About Me

Hello and welcome to Phoenix Rises Acupuncture in St. Augustine!

Gordana Smith Acupuncturist
Gordana Smith, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

I come from a long lineage of barefoot doctors; herbalists, village doctors and  energy healers. Growing up in former Yugoslavia ( and for all of my young readers, that country no longer exists – It is now 6 pea size countries that are called Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Monte Negro) I watched and learned from my grandparents when/how to collect herbs and dry them in the attic (one of my favorite hideouts :)).

Village herbs

We barely EVER went to see the doctors – there was/is a herb for everything.  In my teens I witnessed my father’s great gift of helping less fortunate and sick with his energy healing; I was amazed and amused watching him bend people like pretzels without even touching them. He healed people far away just by looking at their pictures. He would find water and springs in odd places just with his hand going over the drawing of peoples land(s). When I was in hospital with pulmonary embolism here in States, he worked on me from Bosnia and busted my clot leaving Flagler doctors in disbelief. Big shoes to fill, right 🙂

For the longest time I was denying a healer in me, and it took several life threatening experiences to make me start climbing the mountain instead of stubbornly walking over-and-over-and-over again around it!

My name is Gordana Smith, and I’m your acupuncture physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine in St. Augustine FL.

I am a woman who does not hide her age – I am 46, and I am so grateful for it. I thank God for every new day I get to wake up, see, hear, touch, for the rock in my life (my goofball husband and our awesome son), for my family, for the friends I have, for the friends I don’t have, for the food I get to eat, for the roof over my head and so many other things. Most of my friends did not get a chance to age. So, next time you’re shying away from telling your age, think twice…

I love to help less fortunate.

I love helping people who suffer.

I love laughing. Some of my jokes are funny, too 🙂

I’m 5’11 – I used to play volleyball, and my team was the national champion 2 years in a row!


Gordana Smith with her sister
Christmas time with my lovely sister <3

During those 45 years I managed to get some education, too 🙂 I’ve been a medical student for 2 years before I decided I didn’t have guts (pun intended) for the blood. I studied Political Science in Sarajevo, I was an English teacher in middle school (English as a second language), I worked as a linguist for the US Army in Bosnia and have been deployed to Kosovo before I earned (I love that word)  Masters in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture (my acupuncture training).

I hold Bachelors Degree in Health Science, Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine, I’m a Diplomat with NCCAOM and I’m 3 months shy of graduating from the Doctoral program for acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Upon graduation from Masters program, I became an NCCAOM Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncture Physician (not many people know we’re Primary Care Physicians).

I also received additional training in Dr. Tan Balance Method for quick pain relief in order to better help my patients.

Dr. Tan and Gordana Smith
Worldwide known Dr. Tan

I have extensive training in Acupuncture, Eastern and Western herbs, Cupping, Moxibustion, Tui Na, nutritional counseling, essential oils,  massage, meditation / relaxation techniques, aromatherapy, quick pain relief and other modalities.

I spent 5 weeks training in China (Shanghai) in June / July 2017.

I am currently pursuing my doctorate at the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine focusing on internal medicine and autoimmune disorders.

I knew I always loved medicine – I just did not know it would be acupuncture until I ended up having to take 20 pills a day myself. What was supposed to be a routine arthroscopic surgery to repair my knee from volleyball injuries turned into a life threatening pulmonary embolism and 2 weeks of luxurious stay in a hospital on life support. And first out of body “travel”. First priest visit to my hospital room.

My only son (the greatest blessing of my life and conceived shortly after my chemo treatments ended) was only 2.5 at that time.

I suffered. I had horrible side effects from those 20 pills a day. My body was poisoned with all this toxicity from medications – then they diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia (which I knew was a result of that poisoning).  Then I got some more medication for Fibro. Just what I needed, right? WRONG!

One day I just decided enough was enough. I got off the medication, signed all the paperwork they wanted me to sign and shortly after the hospital stay got enrolled into massage school (yes, I’m a licensed massage therapist also :)), received weekly massages and acupuncture for 10 weeks, changed my diet and went through several detox treatments. I’m currently undergoing certification program for NET (emotional  clearing is the popular name among patients) which was a huge, I mean HUGE help in emotional healing and growth. I know what it’s done for me – let me help you, too.

Few more years I suffered sporadic Fibromyalgia flare ups, but now – now I want to tell the world that it doesn’t have to be that way!!!

I will not bore you with more of my “grind”. I wanted to share enough to let you know that I DO understand what it’s like to be heavily medicated, not heard and made feel like an object on assembly line. You’re so much more than that and you know it!

I love Albert Einstein’s quote on insanity so much that I decided to share it with you (you probably have heard of it in some shape or form) –

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Been there and still not feeling better? Leave it there!

Take a first step and allow me to help you!


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Happy in the office