De-Stress (and Breathe Easier) at Laguna Beach Acupuncture

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In true Laguna Beach fashion, Dr. Davies’s journey to establishing Laguna Beach Acupuncture began with art -- poetry to be exact. 

In her teens, Dr. Davies browsed through a bookstore with a friend where she was drawn to a beautifully covered book of Chinese poetry, the Tao Te Ching. This started her fascination with Chinese philosophy and medicine, one that wouldn’t fully come into fruition until much later in her life.

After more than 20 years in a successful corporate career, Dr. Davies was diagnosed with melanoma on her arm at the age of 48. This life-changing diagnosis led her to follow her true passion for Chinese medicine, healing, and acupuncture, going on to earn a doctorate degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

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I visited Dr. Davies at Laguna Beach Acupuncture on an overcast pre-summer afternoon. Upon entering her practice, I immediately felt the stress of the drive and the outside world subside. Dr. Davies greeted me with a warm smile, and I found her energy both soothing and comforting. The vaulted ceiling, walls painted a cool grey-blue, and a soft bubbling fountain made me immediately pause to take a much-needed deep breath of air. 

Acupuncture is an ancient practice dating back to early China, but despite its ancient roots, it only became legal in California in 1975. Today, acupuncture is a widely accepted form of integrative medicine, used to treat pain, migraines, assist in stroke recovery, relieve stress, and even regulate hormones.  

As we talked, Dr. Davies shared her excitement that acupuncture has finally been accepted by western medicine, explaining it’s now a lot easier for patients to receive treatment. “It’s not alternative medicine, it’s traditional medicine. Chinese medicine and acupuncture are great because we are so good at preventative and chronic care. Our society is turning more towards people becoming responsible for their own healthcare -- in my practice, I teach people how to eat, how to sleep, and how to curb their stress and become healthier.” 

The primary complaint bringing patients to Dr. Davies’ practice is pain. 

“People come in with athletic injuries, shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain… then, as they undergo treatment for their pain, patients begin to notice they are sleeping better, their digestion is better, and that they all-around feel better,” Dr. Davies shares. 

With about 80% of her patients being women ranging in age from their 20’s to 80’s, Dr. Davies explains: “Women are doing so much with their careers and children that they are getting worn out and knocked off balance. Most health issues are because of stress.”

As we talked about this, I mentioned my lingering cold/sinus pressure and asked what she would have done for me had I come in at onset. “For most patients who I see at the beginning of a cold, we can stop or shorten the duration using a combination of acupuncture and high-quality Chinese herbs,” she said, “Let me see your tongue.” I obliged, telling her I had been sick for the better part of a week. “It’s still with you,” she noted. Half joking, I asked if she could stick needles in my face to make it stop hurting. Smiling she said, “I can’t stand to watch people suffer, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional; make yourself comfortable on the table.” 

I happily complied and felt relaxed on the heated table as Dr. Davies tapped thin needles into my face and hands. Between the fountain and the subtle light trickling in from the skylight, I even started to feel myself fall asleep. I left the interview that day feeling relaxed, centered, and able to breathe (and think) a lot more clearly. 

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Angela Kelly is a former Miss Laguna Beach winner and a freelance writer and blogger residing in Orange County. You can check out her site at and follow her on Instagram at @GutsyMother.

Photos by: Grant Puckett.