Today’s guest is Ashley Ann Lora, an eczema/dermatitis patient advocate who used the medication, Dupixent, for several years and has successfully withdrawn from it for over 20 weeks so far (which she says, is rare to see). She was also on the Dr. Phil show to share her eczema journey.
Disclaimer: Please note that this episode is in no way promoting Dupixent as a medication, but this episode is here to promote the emotional healing practices that Ashley has adopted since her Dupixent withdrawal.
In this episode, Ashley shares about why she feels like she hasn’t flared after having her dupixent withdrawal. She also shares her secrets of how emotional healing has helped her, including her emotional rituals, her morning rituals, and how healing her traumas have really helped her skin.
I love her fiery passion to heal and her passion to share how mindset and emotional healing can change our skin.
She also does visionary workshops to help people live their best life beyond eczema. You can find her on Instagram at @Ashleyannlora.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
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Abby: Hey, guys. Welcome to another episode of the Eczema Podcast. Today, I am very excited to have this guest on because we’ve never actually had a guest who has gone through this. Now, just a quick disclaimer that today on this show, my guest has gone through and used Dupixent for many years, but I am in no way promoting Dupixent on the show, even though she did have a positive result from it. My guest today does talk about how she was able to withdraw from it for at least 20 weeks now. She says that she hasn’t met many other people who have been able to have a successful withdrawal like she has for such a long time. That’s why I’m really excited to have this guest on, for her to share why she’s been able to have so much success on it. She also shares about what her healing practices are, her morning rituals, the emotional work that she’s been doing, and just how to speed up your healing in general.
Abby: I’ll give her another warm introduction later, but first I just want to let you know that if you are interested in following my skin healing journey and just seeing how my skin has been healing after the really severe flare up that I had after giving birth, I am constantly sharing my before and after photos and lots of tips on my Instagram and Facebook. You can follow me there at Eczema Conquerors. You can also join my Facebook support group. That’s a free Facebook support group on Facebook. You can just search for Eczema Conquerors support group and you’ll find me there.
Abby: I also have an exciting announcement for you, because next month I am actually heading to the Eczema Expo. I’m heading to the Eczema Expo in July. That’s in Phoenix, Arizona from July 18th to 21st. The National Eczema Association is actually hosting it for a four day gathering for the eczema community. It’s a great time to network with other people who are going through it, meet other caregivers, and also meet people in the medical field as well. There will be educational sessions as well and lots of speakers. Last year, there was speakers from doctors like Dr. Peter Leo, and Dr. Aron. They really gave a lot of great tips on how you can heal your skin and they also shared a lot of scientific information as well, which I thought was very helpful for the community, even if you are not into using medication. I just thought that the information that they shared was very knowledgeable.
Abby: The expo focuses on empowering people with eczema to live their best life. There is an emphasis on holistic health and wellness as well, because this year there will be meditations, educational sessions, yoga, eczema-friendly fitness classes, irritant-free massage and spa treatments, a kid’s camp, and much more. Now, registration for the kid’s camp is currently closed, but adult registration is open. You can head to eczemaexpo.org. Use the discount code “PRIME40” and you’ll get $40 off each registration until July 12th. Now, just a quick note that the hotel on site is full, so if you do register you’ll have another option to stay offsite. You can find all about that at eczemaexpo.org.
Abby: Now, I just want to share with you that today’s guest is great and I just want to encourage you that you can heal. I really do hope that today’s talk inspires you as well. Remember that if you ever do need more support, I do offer an eight week coaching program with myself and another coach who went through 26 years of steroid use, which also gave her cancer, but she is now 10 years cancer free. She has also been six years free from steroids. She shares a lot more about it in the group, about her story. We just love encouraging people. We’ve had doctors join. We had a surgeon join. There’s just been a lot of great testimonies lately as well. I just love working with the group of people. It’s eight weeks, but you’re always welcome to continue joining the calls after the eight weeks. You can message us an unlimited amount of time because we’re always there to heal.
Abby: Yeah. I’m really excited to share today’s guest. Without further ado, here’s today’s podcast.
