Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

Welcome to Spirit Point Acupuncture

The only practice in Arizona integrating acupuncture with the

John F. Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release

We are conveniently located on the campus of Banner Boswell Hospital, across the street from JiMichael's Restaurant

Lakeview Medical Arts Center

13000 North 103rd Avenue

Suite 72

Sun City, AZ 85351

(623) 262-7222

Also featured in the Denver Post

Radio Interview: Off the Record with Judy

We specialize in the treatment of

Anxiety and Depression

Autoimmune Disorders

Back Pain

Chronic Pain, Injury, and Scar Tissue

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)


Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture (face, neck and abdominal protocols)

Migraines and Headaches

Neck Pain



TMJ Pain

Women's Health: painful or irregular periods, peri-menopause and menopause, stress incontinence

Proudly serving the West Phoenix Valley communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Goodyear,

Buckeye, Peoria, Glendale, Deer Valley, Avondale, Litchfield Park,

and the extended areas of Waddell, Wittmann, and Wickenburg.

Click here for information regarding our COVID-19 Policy 

What are our super powers? 


The Classics of Chinese Medicine state: 

Where the disease is not serious, but the spirit is weak, the prognosis is poor.

Where the disease is serious, but the spirit is strong, the prognosis is good.

This is but one of many profound statements found in the classical texts of Chinese Medicine about the nature of healing. At Spirit Point Acupuncture, we treat according to these ancient texts, which is to say we do not only treat the site of your pain or problem, but we address the source of your pain or problem. That source might be found somewhere else in your body, an origin which began with an injury you sustained perhaps decades ago. That source of pain may be in your spirit or your psyche. It may reflect the movement of the seasons and how the weather affects your symptoms. There are many sources of disease. A classical style practitioner seeks to find the source and restore true harmony, as opposed to merely treating symptoms and never resolving the cause.

In addition to acupuncture, your session may include cupping, gua-sha, moxibustion (Moxa), electro-stim, cold laser therapy, Qi Gong, or advanced bodywork therapy (please see section below for more about our bodywork therapies). 

Watch a clip from the inspiring acupuncture documentary, 9,000 Needles.  The award-winning film is the story of competitive bodybuilder, Devin Dearth, who suffered a stroke and traveled with his family to China to be treated with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Maria wrote her master's thesis on the cost efficacy of treating stroke with the integration of western and eastern medicine, and so this film holds a warm spot in her heart. She encourages all her patients and anyone interested in the power of acupuncture to watch it.

Click this link: 9000 Needles Movie Trailer


Trauma, both physical and emotional, embeds in our tissue and is recorded at the cellular level, creating seemingly inexplicable pain patterns, often years later.  Myofascial Release helps to access these traumas by releasing the fascia, a thin and web-like layer of connective tissue which wraps around our muscles and organs.  

When in a healthy and normal state, the fascia is fluid, allowing us ease of movement and flexibility.  The fascia becomes dense and glued, however, as a result of injury, scar tissue, poor posture, severe emotional stress, or even chemical exposure.  These fascial restrictions can hold up to 2,000 pounds of tensile strength per square inch, crushing vital structures, creating pain, reducing mobility, and holding both the physical and emotional memory of  past events.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a form of Myofascial Release, which focuses on the dural tube, the fascia that encases the brain and spinal cord and thus affects the whole neural system. CST is a gentle and calming therapy which helps you recover from physical and emotional traumas, both recent and long-standing. Highly beneficial for those with headaches, TMJ pain, sinus problems, back and neck pain, anxiety, and depression.  Also benefits those with autism, ADD, and other learning disabilities. 

During a session, after the therapist evaluates the client's posture to determines areas of restriction. The therapist then applies light sustained pressure to restricted areas, which allows this dense connective tissue to "melt" and become more fluid, bringing the client greater flexibility and decreased pain.

Myofascial Release and Craniosacral Therapy are highly beneficial modalities for chronic and difficult-to-resolve conditions.  Often referred to as the therapies that works where others have failed.  

