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Summer 2003
Where East meets West
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“Taking these concepts and integrating them with Western medicine, we can gain the best from both worlds,” says Oppenheimer, who learned from Hui how to apply acupressure to keep himself healthy. The East-West Center is just one example of an innovative approach that “is changing the whole way of thinking behind current medical practices,” he says.

In one of the simple, unadorned exam rooms, Hui examines a 41-year-old woman who is complaining of shoulder pain. After talking with Jeanne Davis M.S.W. ’94 to learn about her current life situation and activities — listening to patients is critical — Hui prescribes a course of treatment that begins with a 15-minute massage from acupuncturist Jun Liang Yu. After the massage, Hui returns to the room and deftly slides two slender acupuncture needles into Davis’ legs about two inches below her kneecaps. The session concludes with injections of minimal amounts of the anesthetic lidocaine in the area where Davis says she is feeling discomfort.

Along with the therapies, staff at the center strive to educate patients about new frameworks for looking at their health. Most learn to adjust their diet, utilize self-massage and change their exercise routine. Burke, for example, turned from vigorous workouts to less strenuous exercises such as yoga, swimming and walking. She started eating more regularly and broadened her counseling practice so that she wasn’t exclusively seeing difficult sexual-abuse victims.

“We try to put health back into the patient’s own hands, encouraging them to appreciate their role in maintaining their own health,” says Hui.

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