Who We Are


Leigh Gilkey

Owner & Practitioner, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.

Leigh was introduced to acupuncture as a patient in 2002. It was a last resort to dealing with a chronic digestive problem after exhausting all familiar medical treatments. This began her journey to healing, not only her digestion, but avenues she did not know acupuncture could help with.

After graduating with her Master’s of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine in 2010, she opened Essential Acupuncture Chicago. Her continued studies and life experience have formed her specialization in Women’s health and Trauma/Mental/Emotional health.

Her practice is rooted in the classic texts of Chinese Medicine. She is thankful to her teachers, to those who came before them and all who have kept the tradition of Chinese medicine alive.

She believes there is healing, in many forms, to be discovered in each and every body.

Leigh is a member of ILSA, Illinois Society of Acupuncturists and is NCCAOM certified.

Photo of Siri Michel, Co-Owner and Practioner, Essential Acupuncture Chicago

Siri Michel

Owner & Practitioner, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.

Siri’s introduction to alternative medicine started in early childhood.  This included everything from herbal tea for coughs, mullein oil for ear infections, to walks in the woods identifying plants.  Her first experience with acupuncture was as a teen struggling with back pain and painful periods.

In Siri’s thirties, she experienced several exceedingly difficult physical and emotional transitional times. She sought acupuncture to help heal her body and mind.  Those treatments were so impactful that when she started thinking about a new vocation post-divorce, she chose to become an acupuncturist. She decided that if she could help one person as much as she had been helped, it would be worth it.

Siri is passionate about the capacity of acupuncture and herbal medicine to help people through all types of challenges.  She loves to collaborate with her patients to find tools that empower them in their own self-care.  She has a special interest in treating pain of any kind.

Siri completed her 4-year, 3,000 hour Master’s of Science in Traditional East Asian Medicine degree at Pacific College of Health Sciences in 2012. She is NCCAOM certified and a member of the Illinois Society of Acupuncturists.