Hey everyone! Long-time, no talk! And welcome to any newcomers! If you are new to the blog then here’s a short background on me. I have been dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD for about a decade now. I personally have not had success in treating my mental disorders with medication. And I prefer natural methods to manage my mental issues. That’s why I am excited to be starting my acupuncture journey with Lori Earley. Lori is a Licensed Acupuncturist and NAET practitioner from Phoenix Rising Acupuncture. Today’s blog is just an interview with Lori based on the questions y’all shared with me on Insta stories. So grab a seat and your wine of course and let’s learn about alternative medicine!
Describe yourself and your profession briefly.
My name is Lori Earley and I am a Licensed Acupuncturist and NAET practitioner at Phoenix Rising Acupuncture. I am deeply passionate about helping others as they take their personal journey toward wellness. After seeing the healing benefits of acupuncture for myself, I knew that I had found my calling as a Chinese Medicine practitioner. By the age of 31, I was taking half a dozen medications for depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue, allergies, and hypothyroid. After about 6 months of acupuncture and herbal therapy, I was able to rid myself of all medications except for one, my thyroid medication.
Chinese Medicine is a stand-alone medical system, which includes many healing tools, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, nutrition, and more. Acupuncture is not synonymous with Chinese Medicine, although it is the most commonly associated healing modality. As a society, we are accustomed to going to the doctor only when we are sick and we are looking to fix a problem. However, the side effect profiles of treatments that conventional medicine offers can be significant, especially as more medications or procedures are required.
With Chinese Medicine, there are safer, less invasive options that treat the root cause of the illness, not the symptoms. Acupuncture has very few minor side effects. A Licensed Acupuncturist is also able to provide holistic wellness coachings like nutritional guidance and herbal remedies, similar to the more recent emergence of functional medicine. Chinese Medicine, in a way, is the original functional medicine that has thousands of years of documented efficacy.
What does acupuncture mean to you?
Acupuncture is a powerful healing tool that can assist many types of health concerns, way beyond pain relief. It helps regulate hormones, calm the nervous system, encourage healthy blood flow, decrease inflammation, and so much more. By doing all of this, it can help treat acute injuries to long-standing chronic illness. Also can address emotional health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.
What made you want to become an acupuncturist?
It was never my intention to become an acupuncturist. I had taken the traditional trajectory into becoming an MD. However, after I graduated from college, I had discovered a profound love for a beautiful world that can only be viewed under the microscope. So, instead of attending medical school, as originally planned, I began my Master’s of Science in the study of Mycology (the study of fungi) and Scanning Electron Microscopy.
After graduating with a Master’s, I decided to take a hiatus from academia to explore the real world of corporate America. I was hired by Eli Lilly to become a Sales Specialist for a few of their psychotropic medications, most notably Prozac. The short hiatus turned into a decade of working for Big Pharma, which was ultimately unfulfilling. Never did I experience the thrill of hearing success stories of how the medications I sold ever cured a patient’s ills. I did, however, hear many unfortunate cases of serious side effects and adverse events.
I knew there had to be a better, healthier, option to provide health and wellness that didn’t have to do with medications. One year before I quit the pharmaceutical industry, I met a man who was a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. The stories he told me about the healing power of acupuncture and herbs intrigued me. But my over-analytical scientific mind quickly dismissed that as absurd.
A calling is found
A year later after this fateful meeting, I did quit my job, and I was left without a plan. This man’s stories had planted a seed, though. And so I decided to enroll in 1 semester of graduate school at The American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in Houston. Three and a half years later, I graduated Valedictorian of the program with a Master’s of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Looking back, I believe I was guided by a higher power, for which I am truly grateful.
What does a typical acupuncture session look like?
Acupuncture is actually quite relaxing. Most people describe it as relaxing, like the feeling of having a glass of wine or even taking a Valium. Acupuncture is an incredibly gentle treatment in which super tiny hair-thin needles are inserted into various areas of the body to evoke a physiological response. No two treatments are the same, as each treatment is tailored to the individual patient and their health concerns.
What do you see as the benefits of receiving acupuncture treatments?
The benefits are countless. Acupuncture works in many ways, including, but not limited to, calming the nervous system, promoting healthy blood flow to the organs, regulating hormones and neurotransmitters, and decreasing inflammation. It can be used on newborns or even those who are at end-of-life hospice care. It can also be used to treat and heal acute injuries or to help treat chronic, long-standing health issues, including autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, migraines, fertility, hormonal imbalances, or even depression and anxiety.
The beauty in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is that they can help correct a health imbalance. But their effectiveness really shines for those who are wanting to stay healthy and remain healthy. As a society, we need to change our perspective to prevention rather than correction. I think that we are the generation to create this paradigm shift of what health and wellness have the potential to become. Acupuncture should play a role in this by being part of everyone’s health routine.
What are some misconceptions about acupuncture?
There are a few, of course. Many people are scared to try it because they assume it will be painful or uncomfortable. This is hardly the case, as the needles are so thin that they can oftentimes not even be perceived. Another is that it simply doesn’t work, or it is a placebo. There is too much scientific data to discount this. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to be effective by MRIs, case studies, scientific studies, and much more. What I’ve found is that when the western world doesn’t understand how something works, then they automatically deem it false or placebo. Not only has acupuncture had a profound effect on my personal health and well-being, but I get to observe these effects in my patients as well.
What’s one last thing you want people to know about acupuncture?
Try acupuncture. Don’t just dabble. Meet with a Licensed Acupuncturist, get a good idea of what it will take to change your health, and commit to the healing journey. The benefits may just change your life!
Thanks to Lori Earley for taking the time to share her story and the benefits of acupuncture with me. If you are in the Houston area and you are seriously considering acupuncture, you can make an appointment at Phoenix Rising Acupuncture. You can also follow them on Instagram.
I am personally embarking on a six-week journey to improve my health through acupuncture with Lori. and will be sharing on my Insta stories throughout as well as an honest review post on the blog at the end of the six weeks. I also want to hear from all of you. Have you tried alternative medicine? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments.
Rosé & Ruffles