Photograph by Getty Images


This month, people all over Miami have been experiencing what is colloquially known as a King Tide – the highest tides of the year that occur when the Earth, sun and moon are aligned in their relative orbits.

Though the have been causing havoc all over the city, there are many who see and feel the effects of the moon throughout the year and who benefit from it. As we start the last quarter of the year, we talked to Lori BellDoctor of Chinese medicine and the resident acupuncturist and astrologist at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, to get her take on astrology, acupuncture and what 2017 holds.

Which came first, astrology or acupuncture?

What is your mantra about astrology? Some people let is dictate their lives… 
It should never dictate our lives, only enhance it. It is the cosmic weather report, an internal and external time clock, which gives us great insight into our lives. An astrologer once said, she felt people who didn’t know about astrology were walking around with blindfolds on. I love that analogy. 


How did you get interested in astrology and acupuncture?  
While in boarding school, at 13 years old, my roommate had an astrology book, which became mine. I have been in love ever since, it has been a life time affair. I became interested in Chinese Medicine after spending years in my childhood and college life training in Martial Arts. When Taoist Master Hua-Ching Ni made a visit to Miami, he did an astrology reading for me and planted the seeds for becoming an acupuncturist. I walked out thinking “I’m not sticking needles in people” – a year later off to acupuncture school I went.

How long have you been practicing?
I have been licensed since 1993, so 23 years.

When you treat someone with acupuncture, what are some things that you consider?
Everything! From the tone of the voice, to the gait, their scent, affect. I ask tons of questions and try to create a very comfortable setting.  My intake form is lengthy – I look at the tongue, feel the pulses; it's involved. The more subtle the information I get, the better I can diagnose.

How do acupuncture, eastern medicine and astrology intersect for you? 
They are an added lens to look through, the more insight and information I can obtain for my patients the better. I’ve experienced the compatibility between astrology and my practice as acupuncturist with clients dealing with health, life challenges, and life in general. It’s the concept of “between heaven and earth” we are influenced by the cosmic weather report and the earth’s energy, just floating in between.

How do you think your field has changed since you started?
Now, Chinese Medicine is accepted by insurance companies, practiced in hospitals, and is slowly integrating into the Western medical model. The downside is that the schools now are focusing on the western model, losing the magical essence of Chinese Medicine. As a result, new practitioners are taught they need to add Functional Medicine to their practice but I believe if you are a good practitioner of Chinese Medicine you do not need to.

What are you most excited about lately in the wellness realm? 
I love my b-12 shots! They are the ideal boost for energy, they improve mood, increases brain function, and stimulate the immune system. It’s my magic bullet! Anytime I am traveling or working too much, or just feel rundown, it’s b-12 time. 

As the resident at The Standard you have a private practice in additional to teaching workshops and regularly hosting classes.  For someone who is new to Chinese Medicine what would you suggest?
Every Full Moon I give a shared NSEV group acupuncture treatment. NSEV – Non-somatic Extraordinary Vessel – acupuncture is a philosophy of health that integrates the mind, body and spirit. The ultimate goal of it is to create a healthy balance among these internal functioning patterns, as well as overall harmony in the way a person interacts with the world around them. I base the treatment on the celestial alignment and intertwine the two.  It is a great introduction to both acupuncture and astrology.

You have an upcoming Astrology Immersion Workshop in late October at The Standard – can you tell us some of what you have planned?
I am so excited about this! I will be teaching how to look at your chart, understanding the basic themes, and explaining the astrological signature. Then diving into love and romance; as everyone always wants to learn about that. Lastly, we'll discuss our karma, a real deep essence of the chart. I love astrology, and love teaching it. My ultimate goal is to turn people on to it and hopefully they will fall in love with it as well.

Can you give us a peak at what the moon and stars have in store for us in the coming months as we are in the last quarter of the year?  
I am so looking forward to the stars in 2017! Finally we are getting the green light! The planet Jupiter, which is all about expansion, optimism and growth, changed signs, and is now in Libra. She is much more comfortable in this sign. Energy is now about relationships, harmony, and justice. Jupiter is making nice with the planet Saturn, “our teacher” who is in Sagittarius right now, asking all of us to learn, expand our worldview and grow. In 2017, we have a few outer planets in fire signs, which look to the future. It is yang energy – warm and expansive – and there's a want to expand out in the world. I think we are finally going into some great aspects, possibly some of the best we have had in 5 years! Cheers to 2017!

Autumn Astrology Immersion Workshop 
October 21 - 23 | All Day

The Standard Spa
40 Island Avenue | Miami Beach