This article comes from Guidepoints News from NADA Summer 2021 IssueSign-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.