Lisa Orlando 

Licensed Acupuncturist, Dipl. Ac.



Former Producer-Editor 60 Minutes (CBS), CNN, CNBC, NBC

In ’97, I was working at CBS NEWS/60 MINUTES when I was diagnosed with an aggressive illness – Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was reluctant to undergo chemotherapy but was told I’d be “dead in a week” if I didn’t. There were no other options, my oncologists said, that could offer at least the hope of a cure. As a dancer and fitness trainer, I’d received acupuncture and had heard it could treat the side effects of chemo. So, I decided to take a complementary approach, adding not just one but eventually four acupuncturists to my health care team. Between rounds of chemo, I received acupuncture treatment and herbs.   

A year later, my illness relapsed and I began radiation therapy. Here I am after chemo (yes, that’s a wig) with beloved 60 Minutes correspondent, Ed Bradley who made a surprise appearance at my birthday party in ’98. After radiation. I underwent a grueling stem-cell transplant that I wasn’t sure I would survive. Chinese Medicine not only helped to relieve the side effects, it served to support my immune system and brought me back to the land of the living. My terminal prognosis turned into a happy ending. Had I not received Chinese Medicine in tandem with allopathic treatment and on a regular basis ever since, I am convinced I would not be here to tell my tale.  Sadly, I’ve known too many cancer patients who did not have this advantage and they are no longer with us.  

After my remission in ‘99, I wanted to educate the public about the efficacy of Chinese Medicine.  But within months, I began to experience debilitating neurological damage to the spinal cord from the treatment that saved my life.  I was unable to navigate my legs down a New York city block and didn’t have the stamina to do my job. I knew I had to leave 60 Minutes in order to fix the problem – a problem that would turn out to be more challenging than even surviving cancer.

I tried several medical options in an attempt to heal the spinal cord damage but nothing was working.  Then in 2002, I began treatment with Libbie Rice, Lic. Acupuncturist and Chair of the Swedish Institute Acupuncture program and started to notice small but significant improvements in my abilities. She introduced me to Dr. Jeffrey C. Yuen, the Dean. Yuen is a Daoist Priest of two lineages:  88th generation of the Jade Purity Yellow Emperor Lao Zi School and 26th generation of the Complete Reality Dragon Gate School.

Above: Lisa Orlando with Libbie Rice, Chair of the Swedish College of Health Acupuncture Program

Yuen and Rice inspired me to enroll in the Swedish Institute College of Health Acupuncture Program in the fall of ’07. For four intense years, I led a double life working in CNBC’s documentary unit by day and by night, earning an MS in Acupuncture. Classical Chinese Medicine would forever change my thinking about what makes us ill, what is necessary to heal, and the role we play in both. I was surprised to read in one of Yuen’s texts that the overall intention of treatment is to help guide the patient toward fulfilling the soul’s purpose. I had somehow found myself in the right place and time, just before the Acupuncture Program would close its doors for good.

In 2011, I started a private practice on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – YIN YANG ACUPUNCTURE, PLLC and in 2012, produced and edited a short film about cancer and acupuncture featuring Jeffrey Yuen.

If you have the 12 minutes to view, please keep in mind something Yuen said about facing any life-threatening illness whether it’s cancer, coronavirus, or anything else: it’s a fulltime job. The healing process is best served if you make it a priority, so that every aspect of your life is devoted to healing the problem at hand. 

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In 2012, as destiny would have it, I returned to 60 Minutes. In the age of a lot of false and misleading internet news, I am grateful to be working for one of the few and longest running and award-winning broadcasts which hasn’t compromised its journalistic values.  

Lisa Orlando, behind-the-scenes with legal pad, producing an interview with 60 Minutes Special Contributor Oprah Winfrey and Ann Silvio for 60 Minutes Overtime, 2018.


I like to call myself a cancer and chemo survivor – and as of 2020, I’ve added Covid-19 to the list (see RECOVERY BLOG page.) In fact, my experience with cancer and healing a spinal cord injury caused by cancer treatment helped inform my ability to navigate the Coronavirus.  I’ve come to see that the ancient Chinese physicians were right, “there are no incurable diseases” and I continue to use acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to treat myself and my patients in an effort to heal whatever challenges that come our way.

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