Lily Lai - Principal Practitioner

Academic Training

Lily graduated from a full-time five year degree programme with a first class honours in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Middlesex University and a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. This degree course is regarded as Europe's leading TCM programme that trains students in all TCM therapies of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Cupping and Moxibustion as well as Western medical diagnostic and clinical skills. The curricular content of this degree course is based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine degree programme offered by Beijing University and is also the only TCM programme in the UK to be fully validated and accredited by a Chinese academic institution.  

In 2010, Lily was awarded an NIHR Research Training Fellowship to carry out a PhD at the University of Southampton Primary Care department.  Since this time, she has been supervised by academic GPs and herbalist-researchers exploring the potential that Chinese herbal medicine has for symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.  She is currently carring out a randomised feasibility study and is expected to complete her PhD in late 2014. 

Clinical Training and Experience

Lily has been supervised by and worked alongside some of the most prestigious TCM doctors in both England and China. As part of her degree programme, she trained in two major established hospitals in Beijing on an intensive five-month clinical placement. During this time, she gained in-depth knowledge and expertise within diagnostic and clinical procedures in all major hospital departments including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurology, gynaecology, dermatology and paediatrics.

Lily has trained in various London NHS settings including the Whittington Hospital NHS Pain Clinic and the Chinese National Healthy Living NHS Walk-in Centre. She has also gained experience within professional TCM clinics across London and Manchester, including the Asanté Academy of Chinese Medicine in Archway, the Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Highgate and Acuherb Chinese Medicine Centre in Manchester . Lily's outstanding achievements within the academic study and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine led to her being honoured with the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine Prize for Excellence in TCM Studies and the Middlesex University Prize for Excellence in the Study and Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Professional Membership

Lily is a fully insured practitioner member of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ATCM) and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM), the largest professional regulatory bodies for TCM in the UK. Bound by strict Codes of Practice and Professional Conduct for both these bodies, this ensures the highest professional standards of hygiene, sterilisation and safety in the practice of TCM. The RCHM is also a member of the European Herbal Practitioners Association (EHPA), an umbrella organisation which sets minimum standards of professional competence and training for all professional herbal associations whom they represent across Europe. Both RCHM and the EHPA are actively involved in the current process of the statutory regulation of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the UK.

Lily is a member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN), a professional interest group set up by British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) practitioners for acupuncturists who are dedicated to supporting those with fertility and gynaecological issues. The AFN ensures that Lily is constantly updated with advances in clinical research in these areas, allowing her to stay at the forefront of acupuncture and fertility issues.

Lily is also proud to be recognised by the NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners which only approves practitioners who have undergone professional training at recognised institutes and for a specific length of time to ensure a high standard of clinical practice. The NHS directory also provides a service to local GPs which allows them to refer their patients to locally recognised Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioners.

Specialist Treatments

Lily has particular interest in treating women’s health and fertility issues and has been privileged to have studied at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park with Jane Lyttleton, one of the West’s most respected TCM fertility practitioners. During this time, Lily has had the unique opportunity to refine specialist knowledge and skills that are key to understanding the role that Chinese medicine can play in the treatment of female reproductive health issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, as well as male factor fertility issues such as sperm count, morphology and mobility. Lily also offers specialist acupuncture treatments for couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF, ICSI and IUI.

Lily's success with fertility treatments has naturally led to her caring for her patients during pregnancy and often provides antenatal acupuncture treatments for symptoms such as nausea, constipation, high blood pressure and back pain. She also offers pre-birth acupuncture treatments to women from 36 weeks onwards which has been shown in various studies to help reduce labour pain, reduce the duration of the active phase in labour as well as reduce the need for oxytocin, a drug used to induce labour.

Continuing Professional Development

Lily continues to improve her knowledge and skills by regularly attending courses and seminars with the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, the London College of Traditional Acupuncture in North London and the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading.

Working With Local Charities

Alongside her private practice, Lily also volunteered with Mind in Dacorum, a mental health charity in Hemel Hempstead. Lily has also undertaken volunteer training with the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre in Mount Vernon, Northwood and is named on the centre's Complementary Therapists Register.