TAC Board of Directors
Wayne Stephens - President
Some people seem to be born knowing what they are going to do. The rest of us, though, need to gain a little life experience so that we can figure out where we fit in the world. Such was the case for Wayne Stephens, the owner of Wayne Stephens’ Acupuncture.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Wayne is a lifelong athlete. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in an engineering program. It didn’t take too long for him to realize he didn’t really want to be an engineer. Instead, professional baseball seemed appealing.
At one point during his efforts to become a professional ball player, Wayne’s father asked him to come to an acupuncture appointment with him. Wayne agreed and watched his father receive the treatment. That turned out to be the beginning of a journey that would lead Wayne to his life’s mission and to today.
Watching the Acupuncturist manipulate his father’s energies fascinated Wayne so much that he began to research acupuncture and the more he learned the more interested he became. When he learned that Five Branches Institute, a premier school in California, offered a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he decided to go.
Before leaving for school in California, Wayne took two important steps. He began to visit and observe Dr. Wong, one of the first acupuncturists in Chattanooga. Dr. Wong served as a sort of mentor to Wayne. He also decided to become a Licensed Massage Therapist so that he would become more familiar with the human body and more comfortable with treating people. Wayne specializes in Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage, and has found that his patients benefit from his dual training in massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
During the time Wayne was observing Dr. Wong and working on his prerequisites to enter Five Branches, his dog, Cassie was in a car accident. The veterinarian was able to save her life, but she suffered some discomfort and disability thereafter. Dr. Wong saw Cassie and offered to treat her, using acupuncture. The treatment made a huge difference in Cassie’s ability to walk and in her comfort level, and Wayne felt that his decision to study Traditional Chinese Medicine had been confirmed.
As part of his studies, Wayne also attended Five Branches’ sister school in Hongzhou, China, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. His time in China gave Wayne the opportunity to see a wider range of conditions being treated successfully with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and even greater confidence in the methods he learned at Five Branches. Through study at both schools, he received a thorough training in diagnosing and treating disorders, illnesses and diseases during 3000 hours of comprehensive study.
Sarah Prater - Vice President
Sarah previously served as the President of the Indiana Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (IAAOM).
She has had the honor of helping many women give birth to happy, healthy babies and has a diverse background that enables her to fully support you through your journey. Her passion for helping her patients expand their families shows in every aspect of her work. She takes the time to get to know you and find the treatment plan that is best for you.
Sarah strives to stay up to date with current research in her field and is constantly updating her protocols to offer the maximum benefit. Her wide breadth of experience allows her to work cooperatively with reproductive endocrinologists and OB/GYN’s to provide the best care for her patients.
After graduation, she continued her education in fertility and prenatal acupuncture and has since gained much experience in the field of integrative fertility. She has published fertility research in the American Acupuncturist,written for Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and worked for Patient Centered Research Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), through the NIH.
Sarah recently relocated to Tennessee after practicing in Indiana for 8 years. She lives in Maryville with her husband and son. She is an avid cyclist and spends many hours in the hills of East Tennessee.
Mary Helen Robert - Secretary
Mary Helen has a breadth of experience that stems from a life-long pursuit of holistic wellness and an innate fascination with human interaction. Her background in anthropology, psychology, and art combined with a studied understanding of the relationship of the mind/body connection, lends a unique depth to her approach as a healer.
Mary Helen will graduate from Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine in Sugar Grove, NC in August 2016 and will practice in Chattanooga, TN. She is a Loomis Digestive Health Professional having studied with the Loomis Food Enzyme Institute and is currently studying herbal medicine at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina.
William Alexander, L.Ac., LMT - Treasurer
William prides himself in giving care to clients as he would wish others give care to family, friends, and himself. He received his Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Bachelors in Nutrition from The Midwest College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Chicago. He is currently in the process of completing his Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with a focus on preventive care and fertility. In addition to his education in Eastern medicine, William has been a licensed massage therapist since 2003.
William completed his internship at one of the busiest acupuncture and Oriental Medicine free clinics in the country, MCOM, where he had the opportunity to treat a wide variety of conditions.
William grew up in Union County, KY, and later moved with his family to Chattanooga, TN, where he attended The McCallie School. He received his Bachelors of Science in Economics from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. William enjoyed living in New York and Chicago, but wanted to return to Tennessee in order to start Affinity Acupuncture and raise his family. He and his wife, Cassie, moved to Nashville in May 2011, and welcomed twins in late 2012.
When William is not working, he spends time with his wife, kids, and pets; avidly follows University of Kentucky basketball; hikes; and practices archery.