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Natural Awakenings Magazine Daytona | Volusia | Flagler

Surfer Acupuncture Physician Lisa Sweeters Scores Another Win

In addition to being an acupuncture physician and owner of East Coast Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine, in Palm Coast, Lisa Sweeters is an avid surfer, who has been competing for more than 30 years. Her latest victory was on September 10 at the 24th annual Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic, in Jacksonville Beach.

    “It’s the longest-running all-women surf contest that I’m aware of and is super fun,” says Sweeters, who also mentioned that the contest raises money for the Bosom Buddies Program at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. So far, Sisters of the Sea have donated $130,000 to the program and will be donating $6,000 more, thanks to the recent contest.

    Sweeters says she resumed competing last year after a maternity/postpartum break that lasted a couple of years. “It’s not always easy getting to a contest now with the family in tow. But it’s fun and there are other moms there with their wee folk, and I know they also went through hell and high water to get there,” she says.

    “I showed up at a contest with toddler vomit in my hair. Gross but funny because that’s oftentimes what mom life entails. One of the other moms didn’t make that contest because her kid had hand, foot and mouth disease. So there’s this little subculture of competitive surfing moms, and it’s pretty cool—and hectic,” shares Sweeters.

    As an athlete, Sweeters enjoys helping patients with sports-related injuries and pain that limits their activity. She has helped many golfers return to the course after being told to give up the game due to low back problems. Another of her specialties is fertility issues requiring in vitro fertilization (IVF). Her expertise in treating women prior to IVF treatments has resulted in many successful pregnancies.

    It was because of an injury Sweeters sustained early in life that she ended up becoming an acupuncture physician. As a young adult, she sprained and hyperextended her elbow. After using her insurance benefits for therapy, she still couldn’t fully flex or extend her elbow. Life with limited range of motion wasn’t an option for the athlete. A friend suggested she try acupuncture, and it turned into a life-changing decision. Sweeters never told the acupuncture physician she suffered from insomnia or anxiety; however, the treatments not only completely resolved her elbow injury, but also her insomnia and anxiety.

    She was fascinated, continued to use acupuncture and found herself asking, “What is this, and how does it work?” At the time, Sweeters intended to go to law school, but was conflicted about the decision because she doesn’t like to argue. Coming from a family of attorneys, she hadn’t considered other career options and was registered to take the Law School Admission Test for a school in San Diego. She entered the exam site with a less-than-enthusiastic attitude, knowing she wasn’t passionate about practicing law. When she opened the written portion of the exam and saw that it was all about acupuncture, she recognized it as a sign that couldn’t be ignored.

    She finished the test, was accepted to the law school, but declined and applied to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, also in San Diego. Every day, she drove past the law school on her way to learn about Eastern medicine. She continued her studies in Honolulu and later in China—where she studied acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Guang Zhou while earning her master’s degree in Oriental medicine—opening her Palm Coast clinic in 2018. 

    Sweeters says she can’t imagine doing anything else. She loves her work so much that taking time off to ride the waves can sometimes pose a bit of a challenge. In addition to surfing, organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, and family time occupy Sweeters’ time away from her clinic.


East Coast Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine is located at 102 Flagler Plaza Dr., Ste. 102, in Palm Coast. For more information, call 386-302-5363 or visit