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Job Opening: Administrative Assistant II (Full-Time)

Full Time Position at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine is seeking a full-time employee to fill a position at their administrative office at 1015 Gayley Ave, Suite #105. This is an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to the field of integrative healthcare from an administrative perspective. See below for the job posting:

Job Duties

The incumbent will provide administrative and secretarial support to UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research. Assist with day to day administrative functions and technical support, such as updating and maintaining websites, to the Center.

Job Qualifications

Ability to recognize, spell, and use technical and medical terminology appropriately. Strong ability to synthesize information plus excellent writing skills. Ability to seek advice and help from staff and other resources when appropriate. Computer literacy particularly with Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Adobe Reader in both PC and MAC. Superb attention to detail and disciplined work habits. Ability to prioritize tasks and multi-task to maintain organization and efficiency in completing work in a timely manner when there are frequent interruptions and changes in workload, assignments, and deadlines. Demonstrated skill in scheduling meetings and exercise good judgment in handling overlapping meetings. Ability to type with speed and accuracy using PC and MAC operating systems. Familiarity with electronic journal article retrieval systems. Strong interpersonal skills to effectively and diplomatically interact with individuals in various organizational levels within and outside the University. Demonstrate ability to establish and maintain cooperative and collegial working relationships with other staff members and faculty as well as work in a team-oriented environment. Ability to operate office equipment such as printer, scanner, copier, facsimile machine, et cetera. Preferred: Fluency in Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese, Ability to drive within the Los Angeles region for special projects preferred. Must have a valid driver’s license. Skill in editing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar in both English and Chinese.

 


2015 Nobel Prize Winner Tu Youyou and the UCLA CEWM Visual History Project

UCLA CEWM VVisualHistoryEnglishisual History Project

In the mid-1950s, the Chinese government began its efforts to create a new medicine, integrative East-West Medicine (EWM), by combining the best of western biomedicine with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The Chinese government ordained numerous existing western medicine trained doctors and researchers in China to undergo rigorous clinical and research training in traditional Chinese medicine. Likewise, some Chinese medicine trained doctors also learned Western medicine. Over the last five decades, these integrative medicine (IM) pioneers and Traditional Chinese Medicine leaders have yielded important research discoveries. In order to preserve this invaluable intellectual heritage and to document the development of integrative medicine, in 2006, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) started the Visual History Project, an effort to document and impart through video the key figures and issues on TCM and IM.

Tu Youyou — Visual History Interview

hui_tuyouyou_cacms1Tu Youyou, MD, Director of the Artemisinin Research Center at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, who recently won the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine and the 2011 Lasker Award in Clinical Medical Research, is one of the many integrative medicine experts who were interviewed for the CEWM Visual History Project in 2006. Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the CEWM initially met Dr. Tu in 1997 at the first China Integrative Medicine Conference in Beijing. Dr. Hui quickly recognized the value of the research that Dr. Tu had been conducting on artemisinin to treat malaria. Soon after the Visual History Project was launched, Dr. Hui invited her to discuss her research in a recorded interview. In the 2.5-hour long clip, Dr. Tu talked about why she decided to study artemisinin, the key problems she encountered during her research and her view on the impact that Chinese medicine could have on world. In 2009, Dr. Tu sent her regards and a signed copy of her newly published book to the CEWM to share the important findings that she made with her team.

TuYouYouBook  TuYouYouNote

More Visual History Interviews with Integrative Medicine Pioneers

In addition to the Nobel Prize-winner Tu Youyou, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine has interviewed 34 other pioneering professionals in Chinese medicine and integrative medicine, 41 academic leaders in both traditional Chinese medicine and contemporary Chinese integrative medicine, and 23 internationally renowned experts in integrative medicine.

Since the implementation of integrative medicine in China in 1955, the field of East-West Medicine has continued to show great success. Thus, the Visual History Project has been an ongoing project, with the persistent expansion of its content and growing support from the Chinese government, including the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine, and connections with integrative medicine experts and authorities from around the world.

The project team is currently dedicating its efforts to post-production tasks which include transcription, cataloging, editing, and translation of a wealth of video footage.  The files will be digitized and content indexed. Audio and video files will be made available at the Archive of the UCLA Library System. Abstracts and highlights of select footage have been edited, and are now available under the Multimedia section of the CEWM’s web portal, ExploreIM.


