Acupuncturist Changes Lives in the Panhandle
Jun 03, 2014 07:55PM
● By Karen Roganov
Kerry Abaco, Acupuncture Physician
Kerry Abaco is the owner of Abaco Acupuncture, in Panama City, and the area’s only state and nationally board certified acupuncturist. Helping patients from infants to the elderly, he states that he is here to “restore your heath and not just cover the symptoms. I’m a regular physician. Whatever comes in the door, I help.” Abaco has been intensely studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the past 20 years.
He was once featured in the local newspaper for giving a teenager that had been in a car crash a new lease on life. He recalls, “She was a brain-dead quadriplegic young girl who had been like that for years,” he says soberly. “There was no hope. None.” He learned of the family’s situation and volunteered to help. “The girl’s mother began crying, ‘We have no more money. They took it all,’” he says. Abaco didn’t accept payment for treatments and made visits to their home.
Upon walking into the girl’s room and seeing the life-support machines, Abaco realized he was “over his head and felt horrible.” But the results of Abaco’s care, described by the family as miraculous, gave the girl movement in all four limbs and the ability to communicate. “It was more than just acupuncture,” says Abaco. “It definitely was.”
Divine intervention is almost routine for Abaco, along with how he manages his patients. “I care for each person who comes across my path as much as I care about my children. That’s a vow that I make to each and every one,” he says. To describe the effectiveness of acupuncture and TCM, he uses electricity as an analogy.
“The light switch and acupuncture have a lot of similarities. You turn on a light and the energy runs down that path and the light will go on. I stimulate a needle and an organ will respond,” he explains.
People come to him for relief of arthritis, stress, back pain, migraines, Bell’s palsy, women’s menopausal issues, addictions and recovery from diabetic amputations. “I like to help with strokes because they really need it,” he says. Abaco also enjoys helping people with neck issues that are advised to have surgery, noting, “I fix a good 90 percent with acupuncture.”
It was three different doctors telling him to get three different surgeries for pain and severe impaired movement in his arm that originally moved Abaco to try acupuncture, based on a friend’s recommendation. “Get a grip, Dan,” he remembers telling his friend. “I have a real problem.” But after two treatments, his arm was working again. Still, he remained skeptical. Ten years later, he experienced a back problem, which was treated with weekly chiropractic adjustments, and then through sports injury clinics and prescription drugs prescribed by medical doctors without success. As a last resort, Abaco gave in to acupuncture, and after six treatments he reports that he was cured.
Time passed and Abaco’s 3-month-old daughter developed a terrible cough The family was living on a sailboat at the time, traveling the Caribbean, and flew back to the United States to seek a doctors care. Once again, he tried acupuncture when other options proved unsuccessful. “She seemed like she might go away,” he says of his daughter’s state at that time. They saw an acupuncturist and 20 minutes later they walked out, and the cough never returned.
That’s when Abaco decided to attend the National Institute of Oriental Medicine, in Orlando, Florida (now the Florida College of Integrative Medicine), one of the top TCM schools in Florida. At the time, he just wanted to understand why acupuncture worked, and was not considering it as a profession, he says.
But now, with a thriving practice, Abaco finds satisfaction daily. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have the feeling of healing someone,” he exhorts. “It’s beyond description.”