Abby: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Eczema Podcast. Today I have an amazing guest for you on the show. I met her last year at the Eczema Expo and she is an awesome girl. Her name is Ashley and she is actually an eczema patient advocate. She does a lot of cool things, especially in the eczema community. I’ll let her share more about what she does, actually.
Abby: Hi, Ashley. Welcome to the show.
Ashley: Hello. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you greatly. I’m so glad we finally have come together-
Abby: I know.
Ashley: And can create-
Abby: I know. For sure-
Ashley: Something wonderful for your guests. Yeah. As you mentioned, I’m an eczema patient advocate. I work with different organizations, companies, and pharmaceutical companies in understanding who we are and understanding what our needs are as eczema patients and seeing how we can co-create together with these different organizations to bring in healing and hope and just … that’s pretty much it in our community.
Abby: That’s awesome. Can you tell me specifically how you got into this role and how you started doing this? I know maybe you might have to get into some background-
Abby: About your eczema story, but I know our audience would love to hear about your story.
Ashley: Of course. What really became the catalyst for me, I remember in November of 2014 I was sitting in bed. My whole body was flared up from eczema. I was studying, actually, to become a lawyer. I was studying for the LSAT at the time. My life felt like it was just coming down to shambles. My eczema was getting in the way. I said, “Hold up. Maybe my eczema’s supposed to be my testimony. Maybe I’m supposed to be speaking on eczema and not necessarily becoming this corporate lawyer for the rest of my life.” It was at that moment that I felt like I became aligned to what God wanted for me, to what my purpose was.
Ashley: From there, that’s when I actually started becoming public on social media about my eczema and sharing with the world what it was I was going through. This was definitely not in the plans, or I had no idea that this is what my life was going to be like. It’s just when I surrendered to eczema and I came into peace with it that I realized, “Okay. Maybe this is serving a greater purpose than what I could even imagine or picture for myself.”
Abby: I think the really amazing thing is I’ve been following your journey. I know you were on Dupixent for a long time and you actually came off of it. I think that’s so cool because you’ve actually been doing Dupixent withdrawal and you’ve been trying to see how long you can go without it. Has it been 20 or 22 weeks already, I think?
Ashley: This is actually reaching 29 weeks-
Abby: That’s amazing.
Ashley: Without Dupixent.
Abby: [crosstalk [00:08:47].
Ashley: I know. I’m coming to a point where I’m almost losing track of it, of how long I’m going without it because it’s like life is just happening beyond Dupixent and I no longer have to track it because I’m in … I’m experiencing life for the first time and actually doing things that I enjoy doing without having to be dependent on this drug.
Abby: I think when I first met you, you said … I think you said the longest you went without it was maybe like eight or nine weeks.
Abby: Then, I think at that time you didn’t even start your withdrawal yet, so right now you’ve actually been doing your withdrawal for so long. It’s amazing just seeing your progress. You’re actually successfully withdrawing.
Ashley: Yeah. At that time, when I couldn’t get past the eight week mark without having to flare up. This time around, my eight week mark was in December. I apologize. It was in November. I said, “Okay. What if I hold out on this flare and not take Dupixent just because I become fearful of this flare?” I actually just let the flare be what it was and just allow it to be released out of my system. I was healed after that without having to take Dupixent. That was my last real flare at that point. Mind you, I do get eczema here and there and dry skin, but I don’t even know if I would call it eczema at this time because it’s just … it’s minor rashes and minor dry skin that I could use regular lotion for. I know during the meetup this past Saturday I used a term like, “I’m using normal people lotion.”
Abby: Normal people lotion. I like that.
Ashley: Yeah, normal people lotion. I know you could possibly relate to it where I used Vaseline and Aquaphor and these thick petroleums all my life and never thought that I could use these softer lotions on my skin. They’ve actually been working just based on the progress of my skin.
Abby: Did you do anything differently once you got off of Dupixent that helped you get through the flares? What’s helping you with no flares at all?
Ashley: Really is this spiritual journey that I’m on. In addition to withdrawing, I’ve been doing a lot of what I call healing mindset practices, where, on a daily basis, I choose certain practices that bring me inner peace, inner joy, inner love. I’ve been doing a lot of trauma healing as well of anything that I need to release from my past. I truly feel like that and co-creation, even with Dupixent, has allowed me to live beyond Dupixent, has allowed me to heal beyond what this drug can do for me.
