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Summer 2003
Where East meets West
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“Western medicine has made great advances in the treatment of infectious diseases and acute trauma, but has been less successful against chronic illnesses. On the other hand, Eastern healing traditions have been found to be helpful in many chronic illnesses,” he says. Combining the two — Western approaches for such critical events as heart attack or injuries, for example, and Eastern methods for wellness and prevention focusing on the interconnectedness of the body — offers an innovative, flexible, effective and less-invasive approach to health and disease.

At the CEWM’s Santa Monica clinic, Hui and his colleagues put this integrated approach into practice. There, patients seeking relief from chronic pain, arthritis, sports injuries, depression, anxiety and a wide variety of other health problems that have resisted conventional treatment benefit from Western procedures alongside traditional Eastern techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic massage, herbal medicine and tai chi. The clinic administers more than 7,000 patient visits annually.

But the CEWM does not stand on its own. The center is under the umbrella of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, which links research and clinical programs campuswide that are dedicated to the practice, teaching and science of mind-body, complementary and alternative medicine. Programs within the larger center include the UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health, UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, UCLA Pediatric Pain Program and UCLA Stiles Program in Integrative Oncology.

There is a growing recognition of the value of such approaches to medicine. Philanthropist Gerald H. Oppenheimer, for example, recently pledged $9.6 million to support the integrative-medicine center and its constituent programs.

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