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Catherine Zwergel, LAc

Acupuncturist

Catherine brings an authentic and compassionate presence to all of her healing work. She loves to collaborate and empower her patients to overcome any health and wellness challenge. Cat’s warmth and kindness radiate through all of her acupuncture treatments and her patients feel so grateful to be in her care. 

Catherine is board certified by the National Certification Commision of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.   She graduated from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, holds a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. 

In addition to acupuncture, she also incorporates essential oils through Aroma Point Therapy (APT), as well as the TCM modalities of cupping, gua sha, electro-stimulation and moxibustion. She studies Zero Balancing, a bodywork modality, as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and other forms of meditation.

Catherine’s interests include metalsmithing and jewelry making, studying and selling crystals and stones, indoor and outdoor gardening, travel, yoga practice, camping and spending quality time with her friends, family, husband and cat, Wally.

FAQ

  • L.Ac
  • MSOM,
  • Acupuncturists without Borders
  • Aromapoint Mastery

This is a common question in the treatment room, and I’m grateful to give it a more thorough answer here.

I have my mother, Rita, to thank for introducing me to the world of traditional medicines and planting the seed which inspired me to earn my masters in Chinese medicine. I was four years old when East Asian medicine came into our home. My mother had kidney cancer at the time, and we moved from Maryland, to Indiana, to Evanston, a suburb of Chicago so she could seek treatment from an integrative doctor. This was the 1980s, before internet searches, so color me impressed that she sought out and found guidance from an integrative doc in another state.

My mom was on a mission to live with cancer holistically, and to find a sense of well being alongside the monumental stress and anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis while raising three children under 10 years old.

I witnessed how she embraced and benefited from what she learned and experienced through macrobiotics, bodywork, and meditation. Her sister introduced her to macrobiotics, a Japanese take on lifestyle and nutrition therapy based on Yin & Yang, the seasons, and the ever-cyclical natural world of which we are a part. She dove right in, attending lectures and teaching macrobiotic cooking classes. My father joined in, and began making seitan – a then mostly unknown protein source made from wheat – for local health food stores.

My mother did her best to include us kids in her journey, making healthy eating fun and interesting, even finding ways to engage my imagination in a bowl of brown rice: “do you see the angel? The butterfly?” as she pointed to the bowl, as if pointing to a distinct shape in a sky full of clouds. I definitely saw them. My palate even grew to love sea vegetables and umeboshi plums.

My mother lived longer than her doctors expected and I was almost nine years old when she died. Through adolescence and into my teens, I continued to hold traditional medicine close. I embraced the idea that we have so much to learn about ourselves through observing the wisdom of the natural world around us. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember ever thinking otherwise.

When I received an autoimmune condition diagnosis during my freshman year in college, I knew I would follow her lead by finding a middle way and a balanced approach to treatment. Although rarely a straight path, I continue to work at this by utilizing the incredible medicines available in today’s world, both allopathic and traditional holistic.

If you ever find yourself feeling adrift or out of touch, take a moment to connect to the natural world in some way. We are not separate from nature, even though it can feel like it at times. It reflects the very essence of change and growth that permeates our lives. For me, this connection is amplified through aroma point therapy, where essential oils serve as a bridge between our senses and nature’s harmony. Incorporating the plants into practice not only enhances well-being, but also deepens the connection to the cycles and principles present in the world around us.

Writing this gets me thinking about the days that I began my practice as a part of Lighthouse Yoga & Acupuncture, lighthouseyoga.com, in 2013! In 2018, my practice became Gesundheit Healing, and in 2021 I joined the family here at imma, formerly Chicago Family Acupuncture.

I am humbled and grateful to share that over the years, I have met countless incredible people, witnessed their healing and their challenges, bravery and growth, chapters of life open and close…and I feel a sense of community through you. You have referred your friends and family members to me, which is a true honor. This is an expression of your trust in me.

We cultivate connections and collaborations that grow and find healing through as well, both personally and professionally. At the time I am writing this, I have known some of you for 10 years!

Being able to witness your growth and continued healing over the years, is what I call success.

If you spend much time around me, you’ll pick up on the fact that I love the natural world, and I look for the magic there every day. Depending on the season, I have my hands in the dirt in one way or another! In Chinese medicine, we know this nourishes the Earth element in us, supporting the Spleen and Stomach organs, which then provide us with our daily Qi.
I love to garden and continue to learn about and grow native plants. I once counted the number of indoor plants I tend to, and lost count somewhere over 50. Let me know if you need any cuttings!

One of my other passions involves the earth beneath us in another way: I love to travel, especially to go on road trips that involve rockhounding. I look for rocks all over the midwest, and have dug quartz crystals in Arkansas. I hope to take some geology and mineralogy classes, and have studied Jeffrey Yuen’s work, an aspect of Chinese medicine that incorporates stones into treatment. This love of stones led me to curate rocks and minerals to sell in my webshop, gesundheithealing.com, as well as pursue jewelry making and silversmithing, which are wonderful ways to showcase gorgeous gemstones and carry them with us.

I currently live in Chicago with my dashing husband, Ben, and our sweet kitty, Wally.

My Favorite Conditions to treat

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