Abby: That’s crazy. Have you made any diet changes at all, or maybe just trauma healing, spiritual healing?
Ashley: I mean, yes. In the beginning I ended up doing intermittent fasting for instance, which I was going 16 hours without eating and only eating for an eight hour window. I truly felt like that helped me expand the weeks that I can go without Dupixent. I also was vegan for about nine months, which I feel like supported me. I just kept shocking my body with different things so that my body doesn’t get used to anything. I feel like it’s in shocking my body, it’s in doing different things every single day that I’m creating this healing beyond Dupixent.
Abby: I think that’s so cool, especially with the spiritual practices, the mindset. I’m really huge on that, too. I would love to know what spiritual practices, what healing practices, do you practice on a daily basis that’s helping you with the success of your healing?
Ashley: Yeah. There’s hundreds of healing mindset practices that you can actually do, anywhere from listening to music, doing yoga, meditating, journaling. For instance, today, right before this podcast, I just finished journaling and doing my Bible study and having a deep conversation with my boyfriend. Anything that brings you joy and peace is a healing mindset practice. Sometimes a lot of us actually do it, but we’re just not conscious of it. We’re not setting the intention that what we’re doing is to bring in healing. I know consciously that these healing mindset practices I choose on a daily basis is for the intention of bringing me healing and love and inner peace. It’s with that intention backed up with action that the results are showing for themselves.
Abby: That is so awesome. I love that and I just love hearing that. Do what finds you joy, because I think so many of us are stuck in that stressful state days and weeks and months. It just carries on.
Ashley: Right. Right. We dwell in our eczema pain and suffering. Instead of dwelling in that pain of suffering of what eczema is not allowing you to do or not allowing you to go and where, it’s like, “Okay. How can I manage my eczema in this very moment? What can I do in this very moment to bring in fun, to bring in laughter, to bring in joy?” I feel like having that mentality will allow you to shift your perspective from dwelling in your eczema to finding peace with your eczema and living beyond your eczema.
Abby: People who are stuck in that state, do you have any tips for how to get them started to switch their mental state?
Ashley: Yeah. I think it’s really choosing different healing mindset practices that you can do on a daily basis. It’s doing it without having to flare up first. Everything that I do, it’s not because I’m flaring up. It’s actually so that I can prevent the flares. Consistency is a really huge part in what I do. It’s just getting started. It’s taking one action. It’s, even in the moment of your flares, asking yourself, “Okay. What can I do in this very moment to bring in joy?” Anything that you need to do in that very moment to bring in that peace, to bring in that healing. It’s doing it consistently without the flares happening in the first place. It’s doing it almost as a preventable cause to your eczema.
Abby: I think that’s wonderful. One thing that I’ve actually been doing in the mornings that’s made a really big difference if I’ve been trying to do meditations. Sometimes it is really hard to focus and get into it. I just feel such a big difference, even if I can do maybe like 20 minutes … or 10 to 20 minutes, as long as I can focus and picture myself healed and just do the visualization and the mediation. It’s a game changer.
Ashley: Oh, for sure. Because people don’t see the results right away of meditation, of visualizing, of bringing in joy, they think it’s not working, but it does work after you create that habit and that consistency. For me personally, it’s like you can technically meditate for 30 seconds if you really wanted to. It’s allowing these healing mindset practices to serve your space, to serve your time. If you only have five minutes in the morning, guess what? You can meditate for one minute. You can journal for two minutes. There’s a way to still implement these healing mindset practices into your schedule where it won’t take up time for you.
Abby: I think that’s so great. Ashley, one thing I would love to dig deeper into is you mentioned doing trauma work and healing past traumas. Tell me-
Abby: More about that, because that is something we don’t hear about every day.