Job Opening: Work-Study Student (Part-Time) – HIRED

This position has been taken

Work-Study Opportunity at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine is seeking a workstudy student from UCLA to fill a position at their administrative office at 1033 Gayley Ave, Suite #111. This is an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to the field of integrative healthcare from an administrative perspective. See below for the job posting:

Founded in 1993, the mission of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) is to improve health, wellbeing, and the quality of life of people by blending the best of Modern Western medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine to provide healthcare that is safe, effective, affordable and accessible.

We seek a work-study student to support office operations and program development. Tasks include general administrative duties (faxing, copying, processing paperwork, phone calls, delivering office materials to division offices) and supporting the growth of educational programs at the Center.

The student will receive training and mentorship by the CEWM administration as well as faculty in Westwood. The work-study student must be able to work during weekdays and have a good command of English, both verbally and written. Fluency & reading/writing capability in Chinese language (Mandarin) is preferred. Minimum requirement is 6-10 hours/week. Responsible and hard-working second or third year undergraduate student with a high level of maturity is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants who are available to work over the summer.

This position has been filled.


East-West Primary Care Celebrates 2 Years!

Launched in 2013, East-West Primary Care, under the direction of Edward Hui, M.D., serves to enhance value-based care and coordination. Spurred by the Affordable Care Act, the primary care program promotes early intervention and lifelong well-being. It offers high quality, patient-centered continuity of care to patients who are seeking a personalized and comprehensive approach to their health. All the services provided in a traditional primary care clinic and referrals to specialty services are available. This creates a “medical home” for patients using the East-West model. Today, the program has grown to include two other internal medicine providers, Justin Laube, MD, and Felicia Yu, MD, and one family medicine physician, Katie Hu, MD.

To learn more about the East-West Primary Care model, click here to read Dr. Justin Laube’s article on the ExploreIM Webportal.

Justin Laube, MD, Felicia Yu, MD, and Katie Hu, MD are accepting new Primary Care patients at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Santa Monica, California.

  • Click here to learn about how to become a patient.
  • To make an appointment, please call: (310) 998-9118.

http://cewm.med.ucla.edu/clinic/becoming-a-patient/


Integrative East-West Medicine: A Commitment to Advancing Healthcare

In this article:Integrative Medicine

I. What is Integrative Medicine?
II. Dr. Ka-Kit Hui and His Vision of Integrative Medicine
III. The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine
IV. Conclusion


I. What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine (IM) is a practice of medicine that combines conventional therapies with appropriate evidence-based complementary therapies to achieve optimal health and healing. Although practices of IM vary, its theoretical construct remains the same. It emphasizes an individualized and holistic approach to medicine, addressing the health of the entire person instead of a set of symptoms or a disease. IM focuses on wellness and prevention, seeking to promote the body’s self-healing mechanisms to improve the general well-being of the patient.


II. Dr. Ka-Kit Hui and His Vision of Integrative Medicine:
“All forms of medicine aim to ease human suffering and improve quality of life; they differ only in their approach to the realization of this goal. The blending of Eastern and Western approaches to health and healing can maximize the safety and effectiveness of care in an accessible and affordable manner.”

                                                                                     – Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP 

Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, began his undergraduate chemistry studies as an international student from Hong Kong at UCLA in the late 60’s. At the time, his interests already lay within the scope of integrative medicine. His dream initially was to develop new drugs from the herbal pharmacopeia.

During his medical studies, supported by the highly prestigious UC Regents Scholarship, Dr. Hui’s interests turned to building a new medicine based on blending the best of Chinese and Western healing traditions. Around that time, the Chinese government, which already had embarked on East-West medicine integration since 1955, had begun to publicize how acupuncture was being used as a modern analgesic technique for those undergoing surgery during the historic visit of President Nixon to China. This piqued Dr. Hui’s desire to understand what happened in the brain at the neurochemical level when acupuncture was performed on patients.

Dr. Hui went on to pursue internal medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He saw internal medicine as the “most comprehensive way to understand physiology, [to be] hands on, [and] to look at the whole person.” He continued to dedicate a quarter of his time to studying Chinese medicine, seeking to understand how it could becombined with Western medicine.

