Stephen M. Smith, MPH
"I am a 65 year-old male in the Wilmington area who has been receiving regular acupuncture treatments for ten years. Initially, my goal was stress reduction and blood pressure control, as I owned and operated a growing and active business. I found it to be a wonderful solution and looked forward to each session. I later developed some minor arthritis , and found the acupuncture to be equally helpful in that. My health indicators today are excellent. My acupuncturist, Leon McKay, is a wonderful professional practitioner.
I am a former local public health director and worked in various sectors of the health care industry my entire career, and I hold an MPH. I firmly believe in a holistic ,preventative form of healthcare, and believe that acupuncture should be an integral part of that.
I encourage the N.C. Legislature to be fully supportive of the acupuncture profession as it develops health policy for the citizens of our state."
"My fiancé and I were trying to conceive through IVF with an egg donor. I was on fertility hormones but the lining in my uterus was not getting thick enough to carry an embryo. After some of my own research and searching on the internet I read that acupuncture could help me. I made an appointment with a recommended acupuncturist and was very excited to see what she could offer me! Her presence is so calming and comforting I just knew I had found the best person for us. So after about 8 months of acupuncture and herbs and multiple trips to Duke Fertility to test the thickness of my lining it finally reached a sufficient thickness to move forward with IVF. At the end of January 2012 we were scheduled to do the embryo transfer. My acupuncturist made a house call to our home to give me an acupuncture treatment before our trip to Duke Fertility for the transfer! She also came back to our house after the transfer to give me more acupuncture. I rested the rest of the day and after a long two weeks I went in for a blood pregnancy test and we were PREGNANT!!! I truly believe that without my acupuncturist and everything she did for me, we would not have our beautiful 4 year old son today.
After four years of not seeing my acupuncturist, I went back to see her because I was having major hormone and possible thyroid issues. She took a look at my tongue, gave me some herbs and in less than a week I was feeling almost 100% better. I feel so lucky to have my acupuncturist in my life!
"I was suffering terribly every month with menstrual discomfort, heavy bleeding, cramps and nausea after my childbearing years and was advised that I could consider having, as the gynecologist put it "the top of your uterus lopped off" as a way to address my ongoing misery. Lucky for me I ran into a friend that manages an acupuncture office who strongly encouraged me to consider acupuncture and herbs before giving the go ahead for an invasive procedure. I'm happy to report that after several sessions, along with a prescribed chinese herbal formula, my menses occurred without any discomfort. Now that I'm in menopause, acupuncture is helping me once again, this time with minimizing hot flashes and difficulty with sleeping. The crazy thing about acupuncture is even the annoying day-to-day aches and pains we believe we have to live with (for example, achy jaw, GI distress, fatigue) are often part of the treatment for whatever ailment first brought you to acupuncture. It is truly an amazing health modality and I am forever grateful for its healing value in my life. I only wish that I had known about it as a teenager and thus could've avoided many years of menstrual-related misery."
"I am 65, and when I first went to my acupuncturist 15 months ago, was suffering from a wide range of physical and emotional issues. Today I feel like a new woman and have a fresh, new outlook on life. I have regained my vitality, am free from pain medications, move with greater flexibility, and have increased endurance. I connect better with people and am happier with myself.
Since others have provided wonderful, detailed testimonies about their individual issues and recoveries, I will try instead to offer some insights into the treatment process itself for those of you who may be considering acupuncture for the first time. Acupuncture may be new to us, but it is a very old practice. It’s been around for at least 2,500 years and has been in use for decades all over the world. Numerous well respected studies have shown its benefits.
Acupuncture treatments are not painful. I like to relax on the treatment table with my eyes closed, and I often don’t even know where or when the needles are inserted. A few will ping, then the sensation evaporates. I would add that every needle has been sterilized by the manufacturer, comes in its own sealed package, and is disposed of properly after a single use. My acupuncturist makes every effort to ensure my comfort. This includes providing a treatment room that is both ultra clean and homelike, offering cushions for more comfortable alignment on the table, adjusting room temperature and lighting according to my preferences, offering a heat lamp for my back or feet (I highly recommend!), and even offering a variety of music from his amazing library to enhance the acupuncture experience.
My acupuncturist stresses that the treatment session belongs fully to me. When I need to talk about things before the treatment begins, he gives me his undivided attention and provides thoughtful, practical responses. I’m comforted to know that he and I are full partners in the healing process.
He is also a superb massage therapist. It’s not a spa-type massage – it’s a Chinese medical massage. You may be surprised at the difference, but will be hugely thankful if you try it.
I find that the time it takes to fully realize the benefits of treatments can vary. Sometimes I feel the results immediately. Sometimes it’s the next day. Sometimes it’s a cumulative process. But I always leave the office with a wonderful sense of calm and well being and always experience relief and improvements. Remember, acupuncture activates your brain and nervous system so that your own body can begin the process of healing itself.
For me, acupuncture has served as the gateway to the larger universe of therapeutic Chinese medical practices – all compatible with established Western medicine. I am now benefiting tremendously from meditation classes, qigong and tai chi instruction, diet improvement and carefully chosen herbs and supplements. All of these avenues may not be for you, but you may want to pursue at least some to enhance your healing and quality of life.