Ashley: Right. For the past five years, I’ve done a lot of self-development work and have engaged myself in certain workshops that create the atmosphere and the space for me to do this type of trauma healing. It’s under the facilitation of an expert that I do trauma healing. I also feel like my healing mindset practices are part of that trauma healing, because it’s when I’m journaling, it’s when I’m conscious of my thoughts as I’m writing that I’m releasing certain energies, certain thoughts, that do not serve me. This has become almost like a daily practice for me of just being conscious of my thoughts, being conscious of where they come from, if there’s a certain event that has happened in my past that’s blocking me from creating a space for healing in the first place. Yeah. I’ve done a lot of work and it’s about the continued work that I do.
Ashley: I just read this book called he Body Keeps the Score, which has literally blown my mind. Although it focuses on childhood trauma, what I came to my understanding of is that everyone is carrying around some type of trauma in their life, some type of event or conversations in their minds that’s holding them back from greatness, that’s holding them back from fully experiencing the inner healing that will, if anything, support them in healing from their eczema. Even reading that book there was some past trauma that came up for me. It was about me dealing with it and handling it in that very moment with my support system, my support group, and managing that. It’s been a relief. Every time I do trauma healing, there’s a relief. There’s just an opening. I know in that moment I’m creating room for more healing to occur.
Abby: I think that’s really interesting. I actually had someone else on the podcast before, Dr. [Nema [00:19:23], back in season two. He actually talked about how rejection and trauma can all create illness in the body and can also create food sensitivities and allergies. He was saying that his girlfriend before had a gluten-free café and they did so much trauma work and inner healing that she actually started to become able to eat gluten again. That gluten allergy went away.
Ashley: Right. The mind body connection is so intense and so vital. I don’t think, as a community, we really are paying attention to the power that the mind has in your healing. If we think back at one of the triggers of eczema, it’s stress. Stress is an emotion. It’s not just stress. It’s when you’re anxious. It’s when you’re sad and depressed that it’ll show up on the surface of your skin. It’s up to you to counteract those emotions with joy and inner peace and love that will support you in calming down your eczema. I truly believe, and I will continue to preach, that there’s a power in the mind body connection to healing your eczema.
Abby: Yeah. I know for me, my eczema actually flared up for the first time very, very severely when I was 15. My first boyfriend, who was my first love, he broke up with me. From them on, I just scratched like crazy. Everything bled and got so severe. It was because of that one incident that was so traumatic for me that made me feel like I hated myself and I didn’t love myself. That created the flare up.
Ashley: You know, that happens on a daily basis where people just become stressed out at work, or they’re having financial issues. It can be whatever it can be, you breaking up with your partner, that can create these eczema flares to occur. It’s a trigger. It’s a leeway for your eczema to come and surface. Many people outside of the eczema community are able to hide those emotions. As eczema warriors, our emotions, in my opinion, show up on the surface of our skin. Yeah. That’s where the healing mindset practices come into play, where you can do certain things to support you and not reacting to certain events, because life will happen. It’s about how you respond to those events that will prevent your eczema flares from occurring in the first place.
Abby: Yeah. I totally, totally agree. I’m so onboard with you on that. I would love to know. This book that you’ve read, it sounds so interesting. Are there any tidbits of it that really stand out that you feel like that would really benefit the community for … just to share it, or any teachings that you have maybe from things you’ve learned as well?
Ashley: Yeah. One of the biggest things I learned is that a lot of diseases and illnesses are directly correlated with our emotions, are directly correlated with our trauma. It’s how can we continue to release the trauma and continue to bring in that peace, love, and healing so that we can get rid of this … these diseases, these illnesses? This is all scientifically based of how the mind works and how the mind body works, where it shows that our emotions are correlated to our illnesses. It’s something that we cannot deny. Eczema’s not just hereditary. Eczema is not just environmentally-based. There’s a lot that we can do as individuals to support us in our healing.
Abby: Yeah. I think one thing I’ve actually been following is Dr. Joe [Dispenza [00:23:29]. At his retreats for meditation and healing, he’s been saying that people, when they … when they’re doing these meditations at his retreats, their bodies actually heal from disease because they actually heal something. I think his meditations are so powerful that it actually rewires the brain. I think that’s so cool.
