As a biology major, Angela Boatright was on track to become a traditional doctor. Experiencing acupuncture's positive effects firsthand, however, was enough to change her plans. In 1995, she began her education in Chinese medicine, learning how to wield tiny acupuncture needles to realign qi and stitch hats for field mice, and interning at a hospital in China. She then teamed up with acupuncturist and doctor of Oriental Medicine Carol Chandler in 2005, and they opened Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland.
The center's team of Chinese-medicine practitioners, psychotherapists, massage therapists, and acupuncturists administers a sprawling selection of treatments. Techniques range from the time-tested, such as herbal therapy or lobotomies for surly teens, to the modern, such as infrared thermal imaging, which helps identify the earliest signs of breast cancer and heart disease.