore articular/joint function.

The program has been an effective combination of theoretical and practical training – with perhaps the most valuable component for me being the time spent in the university’s cadaver lab reviewing the neurovascular and soft tissue anatomical structures which are the targets of the practitioner’s acupuncture needles and soft-tissue manipulation.

I like the way the program’s modular training units are designed such that immediately following a weekend training session I could very quickly incorporate new treatment approaches and protocols into my practice. Daniel Wunderlich, Dipl OM, LAc, New York, NY
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My fellow graduates of this course who are chiropractors, RMTs and PTs have expressed that their past acupuncture training based on esoteric acupuncture concepts such as Qi and meridians to be very confusing and therefore hindered their ability to integrate acupuncture therapy with their previous biomedical based training. For them, the McMaster neurofunctional approach to acupuncture “make sense” and builds seamlessly on their existing knowledge of anatomy and neurology, thus enabling them to help their patients in a coherent and theoretically consistent fashion. For me, as a licensed acupuncturist originally trained from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, this course delivered the hard scientific explanation that I wanted to be able to provide to my patients. The anatomy labs allowed me to improve my weakness in anatomy and be able to see acupuncture points as 3 dimensional structures. Fellow TCM acupuncturists who take this course will be all the more amazed by how traditional pseudo-scientific practitioners could develop an art that can be perfectively explained by the most modern scientific understanding of neurology, nociception and neuro-immuno endocrinology that are all taught in this course. The value of this course is the understanding of the neuromuscular relevance of traditional acupuncture points. With this understanding, each point can be needled differently, at different angles and different depth to affect different muscles, nerves, trigger points and etc. Suddenly you have just quadrupled the number of tools you have in your tool belt. By understanding the neuroanatomy, you are able to think outside the point, you can create your own acupuncture points to solve any clinical problem. The highlight of the course is the multiple live clinical theatres with real patients that help you see how the course material is integrated in actual practice. Dr. Elorriaga will amaze you as he performs miracles with every patient during their first session, time after time. I am reminded that this is kind of acupuncture that I set out to learn, but never got in TCM school. Dr. Elorriaga and his team of instructors, representing all walks of the healthcare profession, were all extremely well trained in the practice and dissemination of the methodologies they teach. Fellow TCM acupuncturist, who never took this course, often ask me whether this course teaches things they already know. My answer: this course will teach you things you only thought you knew, and build confidence in the things that you didn’t even know existed. Poney Chiang, PhD, LAc (NY), Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)
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In my opinion this course was a bargain for the wealth of practical techniques that you get out of this 3 day weekend course. I am a New York State licensed acupuncturist, have been studying TCM and Japanese style acupuncture for many years. After I took the McMaster Contemporary Acupuncture course last year, my fascination and knowledge of acupuncture has tripled. This advanced course builds on the skills taught in the regular course, by expanding on articular, motor point and nerve branch needling techniques. For me the greatest value of this course was the integration of palpations skills, anatomy, and the surgical precision in needling skills. If you can master the material taught in this advanced needling course, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be among the top 1% of acupuncturists practicing not just in the west, but even in China. Another thing I liked about this course was the small class size that allowed Dr. Elorriaga to give each student personal instruction in palpation, point location and needle technique. The biggest clinical value to me is the skills acquired in needling motor points and nerve branches, to be able to bring about instant improvement in your patient’s dysfunction. Many of the other attendees told me that they have waited many years for this advanced needling course. So, don’t wait, the return on investment for this course is going to be HUGE. Poney Chiang, LAc (NY), TCM, Toronto, ON
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Occupational Therapists”
The Advanced Functional Assessment Course met all of the objectives and more. It becomes very clear from this course that assessment is treatment. This unique course provided me with clarity and clinical reasoning that improved my clinical results immediately and laid the foundation for me to refine my assessment and treatment for years to come. Jason Lomond, OT, East Lahave, NS
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As the outline states, the Advanced Neurofunctional Needling course offered the opportunity to learn and practice advanced needling of joints and peripheral nerves throughout the body with a master of his trade. More importantly, Dr. Elorriaga provided me with the skills to improve my needling skills for years to come. Jason Lomond, OT, East Lahave, NS
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Authors Unknown
Outstanding experience … a stellar fusion of high level physical diagnosis with complementary medicine.
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An excellent adjunct therapy that is effective. The neurophysiology and anatomy explain how acupuncture is extremely effective.
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Excellent theoretical/practical information.
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the contemporary medical acupuncture course for all of your help. You have given me many new insights into health and patient management which will serve to help both myself and my patients.
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