In The News

Orlando Ly was interviewed by The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Below is a reprint of the article and photos used in the newspaper.

  

Needles in the skin isn't everyone's idea of pain relief, but patients of Orlando Ly return again and again for that experience.

Ly practices acupuncture and Chinese medicine at his at 6248 Poplar, newly relocated from his former space on Highland.

"Acupuncture is often a last resort for patients looking for relief from pain and other health problems," said Ly, 42, who said he learned Chinese medicine from his father and grandfather. "But with many problems, early treatment is the key to relief."
Ly compares the feeling of the needle application to that of a rubber band lightly snapping on your skin.
He said about 90 percent of his patients seek treatment for aches and pain, with a few seeking help with weight loss.

Bren McConnaughhay receives acupuncture treatments from Ly for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. On the bed next to Bren is her 5-year-old granddaughter, Sammi Jo. The child looks relaxed but has an array of 38-gauge needles positioned at special points all over her body. Sammi Jo's mother, Mandy Ballard, waits in a chair at her daughter's side throughout the treatment.
Ly treats Sammi Jo for eosinophilic esophagitis, or EE, a disorder of the esophagus she's had since she was a baby. It can cause severe digestive problems.


"We took her to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where they ran tests and did biopsies. She couldn't digest chicken, rice, milk, legumes and so many other foods. The doctors said she showed signs of failure to thrive and osteoporosis, and she was so thin and weak. Her eyes were sunken and her color was pale," Ballard said.

The hospital wanted the family to keep coming back for biopsies, "and I just felt that was too much," Ballard said. "We decided to try acupuncture."

She brings her daughter to Ly's clinic once a week from their home in Paragould, Ark. Sammi Jo's treatments take one hour.

"She's not afraid of the needles. She calls them 'magic sticks.' She's been taking the treatments since June, and she's already gained seven pounds. Now she's taking jazz dance every Monday night, and she's just full of energy," Ballard said.

As for McConnaughhay, she said her therapy is working. "I sought help from other doctors, but this treatment has helped me more with the pain, and I am able to rest much better now."

Lucia Heros, 38, suffers from migraines and a herniated disc. She said she tried physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, and prefers a natural method of relief over drugs or surgery.

"I've always been fearful of needles, but Orlando is so gentle and knowledgeable," said Heros. "Once he began the first treatment I realized it was not painful. When the needles are in place, I relax immediately and usually just fall asleep."

Heros, a coffee importer, said she began to get tremendous relief after the second treatment. For her, Ly uses a "balanced treatment."

"This method helps the body's energy, or chi, to flow easily and helps carry oxygen to the cells," said Ly. "When patients have pain it's like a malfunctioning traffic light at a busy intersection. The energy gets all congested around the malfunction, and this balanced treatment helps open up the congested area and get the energy flowing properly."

Ly's great-grandfather began his family's practice of Chinese medicine in China during the late 1800s. Ly and his brother, Frank, represent the fourth generation of their family to use Chinese medicine to help people relieve pain and improve their overall health.

Orlando oversees clinics in Memphis and Jackson, Tenn., while Frank oversees clinics in Nashville and Huntsville, Ala.

Though not a medical doctor, Orlando Ly has practiced the healing arts for 20 years.

Susan Christiansen, his office manager for eight years, said Ly is licensed by the Advisory Committee for Acupuncture, which falls under the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the State of Tennessee Department of Health.

Judi Harrick, a registered nurse and Ph.D., has been a licensed acupuncturist for 18 years.

"This field is rapidly growing because more people are looking for treatments for the whole body, keeping the whole in mind even when treating a specific area of the body," Harrick said.

She said nearly 75 percent of people have utilized some form of "complementary medicine," which she described as non-Western mainstream medicine, forms such as massage and acupuncture. She firmly believes in the use of complementary medicine to promote wellness and healing.

She said her clinic, Acupuncture & Healing Arts Medical Group at Poplar and Yates, serves as a rotation site for complementary medicine for family practice residents at the University of Tennessee.

Harrick said some insurance companies offer plans that cover acupuncture treatments but most do not.

Christiansen said the price of an office visit and treatment at Ly's clinic is $70.

As for how acupuncture works, Ly's Web site, memphischinesemedicine.com, points out that research has never determined a reason.

 But Far East theories that have survived for thousands of years allow that there are "12 pathways of energy, known as meridians, which run along the human body. Each meridian has a number of pressure points which support different areas of the body. After thousands of years, practitioners of Chinese medicine have discovered the various pressure points, and their healing benefits when stimulated."

"There are over 2,000 pressure points in the human body," Ly said. "When stimulated, these points can trigger the release of endorphins that can help the body heal."

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Owner: Orlando Ly

Clinic address: 6248 Poplar

Phone: 323-1202 or 820-040

 

 


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