Shane the Wizard Healer

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i don't want to brag, gentle reader, but i'm on excellent terms with a great and happy wizard: shane hoffman, who runs turning point acupuncture at 60th and broadway.

shane knows things.

the man has two doctorates: one in divinity and the other in the ancient asian practice of acupuncture. this gives you a hint of how tender a healer he is.

let's back up a little; acupuncture's not just about temporary relief from pain. it opens channels in the body and heals and energizes us. the practitioner is critical. i've known many people (including the vain chinese head of a manhattan hospital department) whose needles did little for me. the second best person who worked on me was a japanese man, not licensed, who vanished to kyoto to tend to his sick father. i was astonished when three of my friends revealed they were also losing sleep over his disappearance.

four people who don't know each other recommended shane hoffman to me. one woman, a jock, said if she has a spare dime, she books an extra session.

shane knows things.

the other day i asked him if the proposed healthcare plan was really going to cut into medicare services. he made a don't-be-silly noise. shane added that it's the government's job to take care of people, but that our founding fathers feared that the justice they wrote into the constitution might not last beyond the 200 years it would take human depravity to circumvent it.

it's about wizardry. it's also about shane's contagious good spirits. when i confided my addiction to sushi, he imitated a policeman, "step aw-aay from the sushi."

if i tell shane i'm having trouble sleeping, he inserts painless needles that clear my jabbering thoughts. if i walk uphill until my back aches, presto change-o, shane makes me feel light as a feather again. after a taxi accident, he helped me recover to brisk walking and running for buses.

once i said i felt angry. presto change-o, a half-hour later i was smiling. when i told him i sometimes suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, he advised me to take acidophilus during a meal, not at the end, and recommended a product that soothes the stomach like a wizard's wand passed over me. when a friend told me she reversed bone loss with a calcium product similar to our bones, shane said the product had reversed osteoporosis for more than one woman he knows. when i smelled what seemed to be marijuana in his office, it turned out to be mugwort, and it was being used as part of a treatment to turn an unborn baby to avoid a breech birth.

shane recommends a magically pure toothpaste from belgium. for those of us who have been religiously eating fish only to read recently that every fish sampled from united states waterways had mercury, shane has a holistic plan that helps our bodies flush mercury.

in his office, he sells dvds of forest sounds and waterfalls.

shane comes from a blended quaker upper-class philadelphia family (although he modestly says he's not upper class). his gentility of spirit reminds me of other altruistic quaker people i encountered growing up in philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

while some new yorkers thrill to dog-eat-dog lives, others devote themselves to helping. what a joy to find shane hoffman. i gotta tell you, it's been one helluva treasure hunt.


susan braudy is the author and journalist whose last book, family circle: the boudins and the aristocracy of the left, was nominated for a pulitzer by publisher alfred knopf.

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