Ashley: Yeah, and that goes back to neuroplasticity, which is the rewiring of the brain. There’s tons of research on this that actually shows that it works. Even applying neuroplasticity into the healing of eczema, I feel like, would be super powerful. One thing I want to express is that healing is a process. There’s a reason why there’s no cure for eczema. Me, personally, I don’t believe there’s necessarily a cure or a guarantee that eczema, or that cancer, won’t come up in your life anymore. That’s why it’s important that you continue to do the work on yourself, that you continue to manage your eczema even when it’s not in existence, even when it’s not surfacing on your skin. It’s important to just continue to bring in the positivity and the love and the joy and the peace to support you in that.
Abby: Yeah. I definitely agree with you wholeheartedly. I would love to know, Ashley, if there is … if there are things you want to teach the eczema community about working on their trauma, or even the practices you’ve described. What would you share with the eczema community to teach them?
Ashley: Yeah. Every single year, I have a word that is my motto. It’s like my go-to. This year it was the word encounter. I thought, “Okay. How often can I make an encounter with wisdom, with love, with peace, and with healing?” It’s literally something as simple as reading books, talking to people, talking to experts, doing your part in society, doing your part in your healing and not being dependent on your doctors and drugs to bring in the healing for you. Do the work. Take the responsibility and just encounter. Create encounters for yourself. Ask yourself, “Okay. What can I learn today that I didn’t learn yesterday?” Even that level of curiosity and asking questions and thinking beyond your eczema I feel like will truly support you. It takes one action in this moment for you to literally redirect and rewire your mind and bring in healing. It’s up to you to take that action.
Abby: Yeah. I think one thing that I’ve been trying really hard to do is recognize that I have to make my mind, myself, strong, strong so I can get through this, strong so I can heal the emotional trauma.
Abby: Yeah, just so that I’m only as strong as my mind is and the stronger I am, I can get through this easier. I can get through it quicker. My skin will heal more the more I work on my mindset. I’m going to be honest. It’s really tiring because I’ve been working on my … even traumatic experiences.
Abby: I remember I started seeing a counselor ever since I was 19. He-
Abby: Became my … kind of like a god father to me in a way. I’ve been working on myself for over 10 years already so it’s a really long time. It takes so much patience.
Ashley: Right. Right. It takes so much patience. It takes a lot of vulnerability. It takes compassion on yourself and consistency. We are constant changing beings. It’s up to us to stand responsible and do what is necessary to learn more about ourselves and to learn that we have options. When I started healing, I didn’t realize how much eczema held me back in my life. I didn’t realize that a lot of the characteristics, or a lot of the perceptions, of how I see life came from the hardships of eczema. It was once I started healing that I realized how much eczema held me back. It’s up to me to just choose into different options. I don’t need to limit myself anymore. I’m healed. It’s okay if I go out to the beach today. It’s okay if I wear shorts anymore. I don’t have to hide anymore.
Abby: I think that’s a really good point. If you were to leave our audience with some tips on how they can heal their trauma, what tips would you leave for them? Because, for example, for myself, one thing that I found has been really, really helpful is seeing a counselor, or a therapist. That’s been super helpful in just revealing the root causes of my skin. I was surprised how much I broke down in the sessions-
Abby: Just journaling and also meditation. I guess do you have any other tips to leave with people so that they can heal themselves and start the work to heal from their traumas?
Ashley: Yeah. One thing I spoke into this past week at the eczema meetup was the concept of attachment. Don’t be attached to the way you’re supposed to heal, or the way it’s supposed to look like, and the way it’s supposed to feel and who’s supposed to be there. Instead, accept your eczema for what it is. Know that it’s not there to cause you hard, but it’s there to show you something. It’s there to reveal something from within you, whether that’s resilience or confidence, whatever it may be. It’s there for a reason. If we stop focusing on, “Why do I have eczema? Why is this happening to me?” And instead focusing our attention on, “How can I manage it? How can I manage my eczema now, knowing that it already exists? What I can do now to live beyond my eczema?” Start taking that action to bring in that peace and inner healing where eczema is not going to take over your life, but rather you take over it. You take your power back from eczema.
Abby: Oh, I love that. You take your power back from eczema. That’s so powerful.
Ashley: Yeah. Yes.
