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Meet Robert Surabian of Boston Harbor Acupuncture in Beacon Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Surabian.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My experience with this medicine began as an undergraduate pre-med student at UMass Amherst, where I took nursing classes in holistic health and healing, studied Eastern philosophy and was tremendously fortunate to receive weekly Shiatsu treatments from a friend in her final year of Shiatsu training. At the same time, I turned to western herbs to help build my immune system and resolve chronic colds and sinus infections. I read a lot about what, at the time, we called “alternative medicine” and considered attending the New England School of Acupuncture after completing my undergraduate degree. I kept the school catalog on my shelves for years and the medicine was always in the back of my mind. Like so many others, I eventually turned to acupuncture as a cure for pain. I was plagued by a chronic tennis elbow injury that three cortisone shots in the course of a year could not resolve. My next step was a surgical consult. I went to an acupuncturist and after a regular course of treatment, I was pain free. And best of all I avoided surgery. I have had no tennis elbow pain since my treatments in 2004.

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves and acupuncture made all the difference for me when cortisone was totally ineffective and surgery undesirable. This experience brought me back to my earlier path of working in health care. I left full-time work in fundraising and non-profit management and entered the New England School of Acupuncture almost 20 years after first considering the program. NESA is the oldest acupuncture school in the United States and a leader in the field. I earned a Master of Acupuncture degree and was awarded the Compassionate Healer Award – given annually to the graduating NESA student who best exemplifies the characteristics of a compassionate healer. Candidates are nominated by the Clinical Supervisors and one person is chosen each year.

A few months after graduation, I had passed all the national board exams and been licensed by the Board of Medicine in Massachusetts, I opened my practice in downtown Boston.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have been tremendously fortunate with my practice, thanks in large part to my prior career which provided a lot of experience in branding and marketing. I have also worked in Boston my entire life and began with a mailing list of 500 names of people I knew in the city. I marketed to that list and from there it’s been smooth sailing. My practice has been full-time from the start.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a solo practitioner with a generalized practice. Like many acupuncturists, people seek me out for help with treating pain and I am known for working in an orthopedic style. I incorporate a lot of the adjuncts we use in Chinese medicine including moxa, cupping, and massage to help people get back to form. About half of my practice focuses on issues of pain. Second most common area I work in is women’s health, third is digestive disorders and finally mood disorders. I am well-networked in Boston and collaborate with medical doctors and other body workers (massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors and osteopaths) to help guide patients to the right treatments for their particular condition.

What were you like growing up?
I have always been a lover of the outdoors, of museums, history and culture. Even from a young age, you would find me hanging out in the woods or puttering in my little backyard garden or convincing my parents to take me to some house museum or theater. My dad and I would watch a lot of PBS together, especially nature and history programs. I am an Eagle Scout and my Boy Scout troop went camping once a month. It’s also in Boy Scouts where I first got introduced to health care – we focused a lot on first aid and wilderness safety.

Pricing:

  • First appointment is 90 minutes, including a full intake, and costs $125.
  • Follow-up appointments are 60 minutes and $100 each.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 14 Beacon Street, Suite 606
    Boston, MA 02108
  • Website: bostonharboracupuncture.com
  • Phone: 617-293-9829
  • Email: robert@bostonharboracupuncture.com

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