Conditions we routinely help with a combination of MFR and CST with acupuncture include: fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, bursitis, arthritis, back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, hip pain, TMJ pain, IBS, endometrial pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Also benefical for myofascial pain caused by surgical scar tissue, including hysterectomies, c-sections, mastectomies, gall bladder surgery, and appendectomies.

Why do we include acupuncture with the bodywork we offer? It's simple. The channels of acupuncture exits in the microtubules of the fascial. If you want to get peak efficiency out of your acupuncture treatment, combine it with Myofascial Release and see the difference for yourself. 

Click on the links below to see interviews with Physical Therapist, John Barnes, Maria's most valued teacher and the man whose work has defined her practice:  

Part 1 - John Barnes discusses Myofascial Release

Part 2 - John Barnes discusses Myofascial Release

Interview: John Barnes explains what Myofascial Release is.


AMMA Therapy® is an ancient system of healing that includes a specialized form of massage therapy. While most people seek this system for its massage, other aspects of AMMA Therapy® may include dietary consultation, Qi Gong exercises, and/or herbal supplementation. It promotes the circulation of Qi (pronounced "chee") as well as the movement of lymph and blood. It seeks to address physical and emotional imbalance, bringing the body, mind and spirit into harmony. An AMMA Therapy® session stimulates the same meridians and points used in acupuncture, but the points are stimulated with acupressure instead of needles. This is a highly effective form of bodywork, which addresses sinus problems, asthma, digestive problems, PMS and menstrual problems, headaches, and neck and back pain. It is also beneficial for those suffering from anxiety and depression and is a compliment to your acupuncture treatment. AMMA Therapy® is also used to boost the immune system and keep you healthy. The patient remains clothed for this treatment. No massage oils are used, however, various Chinese herbal liniments may be applied to painful areas. 

Bach Flower Remedies

The Bach Flower Remedies are a natural system of healing, discovered by British physician, Dr. Edward Bach, over 60 years ago.  A personal formula of flower essences is selected and blended after a consultation which identifies stressors which can lead to imbalance and disease.  Safe for all, even infants and pets, Bach Flower Therapy is said to align the spirit with the higher self.

These sessions are typically done at the clinic, however, Maria also offers telephone consultations for those living outside of the Phoenix Valley. After your telephone session, a custom Bach Flower formula is created and mailed directly to your home. 

Bach Formulas are also offered as an adjunct to your acupuncture session. Please inquire about details at your next visit. 

Maria is certified as a Bach Flower Consultant by the Bach Foundation.  

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture

Chinese Medicine offers the only cosmetic treatment that improves your health

Mei Zen translates to "Beautiful Person"

How the Mei Zen Protocol works:

Eastern View: Treats the internal causes of aging.  Brings oxygen to the blood and face.

Western View: Stimulates production of collagen and elastin which begin to decline in the 30's.

Benefits of Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture:

  • Improves complexion and evens out redness, ruddiness, and even age spots.
  • Helps improve acne and rosacea.
  • Reduces fine lines
  • A "leveling" of deeper lines (deeper lines might not go away, but will fill in and look softer).
  • Beginnings of jowls can be minimized. The Mei Zen protocol will help define the jaw line in women who are starting to sag there.
  • Softer and more vibrant skin.
  • More consistent skin tone.
  • Wrinkles on décolleté have disappeared.
  • Improved skin elasticity.
  • Reduces puffiness.

Additional benefits reported by patients:

  • hot flashes and night sweats go away
  • eyes look and feel brighter
  • mild depression and anxiety resolve
  • improved digestion
  • increased energy
  • headaches resolve

Conditions this protocol also treats:  Post Stroke Sequellae, Bells Palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia.

The Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System offers three cosmetic procedures for you to look and feel your best:  

  • Face Procedure
  • Neck Procedure
  • Abdominal Procedure

Frequently Asked Questions about Mei Zen

How long does the process take? 

The face and neck  protocols each require a 5 week commitment with treatments done twice per week.  Thus, each protocol requires ten treatments delivered over a five week period.  The abdominal protocol is a three month minimum protocol, delivered twice per week for the first six weeks.  Then once per week for the next six weeks.

Can all three protocols be done at once?  

The protocols must be done separately and cannot be alternated.