Abby: Yeah. I think that it’s time for us to be in control of this condition rather than letting it control us-
Abby: And letting us be reactive to how it manages our day. It basically controls our emotions, how we manage our day, so many things. It steals a lot of things from us.
Ashley: Oh, yes. Definitely. I remember waking up and the first thing I would have to do is look at my skin. Then I can choose what I can wear for the day. Then I can choose what I can do for the day. That’s when eczema had control over me. Even if I do flare up, now I’m like, “I’m still going to wear that. I’m still going to wear that dress.” [inaudible [00:31:09] flared up. I’m not going to allow it to control my life anymore.
Abby: I love that. I think that is so cool. Ashley, another thing I would love to know is your Dupixent journey.
Abby: Have you met other people that have been able to withdrawal for … from Dupixent for so long?
Ashley: You know, I’ve only heard stories. I haven’t directly met them, but I’ve heard of two people back on the east coast who have been … who did withdraw from Dupixent and their eczema no longer shows up. Other than that, I do meet a lot of people who have tried doing what I do. Their eczema still flared up or all of the symptoms came back. When they tried getting back on Dupixent it no longer worked for them.
Abby: Oh, wow.
Abby: I’m so surprised.
Ashley: Yes. It goes to show that everyone is different. Dupixent works on people differently. There’s no one story. There are people who find it successful and people who don’t. That’s why I think it’s important not to depend on a drug. For me, personally, I didn’t depend on Dupixent. As soon as I started healing, I started working out. I started eating healthy. I started doing all of these things in addition to Dupixent so that it can create that overall healing for me.
Abby: I think that’s so great. What other side effects have you heard when people come off of Dupixent?
Ashley: Well, see, I don’t know if these side effects are directly correlated with Dupixent. As we know, there’s just no way of actually coming down to the point of, “Oh, well, this is from Dupixent.” What I’ll tell you personally, for me, some of the side effects were extreme fatigue. I lost some of my hair. I did have flare ups. I did have the conjunctivitis. Those were some of the side effects, but I think it was in the process of the way I was tapering off Dupixent where I did it little by little that has allowed me to create the sustainability right now.
Abby: That’s great. I think our audience would love to know, you’ve been on it … was it three years that I’ve think you’ve told me before, the Dupixent?
Ashley: Yeah. I started Dupixent in … it was May of 2015. I was part of their clinical trial studies. Then I was officially on it consistently of May of 2016. Then, one day in May of 2017, I said, “[inaudible [00:33:51] body is without this drug. Let me see if I can handle [inaudible [00:33:55] it.” That’s when the tapering off process began, just out of curiosity.
Abby: That’s so great. Those side effects you mentioned, the conjunctivitis, the extreme fatigue, all those side effects, do they come during your Dupixent use or only when you’re tapering off?
Ashley: It was both. When I was on … in the clinical trial studies, for instance, I was getting a cold sore every two, three weeks.
Ashley: Even though my skin was healing and the itchiness reduced, I was getting these darn cold sores all the time, which aren’t the prettiest. I had the eye issues right from the beginning as well. I felt like it was only when I started spacing out my injections that those side effects went away.
Abby: What tips do you have for people who are going to start Dupixent or who are thinking about it, or even the whole injection process? Does it hurt a lot, or do you get used to it?
Ashley: I don’t think I can ever get used to injecting myself. That by itself took a while for me to actually be comfortable in injecting myself. I’m big on being open to different types of healing. What I would tell the audience is don’t be fearful of Dupixent. Dupixent has shown a lot of success for many people and it’s not until you try it that you will see whether or not it works for you. If it works for you, awesome. If it doesn’t work for you, guess what? That’s still awesome because now there are other options. Now at least you can say that you tried it and it didn’t work for you.
Abby: Yeah. You mentioned if it doesn’t work, so many people have been healing lately without medication and just by diet or supplements. Like you mentioned, the healing practices that you mentioned, all those changes make such a big difference.
Ashley: Right. It’s important, at least for me, that … to know that medication is simply a catalyst. It’s a way to support you in your healing. It’s not for you to be dependent on it for the rest of your life. At least that’s my … that’s what I see for myself. I don’t want to become dependent on a drug for the rest of my life. It’s like, “Okay. How can I use this drug and do other things outside of this drug to support me in my healing in the first place?”
