This article comes from Guidepoints News from NADA Summer 2021 Issue. Sign-up to receive Guidepoints in your inbox quartlery. The Guidepoints newsletter is the only publication devoted to the sharing and dissemination of our NADA work on an international scale. Become a member to opt-in for a print copy. Check-out past issues.

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.

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.