}

Gratitude for the Life of Dr. Michael Smith

Mike Smith, founder of NADA, passed away on December 24, 2017. I met him when I was an acupuncture student in 1992 and he came to do a lecture at my school, which for me was like rain on a desert. And that’s what he continued to be throughout my acupuncture career.

I remember sitting in a hotel bar with him and Nora Madden, after a NADA conference in Detroit, talking about training acupuncturists. “You can teach somebody to do acupuncture in about 10 minutes. Put the sharp end in the patient. That’s about it,” he said.

I loved his honesty, his humor, and above all his love of people who needed acupuncture. As an acupuncturist, I had very few professional role models for those qualities. He was one of the only people I could count on to give me the unvarnished truth about our profession, which he did in a series of conversations after he read Acupuncture Is Like Noodles. He called me up to tell me how much he liked the book, to argue a little about acupuncture theory, and to encourage me to keep organizing. His support was tremendously meaningful.

In 2009 he came to Portland to give a lecture to what was then the Community Acupuncture Network. I’m re-posting the link to those videos -- you can find them here-- in honor and gratitude for his life. Without him and without NADA, I have no idea what I’d be doing; I doubt I’d be an acupuncturist.  I’d probably be one of those people who went to acupuncture school and then gave up and quit the field after a year or so. I wouldn’t have hung in there long enough to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

That’s another quality he demonstrated: he hung in there. He persevered -- for decades. He was one thousand percent committed to the project of making acupuncture available to marginalized communities on their own terms. He’s still my role model.

Thank you, Mike.

Note: Mike's memorial service will be held on Saturday March 24 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in NYC, from 1-3pm.

This story was posted on January 11 2018 by Lisafer.

Comments

  • January 11 2018 at 6:41 PM
    joanneo writes:

    I have a special feeling for Dr Smith and his tireless work for NADA; it was NADA that first interested me in acupuncture. He was a pioneer who never stopped working toward the goal: acupuncture for all who need it!

      5 likes
  • January 11 2018 at 7:29 PM
    Whitsitt writes:

    I also wouldn’t be a punk if not for NADA. I’m grateful for the talk he gave in Portland for CAN, for the pioneering work he and the rest of the folks at Lincoln did, and for everything I’ve ever read from him. He had a tremendous insight into the work we do, and much wisdom,usually on the theme of making it less pretentious. And yet his humility uncovered something magical and full of love. May he rest in power.

      5 likes
  • January 14 2018 at 12:07 AM
    Roppie writes:

    Marie Arnberg, from Down EAst Community Acupuncture, in Maine, sent me Matt Bauer’s post about Mike Smith.  like this, it’s also wonderful.  http://www.makingacupuncturepay.com/ForumRetrieve.aspx?ForumID=3795&TopicID=18600&NoTemplate=False

      1 likes
  • January 14 2018 at 12:47 AM
    joanneo writes:

    Thanks for including that link, Roppie; I just read the Matt Bauer piece and agree with you.

      2 likes
  • January 25 2018 at 10:43 PM
    engerin writes:

    Lisa,
    I am sorry for your loss, and thankful for what you’ve gained from what sounds like a remarkable man. His message is needed now more than ever!

      1 likes

Add your 2 cents!

You must be logged in to comment on the blog.


Who Likes This:

  • mitylene
  • Roppie
  • tatyana
  • melissa
  • betonyj
  • teatree
  • Spartacus
  • andy wegman
  • Lori
-- placeholder --

Who's been POCAing lately.

  • Carolineaviva commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 23, 2018
  • midwest jessica (jvh) commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, April 19, 2018
  • ellengrover commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • dcarpen commented on the blog post 'What's the point?' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 17, 2018
  • kcasey44 commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 17, 2018
  • Moses.C commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • gregj commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • tatyana commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Roppie commented on the blog post 'Support Puerto Rico!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, March 12, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, March 12, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Roppie commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, March 09, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'Utah Update' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, March 09, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, March 09, 2018
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, March 09, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'I Heart Safety Data' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, March 07, 2018
  • Scheherazade commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, March 07, 2018
  • teatree commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, March 02, 2018
  • Roppie commented on the blog post 'Dear Prospective Punk (from a Recent Grad and New Punk), or Why We Need POCA Tech' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, February 15, 2018
  • Presence_CA commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • Spartacus commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'Movement Building in the Context of Community Acupuncture' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • urbanapuncture commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • urbanapuncture commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • Jason Protami commented on the blog post 'Some Relevant Facts about Acupuncture & Herbs' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, February 12, 2018
  • anna_ky commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, February 07, 2018
  • engerin commented on the blog post 'Gratitude for the Life of Dr. Michael Smith' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, January 25, 2018
  • Skip commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Skip commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Skip commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Skip commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • melissa commented on the blog post 'Ursula died today.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'Fat Shaming, Capitalism, Etc. Part 2: Self-Care' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'Dear Prospective Punk (from a Recent Grad and New Punk), or Why We Need POCA Tech' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'Fat Shaming, Capitalism, Professional Ethics & Community Acupuncture: An Introduction' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • teatree commented on the blog post 'Toaster Time!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Wadelp commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Mark M commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, January 15, 2018
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'Gratitude for the Life of Dr. Michael Smith' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, January 14, 2018
  • Roppie commented on the blog post 'Gratitude for the Life of Dr. Michael Smith' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, January 14, 2018
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, January 13, 2018
  • janisx commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, January 13, 2018
  • melissa commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, January 13, 2018
  • melissa commented on the blog post 'Position Paper Part 3: Retaliation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, January 13, 2018