By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Once a week, a Philadelphia acupuncturist brings his skills to people who are new to this country.

Steven Mavros has studied around the world and speaks several languages. As an American, Mavros wants to help others who are becoming American, too.

When Mavros first met Ahmed Moaddal, “We used Google Translate, because he speaks Arabic and my Arabic is terrible,” Mavros said. “I have like four words.”

But it only takes a few words for Moaddal to show Mavros where it hurts and for Mavros to start fixing it.

Every Wednesday, Mavros offers his acupuncture services to immigrants and refugees who are coming through the Nationalities Service Center in Center City and going through stressful transitions.

“They have headaches, they have back pain, their calves were tender,” Mavros said, “just dealing with the stress of coming into the country and learning what it’s like to be an American.”

Down the hall, Gwen Soffer of the Nationalities Service Center leads a free yoga class. Both the yoga and acupuncture are part of the center’s Wellness Wednesdays.

Gwen says even when she can’t speak their language, she can see the positive change.

“You can feel that that tension has melted away,” Soffer said.

Even staffers are welcome to stop by. Mavros said, “They’re doing great things so I wanted to help the refugees, help the immigrants, and help them. They’re just as stressed out as anybody else.”

After about 10 minutes with the needles, Moaddal is on his way, relaxed and appreciative.

“No pain,” Moaddal said. “Very good doctor, very good. Excellent.”

Steven will be back next week to do it again.

“It’s so great to have him come in and essentially offer a service that maybe our clients wouldn’t have access to or even know existed,” Gwen said.

More From CBS Philly

Latest Forecast
Weather App
Latest Videos

Watch & Listen LIVE