Abby: I feel like it’s so great because you’ve successfully been able to turn this into a blessing in disguise.
Abby: Being on Dupixent, it must’ve been scary to have to be on it on a clinical trial.
Ashley: Right. The only reason I even hopped onto the clinical trial, my brother is luckily a doctor and he did all the research for me. He was like, “You know what? It’s showing good signs. Try it out.” Otherwise, at that point, I was so desperate for healing because I was also going through topical steroids withdrawal that I said, “I’ll try anything.” That was my prayer to God was like, “God, show me a sign of healing. Show me what I need to do.” Then, boom, Dupixent trials came into my life. I took advantage of that opportunity.
Abby: Just out of curiosity, I know a lot of our audience members are going to ask, but how much does Dupixent actually cost? I know yours will be U.S. specific.
Ashley: Right. I actually don’t know the response to that because I actually never had to pay for my injections. I didn’t have to pay for them during clinical trial and I didn’t have to pay for them afterwards because Dupixent had a program for us, which I … from my knowledge they still have that program for people who are struggling financially or with their insurance, where they will support you for a certain amount of months or even a year … up to a year, to support you in gaining Dupixent. Don’t take no for an answer. I know many people get discouraged because their insurance were … they’re not supporting them, whatever it may be. Don’t take no for an answer. Keep fighting for it because this is your health. You are worthy of being healthy.
Abby: I love that you mentioned you are worthy of being healthy. That’s something I always try to remind the community because I think a lot of this is also rooted in a lack of self-worth, a lack of-
Abby: Believing that you deserve to be healed and that you’re worthy to be healed.
Abby: Some people lose hope that they can heal. The interesting thing is when I was talking to Dr. Neema on an old podcast episode in season two, he said that a lot of people with illness secretly or either unconsciously don’t realize it but they actually don’t want to heal. That’s why their illness is still there.
Ashley: You know, that is a very controversial statement. I understand where he’s coming from, and I understand also why some people would be like, “What do you mean by that?” It goes back to consciousness. It goes back to being aware. Many people say they want healing, but then they become fearful of trying a new drug, but then they become fearful of trying new things and new options. How much do you actually want to heal if you’re allowing your fear to stop you from taking on these options that are right in front of you? Like I said, I can understand where he’s coming from, because I believe that. I believe that people themselves are holding them back from actually healing.
Abby: Ashley, I would love to know, I know your mind is just full of knowledge and tips, especially every day I’m seeing you post things about encouraging people that they can heal, so I would love to know if you have any other words of advice or tidbits just so … to leave with the audience to encourage them that they can heal, or even any tips or things that you do or things that maybe we can help support you with because I know you have your … you have a lot of workshops as well.
Ashley: Yeah. One, take action. Just do something on a daily basis that will support you. I’m really big on what works for me. At this moment, what works for me are my healing mindset practices. By result, it’s showing that something is working. I can only preach on what works for me, but remain open. Remain curious. Know that you have a choice and you are able to choose how you want to feel and what you can do about it. As long as you know that you have a choice and that you can back that up with action and even faith and knowing confidently that your body is already healing … even if you’re flaring up, your body is still healing. It is going through its process of healing and being released out of your system. Just remain faithful. Do the action and the results will show up for themselves.
Abby: I think that is so great. Is there one thing you feel that has helped you the most on your journey?
Ashley: Ooh. I would have to say it’s my faith, specifically with God. I remember going through topical steroids withdrawal and just crying at the top of my lungs and just praying to God to bring me healing, praying to God to show me what do I need to do, who do I need to speak to to bring in healing. I truly felt like He held me down. Even when I didn’t want to be surrounded by anybody, when I didn’t want anybody to see me going through my suffering, He was always there for me. That’s why my Bible study, even til this day, is so important for me because it reassures me of that faith. It reassures me that I am taken care of and I am protected, I am guided. Whatever happens, I can overcome it.
Abby: I think that’s so great. I love that you post a mini-Bible study every day.