So I say, don’t hesitate to try acupuncture. I truly believe your life will be blessed as much as mine has!"
"I am writing on behalf of the incredible change that Chinese Medicine/Accupuncture and Massage Therapy has made in my life! Please allow me to share my story.
Over 2 years ago, I had to undergo back surgery to take out a severe herniated disc in my lower back. I was living in continuous pain prior, and could hardly walk and do any daily activities. After my surgery, I was continuously sick.. contracting pneumonia twice, the flu, EBV virus. I didn’t have the energy to do anything anymore and my daily living was severely compromised, also having to go to part-time working. Depression was a constant.
Nearly 2 years later and going to see nearly every medical specialist there was, (all the while undergoing very uncomfortable tests), I happened to come upon a doctor in my town credentialed in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. The chinese herbs prescribed for me have in addition brought me so much more energy, and nearly all of my previous symptoms are nearly gone. In addition to the herbs, I receive acupuncture and Craniosacral Therapy which have helped the pain in my back.
I am urging you to consider and highly enforce the addition of this therapy to any insurance company. The difference it has made in my life is unbelievable, I feel as though my life has been given back. Furthermore, those who have accomplished the education to make a difference in so many peoples lives with their knowledge and degree in Chinese Medicine/Accupuncture should be included in the world of medical physicians and the insurance companies."
"My experience with acupuncture and Chinese medicine was not even close to what I had expected. I was referred to see an acupuncturist back in 2015. I must admit I was a little nervous yet excited. Well as I made my appointment a little early due to the fact that I am on oxygen, this was the who purpose of me going. I was so impressed at how busy my acupuncturist was and usually always is and yet is always very professional and greeted each and every person with a smile. My acupuncturist has a special kind of bedside manner. I will continue to go for all of my health conditions. I think more insurance companies should endorse this type of medicine/healing. This is what the most High God put these herbs here on earth for, Back in the 1700's and 1800's we had to rely on herbs not drugs. I leave feeling AMAZING."
"I am a 53 year old grandmother and mother of an 8 year old. For 35 years I have suffered bladder/urethra infections and polyps with extreme discomfort that came and went frequently and continually. After several surgeries, medical doctors were unable to correct my problems, so I simply learned to cope with them using various “natural “ methods. However my dilemma remained and was a constant one. I made an effort with a holistic doctor, spending several thousand dollars on “whole food supplements” again, no help.
Until the age of 53, I had always been an exceedingly good sleeper with only occasional, very mild and brief hot flashes. The week I turned 53, my body made a “shift." I began waking up every hour, with extreme hot flashes and drenching sweats. I absolutely could not sleep. This went on for 10 days. The bladder issue was one thing, but not being able to sleep at my age with an 8 year old to keep up with was something all together different. I needed help desperately and swiftly, so I decided to contact a highly recommended acupuncturist in my area. (She had been highly recommended to me by a friend.) I immediately made an appointment and left the office the first time with two bottles of herbs. One bottle was specifically for my bladder/urethra issue. That night I slept fairly well, with no sweats or hot flashes. The next night and every night after that, I was back to my genuine, sound sleep. The hot flashes and sweats are completely gone. My urethra issue is substantially better, and I am only taking one herb tablet about every 10-14 days, which is a much smaller dosage than the other “natural” methods I had been using.
It is truly a wonderful feeling to know that there is a doctor out there who can offer an affordable remedy. For that, I am extremely appreciative."
"I'd like to say that acupuncture has saved me countless times:
1) an acupuncturist/herbalist was able to shrink my uterine fibroids enough for safe surgical removal
2) when I have suffered emotional trauma, acupuncture treatment has relieved my anxiety
3) upon returning from the ER with pneumonia, my acupuncturist made a house call (!) to offer treatment for strengthening and supporting my lungs
4) I have received amazing treatment to relieve the pain/trauma of a broken wrist, a sprained ankle
I would love to see acupuncture recognized as a serious medical practice in our state of NC and throughout the US.
Thank you for giving me a voice!"
"I am writing today to share my 20 years of acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine has been and still is a Godsend to me. I first used it in my 40's for old injuries I had received from a car accident. I was truly amazed at the relief I felt after the treatments. Enough that I was hooked. No addictive dangerous pain meds and new flexibility. Later in my late 40's I began to have menopausal symptoms and my OB/GYN immediately wanted to put me on hormones. That did not sit well with me but I took them for a short while. I felt as if I was in someone else's body. The menstruation issues coupled with the hot flashes and bloating were enough for me. I started looking towards my Eastern medicine again. And sure enough, there were herbs that helped me and allowed me to sleep at night too. And hey, I did not bloat. It was during this time that I had urination issues as well. Western medicine wanted to put me on hormone cream that was very costly and caused some pretty uncomfortable side effects. Again, I sought out acupuncture and TCM and sure enough I found much needed understanding and relief, safely I might add.
At 50, I had digestive and allergy issues. Where do you think I went this time? Yes, TCM! We began strengthening my digestion with needles and herbs and I was counseled about my food choices! Wow, it's been a journey and my digestion today is the best it has ever been, even when I was younger! You see, we as Americans have made faulty food choices and drink choices through lack of understanding and knowledge. "