Whether you want to eliminate pain, increase your energy, or address unresolved symptoms of existing health concerns, our team is ready to work with you to create a roadmap for optimal wellness.
License/title and certifications:
- Licensed Acupuncturist
- B.S. in Natural Health Sciences
- M.S. in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Over 1,000 clinical training hours
- Trained/externship in Beijing and Shanghai TCM hospitals as well as hospitals in the Seattle area.
- Herbal medicine training
- Advocate for acupuncture as a member of ILSA and ASA and lobbying for acupuncturists’ rights in state and federal levels
Kathy Lai, L.Ac, Dipl. OM is an acupuncturist at Aligned Modern Health’s West Loop location. She is a graduate of Bastyr University with a Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences. Kathy is also board certified in Chinese herbal medicine. She completed training in various clinics and hospitals in Washington state as well as overseas in Beijing and Shanghai, China.
She is passionate about bringing individualistic holistic healthcare that treats the root cause rather than just the symptoms. Through acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle recommendations Kathy can treat a wide range of issues including but not limited to chronic pain, chemo-induced radiculopathy, insomnia, anxiety, and women’s health.
Kathy is also a Fulbright-Hays scholar where she traveled to Xi’an, China to study U.S. China relations at Shaanxi Normal University.
Q&A with Kathy
What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
Getting patients feeling better than when the patient first stepped through the door! And pushing for acupuncture on a legislative level.
Acupuncture has gained recognition by NIH, WHO, and most recently the American College of Physicians as an effective way to combat issues like chronic pain. With the increasing recognition, I hope that acupuncture can become more accessible to people through government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc. and most importantly that board-certified acupuncturists are providing these services to the community.
Personally: I love nature. So I dig (no pun intended) any sort of conservation story and sustainable living.
What three traits define you?
Empathetic. Affable. Young at heart.
What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?
Conservation! If I could forgo having a job, I would totally be out there rescuing sea turtles and sea otters.
What are you surprisingly good at?
Playing the piano. Though it’s not really a surprise since I practiced pretty hardcore as a kid. It’s what you get when you have a really strict Chinese piano teacher and a mom who can only wish her child was a prodigy.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Ever since my schooling in Seattle, I’ve been addicted to snowboarding. I love the mountains out there. That breathtaking scenery. That crisp cold air, the sound of crunching snow along with the adrenaline of speeding downhill. I love it!
What’s the biggest proof that you’re good at what you do?
The sheer fact that patients love coming back because they see results and are sad when I leave town.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
The first thing that comes to mind is a summer internship I did at Loyola University Chicago. I was in charge of taking care of their aquaponics system, greenhouse, and gardens. For the entire summer, my parents teased me saying how they left China for a better life, and now their daughter, a university student, had become a farmer.
How does your education connect to your professional career? What about personal experiences?
Growing up in a Chinese household, I was exposed to acupuncture and herbs from a young age. My grandmother had many health issues and was on many prescription medications. She had all these side effects and symptoms she was told that she had to live with for the rest of her life. I just thought it wasn’t right. There must be a way to combat her problems. A defining situation was when her post-surgery wound wouldn’t heal. After much deliberation, we finally asked a Chinese herbalist for help. Her wound healed immediately, and ultimately saved her life. So, I was convinced that this medicine is worth diving into, and I made a career out of it.
Do you have any other passions of personal goals that you would like to share?
My hope is that through patient and practitioner advocacy that acupuncture and Chinese herbalism will get greater acceptance and get incorporated into more public programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Everyone here is so kind and knowledgeable! I have never loved any healthcare location like I love Aligned Modern Health!
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