This is part of a series of interviews I am conducting with practitioners of holistic medicine with the aim of answering this question: "How can we increase our quality of life?”
I find that people who are drawn to help others tend to be ignited with a deep passion and purpose. These interviews delve into that drive and aim to discover insight and supply tips for living life to its fullest.
Megan Conover is an Acupuncturist practicing on the Mainline in Philadelphia. She specializes in a Holistic Style of Cosmetic Acupuncture.
Enjoy the interview!
Q: Megan, thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Where are you from originally?
MEGAN: I grew up in both Florida and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Siesta Key Beach is where most of my free time was spent in high school and college. I feel very fortunate to have had that sublime experience!
Q: Can you tell us a little about the work you offer?
MEGAN: I have varied interests in treatments but the ultimate goal is for the patient to look and feel good so that they are able to radiate their best selves in their everyday lives. I specialize in cosmetic acupuncture, pain, and women's healthcare which is inclusive of fertility, gynecological disorders, digestive issues, and auto-immune conditions.
Q: What initially inspired your interest in this area?
MEGAN: I left my corporate job because I would often find myself saying “we are not saving lives here." I never knew what that would mean to me because I had considered a trauma surgeon to be the one saving a life. I think I watched too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy one snowy winter!
After looking for answers to my own healthcare scare, I found acupuncture. I had such profound results that I enrolled in acupuncture school that same year. It was everything I had been working towards in life and hoping for in a career. I now understand that health starts long before a surgeon is needed and I am proud to be a small part of the journey for so many people. Every smile I see at the conclusion of a treatment makes my heart swell and further confirms I am on the right path. I am also eternally grateful for finding my tribe of like-minded people along the way.
Q: How did you manage the transition from corporate to being an acupuncturist? Was it challenging? scary?
MEGAN: I would love to say that this was a well thought out decision but sometimes life yanks you in another direction and you just have to roll with it! I fell ill and was prescribed a medication that had side effects worse than my illness. Google told me to try acupuncture and it ended up being the only thing that helped the side effects.
When I was recovering from surgery, I kept myself busy with yoga and visits to The Won Institute of Graduate Studies to listen in on acupuncture theory lectures. At the time I had a "perfect plan" but then life happened again, and again, and again. At times challenging is a fitting word, and on other days it was downright agonizing to get through a full time school program with very little income or family support.
There were a few tears along the way. I often wondered what I was doing and why I gave up my company 401 match, healthcare and very generous PTO package, as well as a steady salary that so nicely landed in my bank twice a month. I worked for a company continuously voted as one the best places to work on the mainline. I questioned my sanity more than once for leaving.
Many things have changed in my life since that first day of school but I would not change a single thing. This has been an incredible journey and I feel so grateful when I wake up every morning knowing that this is now my life and I played a part in making this life happen. The personal growth and new friendships I have been fortunate enough to develop is exponentially more rewarding than my Vanguard account could ever be. I am exactly where I was meant to be and I am excited to see where this journey leads next.
Q: What is your mission as an Acupuncturist?
MEGAN: My mission is to facilitate the healing that is within each person that walks through the door. I like to incorporate diet, emotion, and goals into my treatment plans so that each person walks away with something special that they can take with them for the rest of their life.
Q: One of your specialties is cosmetic style Acupuncture, can you tell us a little about it?
In my corporate days, the water cooler talk was of the new shoes that were just delivered to Nordstrom Rack, a new product line at Sephora, how their newborn was not sleeping, or which skincare was working and what was not. Most of my friends were either thinking about Botox or they were looking for Botox alternatives. When I heard about cosmetic acupuncture, I was immediately intrigued! I signed up for the course while I was still in acupuncture school. The results have been amazing and I am so happy I took made the choice to learn about this added benefit of acupuncture!
A client receives a balancing treatment like their normal acupuncture session and we do a face treatment in the same session. Basically, several tiny needles are inserted into the skin which signals the body to send fresh blood and energy to the area. Just like in using acupuncture to treat a local injury or a scar, we are using acupuncture to stimulate the body's natural process of promoting collagen and elastin production in the face. Chinese Medicine is also good for things like prolapses in the body. I view loose skin on the face and wrinkles as a prolapse as well. Chinese Medicine is exceptional at lifting things back up, therefore, jowls and sagging skin are lifted and tightened.
Q Who is your ideal client for cosmetic style acupuncture?
MEGAN: My ideal client is someone who is willing to implement the dietary changes that I outline as part of the program, someone who can commit to the treatment plan, and someone who is looking for an alternative to Botox or other fillers. When clients walk out of a session they not only feel amazing on the inside but they are working on a beauty enhancement on the outside as well!
Q: What is your ultimate goal for your patients?
MEGAN: I find that so many people are focused on what is not working in life instead of what is working. I try to shed light on the positives in a person's life… it's my goal to have everyone I encounter walk away with just a bit more light in their day, even if just for a minute.
Q: What are 5 healthy habits/ lifestyle recommendations you want to offer the world?
MEGAN: There are so many changes we can make that do not require an Amazon Prime delivery or a trip to the grocery store.
1. Drink water! It's free and your body will thank you in countless ways!
2. Meditate! This could be sitting quietly, using a guided meditation app, gardening, walking in nature, or simply paying attention to your breathing. Everyone can do it and there is a style for every personality!
3. Grow a garden, or just one edible plant. When you have a connection to your food, however big or small, it nourishes your soul.
4. Stretch. We are often in pain - physically, emotionally, and spiritually- when we have not moved. Stretching activates all three of these levels.
5. Hug! it is scientifically proven to make you happier and healthier and you are doing a good deed for the recipient as well! Click here to read more about hugs!
Q: Do you have a spiritual practice? If so, what is it?
MEGAN: I once took a religion test and it told me I was 99.9% Universal Unitarian and 99% Buddhist. As cliché as it sounds, Love is my religion. I use mantra meditation to focus myself and my goals on a more personal level. I really enjoy feeling the energy of a group which is why I seek out group meditations. I try to engage in activities that spread joy, within myself and in my community.
Q: What does your morning routine look like?
MEGAN: Ok, not all Acupuncturists are perfect. I am more of a night person! I rustle around and have created a "bed yoga routine" for myself. I have trained myself to eat a larger breakfast and I take pride in my colorful morning meals, as my friends know who receive pictures of my “masterpieces." These usually include a green, like arugula, polenta, eggs, fruit, and the dreaded cup of half-caff coffee with coconut cream. I try to read an article related to a case I am working on, write a blog, or update social media about acupuncture. I tend to keep my early mornings open so that my patients get the best me in the afternoon!
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
MEGAN: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ― Albert Einstein
Q: What are you currently most passionate about?
MEGAN: Educating others on the benefits of acupuncture. I truly believe that between acupuncture, yoga, and mediation, the world could be such a peaceful and beautiful place!
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What do you like to do for fun?
MEGAN: Honestly, I am kind of nerdy. I have board game nights with some of my dear friends on the weekends. I love to eat, so cooking or going out to new restaurants is always a favorite, I love live music so I can often be found at places like Johnny Brenda's or The Mann. I always have a vacation on my calendar - big or small, they are all adventures in my mind, I really love group meditations, museums, theatre, and I love learning!
Q: Who is/are your hero/s?
MEGAN: I think that we are all heroes in our own way. I have tremendous respect for those that live in silent pain, those that activate change, those that create beauty, and those that show love to all.