Heung Lee, MEME, MSCS, MSAOM, L.Ac
After many years in the engineering and software fields,
Heung decided to pursue his true passion to work clinically in the field of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Heung earned the Master's degree of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University and
is licensed in the State of Washington, and nationally certified by
the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
In addition to his general practice, he has pursued advanced private training related to
musculoskeletal problems, specially lower back problems.
During my internships, I interviewed many patients and understood their problems.
However, the clinical setting allows a limited chance for the patients to know the practitioner.
It is very helpful that the patients need feel comfortable with the practitioner
because he/she is getting involved in the patient's life in certain ways of therapeutics.
So I share my story about how to be an acupuncturist because I hope sharing helps them
comfortable at our clinic.
Over my life, my heart has never pounded without compassion for those who suffer.
Looking back on my life, the compassion had influence over my career path.
During the high school years my career choice was a health care provider.
I liked to help those who suffer in person as a health care provider.
But my circumstance did not help me press onward in determination.
As alternatives, I tried to be a social worker because I could still help people in person.
My circumstance did not help at that time either.
I then became an engineer and looked for a chance to be involved bioengineering.
In reality, I kept involved in different engineering fields.
After many years as a software engineer, my dream faded away. And I started dreaming about
the bus driver for the handcapped.
Since I had a family to support, it was however difficult for me to change career.
So I thought about some type of cash caw so for me to drive bus.
I worked on moonlight jobs after work and tried out small businesses as a cash caw.
Unfortunately I had a serious health problem from overwork and stress before being a bus driver.
The end of year 2004, I had jaundice caused by the blockage of the common bile duct.
January 2005, I was hospitalized in Swedish Medical Center and had a couple of medical procedures
and a bypass surgery. And I took few months to recover.
I experienced extremely difficult recovery. When I was discharged, I was advised to have
diets with low fat and sodium and given a brochure of diet examples.
The diet examples were based on hamburgers and salads.
It was not appropriate for an Asian patient recovering from a major medical surgery.
My wife and I were confused and we did not know what to do. So we were just careful about
fat and sodium. I ate foods that were thought of low fat and sodium for quicker recovery.
After a week I was hospitalized again because of ascites.
After the discharge again, I feared to eat foods extremely.
It was so fearful to try any food. So I stayed with foods that my body could accept without
any adverse reaction. During the recovery, I also experienced anxiety more than I could manage.
It seemed be due to uncertainty of life I never prepared for.
To make things worse, my wife was overwhelmed by her job, our children and me.
So we thought it would be better if I would go to my parents' home in Korea to recover from
residual jaundice and operation.
So I went to and stayed in my parents' home about three and half months.
During the period I had a chance to learn Koryo Hand Therapy (KHT).
I tried hand acupuncture and moxibustion of KHT and had some good effects.
Since then, I loved to know acupuncture and oriental medicine as well.
Back to home and reality. I should make money for living again.
Career change was not possible. All sudden, we had a chance to start up a home business.
The business helped me go back to the school and learn acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
I was so pleased with dream of being a licensed acupuncturist coming true.
And I earned the Master's degree of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Bastyr and
am a licensed acupuncturist now.
As an acupuncturist, I would like to be involved in efforts to bridge the medicines
in West and East based on my experiences during the period of my illness.
I would also like to work on bridging between traditional acupuncture and KHT.
And I long for a chance to participate in efforts to develope oriental medicine-based,
easy-to-access guidelines of the self examination for the public.
These professional goals cannot be in existence without my passion to achieve my career objective,
helping those who suffer. Moreover the accomplishment of my professional goals can not be made
without Bastyr University.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine fascinates me most at this point.
In addition, my heart still pounds with everlasting compassion that is a driving force of taking good care of
patients. The experiences as a patient will be a big plus as a health care provider.
Other than my profession and family support, I enjoy making herbal products and
watching movies. And I enjoy playing with my two dogs.
- Shanghai University of TCM, Shanghai, China, 2009
As an intern, I worked for Chinese herb shifts specialized in the internal medicine.
- Chronic Fatigue Clinic, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, 2008, 2009
The Chronic Fatigue Clinic (CFC) is located at Harborview Medical Center.
Patients seen at the CFC have gone through a diagnostic protocol for Chronic Fatigue and
Fibromyalgia, performed by the medical staff of the clinic.
Interested patients are referred to acupuncture.
As an intern, I had the opportunity to treat adults, ranging in age from young to old,
who suffer from chronic pain and fatigue and associated illnesses such as insomnia, depression, and
- Rainier Park Medical Clinic, Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Center, Seattle, 2008 - 2009
This community clinic also provides primary and family health care to members of
the south Seattle community. As an intern, I worked with both acute and
chronic health concerns in an integrated community setting.
- Bastyr Center for Natural Health, Seattle, 2007 - 2009
As an intern, I worked with both acute and chronic health concerns.
I provided acupuncture treatments and prescribed Chinese herbs as
a complement to acupuncture treatments and as a primary form of therapy.
I also worked in Chinese herb dispensary to fill Chinese herb prescriptions.