Made me feel “whole” again as well as a whole lot younger

I am grateful to Steve for what he has done not only for my right shoulder, which has been a source of chronic pain for two decades due to calcium deposits, but also for my lower back, which x-rays confirm has arthritis at several levels resulting in my specialist’s conclusion that I have “thoracic spondylosis due to scattered areas of disc space narrowing and osteophyte formations being present throughout the thoracic spine”. Before meeting Steve I had already received my quota of steroidal injections in my shoulder, which were wonderful for providing temporary relief, but I was also taking 30 mg of vicodin and 1000 mg of Nabumetone daily to try to reduce the pain in both my shoulder and my back.

After my first session with Steve I began to feel improvement, both physically and mentally, for Steve, after listening to my history, squeezed the section of my shoulder which I said was where I hurt, and said, “I can make that better”. Following failed physical therapy and dreading elective surgery, I was uplifted by Steve’s “can do” attitude. After I positioned myself on the table and Steve moved about me, he began to leave the room and I asked, “When do you put the needles in?” (since I hate needles). Steve told me they were already in and asked if I didn’t feel an electrical current. Only then did I realize I was “hooked up” and receiving treatment.

I’ve been seeing Steve weekly for appointments that last an hour or so, and his treatments have vastly improved the quality of my life. My shoulder “works” again, and my back, which used to awaken me during the night with stabbing pain, has been silenced. Furthermore, when I last saw my doctor, my blood pressure was 119 over 68, unbelievable numbers for me. I told my primary care physician I was seeing an acupuncturist “on my own dime” for my shoulder and my back, and he was supportive (medically, not financially). When I told Steve about the improvement in my blood pressure, Steve’s response was, “You should have mentioned your blood pressure: we can work on that, too.” I suppose I could have gone through the hoops of being referred by Kaiser, but my ex-wife was referred by Kaiser Point West, which is where my primary care physician is, to an acupuncturist in Roseville. Following her quota of visits she felt her treatments were ineffective and didn’t continue. I prefer to “pay my own way” with Steve because one can’t put a price tag on the amount of relief I have received and the resultant improved quality of life I am enjoying.

As I mentioned earlier, Steve’s “can do” attitude of addressing my shoulder, my back, and my blood pressure at the same time, coupled with Steve being an obviously extremely gifted acupuncturist, has turned my life around. At 68, I had lived with chronic pain for so many years that I had almost accepted that such would be my lot in life. As a high school teacher, I would write the outlines for the next day’s lectures on my white board before leaving school as I knew the next day my shoulder would be locked in pain until midway though the day when the drugs “kicked” in and only then would I enjoy marginal movement. I hired people to clean my home, a gardener to mow and blow my lawn, and a neighbor boy to clean my rain gutters. I could no longer perform such routine chores. This weekend I’ve pruned a hedgerow between my neighbor’s and my property with my old pruning shears and am able to sit at my computer and keyboard this statement re: my acupuncturist experience with Steve Phillips. I have no idea if I will continue to see Steve for a month, a year, or for the rest of my life: that’s something he and I haven’t discussed. All I know is that he has truly made me feel “whole” again as well as a whole lot younger than I felt when I first walked through his door.

Had anyone told me that one day I, who is frightened by needles, would one day visit an acupuncturist, much less write a testimonial in which I heap sincere praises and gratitude for said acupuncturist’s many gifts and incredible knowledge, I would have said, “You’re crazy”. Life is full of surprises and gifts, and I know that in addition to the healing one must remain open to receiving such gifts and reinvigorating surprises. Steve began his practice here in 1991: my only regret is that I wasn’t among his first patients/clients. To think that twenty years ago I could have been relieved of all the unnecessary pain and accompanying suffering I’ve experienced is a reality I accept since Steve’s office is literally close enough to my home that I pass by it once a week.

Jerry Waugh

Treated (for): Shoulder Pain, Hypertension, Back Pain - Low

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