Abby: That reminds me as well. Yeah, just having faith in God, especially in my journey as well, it really helped me get through it, just really believing that someone was out there watching me and believing in me every step of the way-
Abby: Even though there were times I lost faith and there were times that I was so angry throughout the process. At the end, I’m just so thankful that things have gotten better.
Ashley: Knowing that somebody’s in your corner. Many people don’t believe in that higher power because they can’t see them, but it’s something that’s within. I feel like, similar to healing, it’s about what’s within. It’s about your belief and your faith that you are healing and that you are capable of healing and you were made in this beauty and perfection. Your body and even your eczema is a way to return back to that perfection, a way to return back to you who you are as that perfect being.
Abby: I love that. I think that is so great. Ashley, is there any way that we can learn more about the awesome things that you are doing, whether it is the workshops, or yeah, just things that you’re doing?
Ashley: Yeah. My main social channel is Instagram @ashleyannlora. I post on there every day. For me, personally, I only do things that are authentic to who I am as a person. I don’t go on there selling anything to anybody. I post on what works for me. I post what I do on a daily basis in hopes that it inspires and empowers somebody else to do the same. What’s beautiful is that I’m seeing that trickle down into individuals who are watching me from afar, who do contact me from all over the world saying that, “Hey, I’ve been watching you. I’ve been watching your growth. Thank you.” It’s my reason why I continue to do what I do even for our eczema community. Our warriors, our community, are my why. Even if I can impact one person through one post, that’s all that matters to me.
Abby: Yeah. I think we need a lot more people like you, just people who will encourage us, especially since it’s such a depressing condition that-
Abby: Makes people so depressed. I remember I was just so depressed, so suicidal. There was no one on social media when I was-
Abby: Going through it.Abby: I love that you’re helping people and encouraging them.
Ashley: Thank you. Likewise for you. Every single day I’m learning something new just by even watching your videos and your posts. I think that once as a collective, we can do this together and we can inspire and motivate together, we will impact eczema in a way that we haven’t seen before. I feel like that’s what we’re doing now. We’re in the middle of some type of transformation in the eczema community and it is so freaking beautiful to be a witness to that.
Abby: Yeah. It takes a village to heal-
Abby: Yeah, and get better. Ashley, you were even on the Dr. Phil show, right?
Ashley: I was. It’s so funny because anytime somebody mentions it I’m like, “Oh yeah. I was on that.” That was a beautiful experience, very humbling from the way I was treated the whole entire time. I truly felt like a star in a way that it’s like, “Wow. These people are doing it for me, somebody who had eczema.” Similar to you, I was super depressed growing up. I would have some really hard moments. For the fact that people are seeing eczema and putting it in this limelight and just showing me so much love because of my eczema, that is really humbling for me. I just hope that I can continue to be on these platforms that will reach a mass audience and we can collectively just change our perspective on eczema and continue to bring awareness to those who don’t understand or know what we’re going through.
Abby: That’s really cool. I totally agree with that. Any last words you want to leave with our audience?
Ashley: Thank you to you, first off, for having me on your podcast. I love our warriors. I love our community. Our community is my why and my purpose for why I do things every single day. Continue to unhide your eczema. Continue to share your story. Continue to show off your skin even at its worst days so that you can educate other people on what it is we go through. Continue being who you are outside of eczema, because eczema is not who you are. It’s simply a part of it. When you focus on who you are as a being, the loving, perfect individual that you are, your eczema won’t appear in my perspective. Just continue being who you are outside of eczema and continue to show that resilience and power that’s within you.
Abby: Awesome. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve said today. I know that you gave a lot of great tidbits, especially about your healing practices and just staying strong and having a lot of faith.
Abby: Where can our audience find you?
Ashley: As I mentioned, I’m mainly on Instagram. That is my main social channel that I interact on every single day. It’s ashleyannlora, A-S-H-L-E-Y-A-N-N-L-O-R-A. I do have a few YouTube videos that I post up as well, but Instagram is my main channel. I have tons of information already on there and tons of IGTV videos that I’ve done and a lot of my wisdom is in these posts. If you want to learn about me, just watch and it’s there for you.
Abby: Awesome. Thank you so much Ashley. It was so great to have you on the show.
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Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
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