Do the protocols require maintenance? 

As with plastic surgery, Botox®, Collagen injections and Restalayne, results are not permanent and so cosmetic acupuncture does require some maintenance.  Frequency is reliant upon your health, constitution and lifestyle and your comfort level with your appearance.  Some patients choose monthly maintenance, every other month or seasonal treatments to maintain their results. The minimum maintenance is twice per year.

What kind of cosmetic products do you recommend? 

We recommend Mei Zen cosmetic products, which are bioactive, made with Chinese herbs, botanical extracts and oils.  Mei Zen products contain NO parabens, formaldehyde releasers, phthalates, or sodium laurel sulphate. They are small batch artisan products, made with sustainability in mind and have a low carbon footprint. We also recommend the Good Life Botanical line, which is an organic line of CBD products. 

Will I need to take herbs? 

Chinese herbs might be recommended for some patients who have an underlying condition that would affect their cosmetic treatment.

What kind of lifestyle recommendations do you make in order to maintain my results? 

General lifestyle recommendations are made such as avoiding certain foods like cold foods, sugar, and dairy.  It is also advised that patients not smoke as this affects the health of the skin.

Does it hurt?  

You will  feel a mild pinch as needles are inserted, usually followed by a feeling of calm or euphoria, which is common to all acupuncture treatments.  The treatment ends with the application of Mei Zen cosmetic products and a relaxing face massage.

About Maria Mandarino

Maria Mandarino, LAc, Dip Ac (NCCAOM), LMT, CSD, MSEd


Maria Mandarino, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), LMT., CSD, MSEd is a licensed acupuncturist and licensed massage therapist.  She completed her Master of Science Degree in Acupuncture from Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Science in Secondary Education, both degrees conferred by Hofstra University. Additionally, she holds a full-time two year A.O.S. degree in Massage Therapy from the New York College of Health Professions on Long Island, where she began her training in Eastern Medicine. Maria is also a certified Spiritual Director, and graduated from the Benet Hill Spiritual Formation program in Colorado Springs. 

Maria has specialized training in AMMA Therapy®, a form of Asian bodywork brought to the United States from Korea by Dr. Robert Sohn and his wife, Tina Sohn.  This 5,000 year old system of healing also incorporates Chinese nutrition and gentle movement exercises such as T'ai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong. Maria taught AMMA Therapy® at the New York College of Health Professions and also supervised the student clinic there. She continues to teach this ancient healing art privately.

Maria has spent over 15 years training in the John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release (MFR) and Craniosacral Therapy. She continues to update her training in this work. She is also trained in pediatric MFR. 

Maria is certified by the Nelson Bach Foundation in the Bach Flower remedies.  She has a strong interest in plants as healing agents and has also studied Aromatherapy and Aromatology, and has received training in Chinese Herbal Liniments.  She makes her own liniments, which she uses and sells in her practice.

Maria's personal journey into the holistic healing arts began after a serious car accident in 1997.  An 18 month exploration into healing and alternative medicine ultimately led her to an open house at what was then called The New York College of Wholistic Health, Education, and Research in Syosset, NY.  Within six months of that fateful evening, Maria became a full-time student in their two year A.O.S. degree program.  After graduation, she developed a practice which focused on somato-emotionally based therapies.  She later returned to school again, and obtained her master's degree in acupuncture because she understood the powerful connection between the fascial system and the acupuncture meridians.

Honesty and authenticity are at the heart of Maria's approach with all her patients.  She firmly believes that healing requires not only a personal commitment, but also a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.  

Having been a patient first, Maria knows the fear that can accompany pain, injury, and illness and how scattering this can be to the spirit. As such, Maria's goal is to treat her patients with the same level of patience and respect that her own healers have given her.  At the heart of every session she gives, Maria places an emphasis on compassion, intuition, and body-mind awareness.


“Maria takes the time to find out what's really going on in my mind, body and soul. She involves me in the treatments, i.e., should we work on this or that? She tolerates my resistance to some suggestions and works with what she's got. Not only is she effective but her wicked sense of humor makes our sessions fun as well as healing. I drive an hour each way to see her and it's well worth it.”

Judy Schriener, Sun Lakes, AZ

Always a great experience, a very enlightened individual who cares greatly for her patients.

Matthew Bohn, Buckeye, AZ

Maria was recommended to us by another acupuncturist. After four visits to Maria, my pain is completely gone. Through acupressure and acupuncture, Maria was able to eliminate the pain in my right leg and foot. Maria is kind, caring,

and mostly very competent.

Sam Mansour, Sun City, AZ

At the age of 13 years I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, and began dialysis several months before my 14th birthday. Since that time I have had three kidney transplants. My third transplant was the most difficult and took the longest to recover from. Age played a factor in my healing process, but so did the length of time I had waited for a transplant. The wait time for first two transplants was less than two years. I waited eight long years for the 3rd transplant. As I waited my health was declining quickly. On July 13, 2004, my cousin donated one of his kidneys, and saved my life.

Since my kidney transplant I am required to take a regiment of immunosuppressant drugs, which included prednisone. Prednisone has many side effects, including moon face, skin discoloration, hunger, weight-gain, and acne, thinning of the skin, restlessness, and increased risk for diabetes.

I began seeing Maria several years ago for both regular acupuncture and the Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture Protocol. After several months of treatment, I began seeing a difference not only on my face, but also in my overall health. Acupuncture has not only been beneficial in improving the quality of my life, but my lab values continue to be within the normal range after 13 years of my transplant. Along with my transplant medications and acupuncture my creatinine (one measure of kidney function) has been within the normal range. And I am living the life I want to life, thanks to Maria!

I am so grateful for Maria and all she has done for me; she was invested in my personal healthcare and helped improve how I feel about myself. 

Maria is very knowledgeable and caring, and she is kind and generous with her time, listening and getting to know her patients.  Maria has the skills, wisdom, and the knowledge, and I consider her a true healer!

Rates & Services


Allow 2 hours for this first session, which includes a full intake and medical history, physical exam, acupuncture, and/or moxibustion, gua-sha, e-stim, John F. Barnes Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, or AMMA Therapy®.



This 90 minute session includes acupuncture and may include the John F. Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, or AMMA Therapy®. It may also include cupping, gua-sha, moxibustion, e-stim, or extended discussion time for those with more complicated cases. 



Allow up to 60 minutes for this visit, which includes a brief intake and acupuncture. 


MEI ZEN COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE - Acupuncture face lift

Also known as the acupuncture face lift, this treatment addresses the internal causes of aging, bringing oxygen to the blood and face and stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which begin to decline in the third decade. This treatment ends with a relaxing facial massage with all natural Mei Zen products. 


MEI ZEN COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE - Acupuncture neck lift

This treatment focuses on lifting the neck and jaw line. This treatment ends with a relaxing face and neck massage with all natural Mei Zen products.


MEI ZEN COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE - Acupuncture tummy tuck

The Mei Zen approach is applied to the abdomen in this treatment, providing a tighter and more toned look to your abdomen. This treatment ends with a relaxing abdominal massage with Mei Zen products which help to break up cellulite. This treatment is also effectively used for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The abdominal treatment is also used as a weight loss protocol as it strongly boosts the metabolism. This treatment is also used for enhancing fertility. 



Meet Maria Mandarino and discuss your case. Ask any questions to see if our unique approach is right for you. 



The Bach Flower Remedies are a natural system of healing, discovered by British physician, Dr. Edward Bach, over 60 years ago.  A personal formula of flower essences is selected and blended after a consultation which identifies emotional stressors which can lead to imbalance and disease.  Safe for all, even infants and pets, Bach Flower Therapy is said to align the spirit with the higher self.


90 minutes


One hour


45 minutes

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please call the clinic directly to do so: (623) 262-7222

Purchase your supplements, herbs, and natural personal care items here through WELLEVATE

If you are a patient in our clinic, you may order supplements and herbs directly from Emerson Wellevate and have them shipped to your home. Just click the link below.

You may also order any of your other favorite natural products through Emerson Wellevate. 

If you have any difficulty with the process, or have questions about ordering, please call the clinic at 623-262-7222. You may also call Wellevate directly at 855-935-5382.