During the early 1980’s, Dr. Hui mentored David Eisenberg, MD, who did his residency in medicine at UCLA. The two of them shared the belief that integrating Chinese and Western medicine could greatly improve the way medicine was being practiced in the United States. Five years later, Dr. David Eisenberg published the book Encounters with Qi on Chinese medicine, and in 1993 published the landmark paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993 entitled, “Unconventional Medicine in the United States – Prevalence, Costs, and Patterns of Use.” The release of these reports stimulated a growing interest among the American public in exploring complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine (IM).

Now an expert of internal medicine specializing in clinical pharmacology and geriatrics, Dr. Hui was ready to realize his dream of integrating Chinese and modern Western medicine under the UCLA Health System (now UCLA Health) with the encouragement of his mentor, Dean Emeritus Sherman Mellinkoff, MD, and the support of the Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Alan Fogelman, MD.


III. The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine
“Most people’s experiences with integrative medicine are like international buffets. Because of the wide variety of choices and limited knowledge, people may consume products that are cross-reacting. One needs to be very careful. In this buffet scenario, patients pick and choose. They try a little yoga, receive some acupuncture, take a little bit of supplemental herbs, and go see their internist, primary care doctor, and specialist. What I am trying to build is a gourmet dinner with the best ingredients so that there will exist one complete approach which can then be customized to the patient’s needs and preference.” 

–Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP

In 1993, Dr. Hui launched the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine to apply the knowledge he had accumulated over the years. Since the late 1980s, he had been involved in a wide array of research and educational developments. He published articles in numerous journals including Life Science and New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Hui also taught small groups of physicians, lectured in conferences on the proper use of medication, and taught classes in clinical pharmacology for thirteen years. Through his clinical experience, Dr. Hui became more familiar with the gaps in the conventional medical model, which he believed could be compensated for with the integration of other health traditions or approaches.

Dr. Hui saw that the theoretical construct of Chinese medicine, which takes into account the mind-body connection, balance, and flow, could improve the efficacy of modern healthcare if added to Western biomedicine. According to Chinese medicine theory, which developed over 2000 years, natural and social environments energetically influence both the mind and body, which also continuously interact with each other. This understanding drives a practitioner of Chinese medicine to look at a patient holistically rather than at different parts of the body in isolation. Chinese medicine focuses on the pattern of dysregulations within the body, enhancing the body’s reserve, and improving the patient’s quality of life. Western medicine, on the other hand, is effective in managing acute crisis and targeting localized problem areas. Within U.S. healthcare, issues arise when there are “too many healthcare providers looking at different parts of a person and no overseeing conductor.”

In order to help solve these problems, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine adds the whole-person framework of Chinese medicine to Western medicine, building on Dr. Hui’s vision of “a healthcare model that allows the provider to consider how social situations, natural environment, dietary changes, and other lifestyle choices impact the mind-body system.” At the Center, physicians who are dually trained in both Chinese and Western medicine work with a team of similarly trained healthcare professionals to provide patients with a comprehensive analysis that addresses the root causes behind the manifestation of symptoms and disease.

Conclusion
Dr. Hui sees great necessity and promise in integrative medicine, especially the integration of East-West medicine, to help revitalize primary care and the overall national healthcare system.By acting as a bridge between western biomedicine and Chinese medicine, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine strives to become an example for a new healthcare paradigm that improves the quality of life of patients through safe, effective, accessible, affordable, and personalized care.

 

 

By Tatyana Rem, Anthropology B.A., UCLA 2014

UCLA Center East-West Medicine, Staff Writer

Copy-edited by:

Linxin Zhang, MPH, Boston University School of Public Health

UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Staff Research Associate

Vivianne Chang, Human Biology and Society B.S., UCLA 2014

UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrative Assistant


Job Opening: Clinical Specialist (Full-Time)

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine-Santa Monica is seeking a licensed Acupuncturist to join the clinic team. The clinician will perform various therapeutic techniques in patient care, will assist in teaching these techniques as well as herbal and dietary therapy to medical and postgraduate students. Will also assist the Director in submission of proposals and conducting research with regards to Chinese Medicine.

Job Qualifications

Must hold a valid and active California Acupuncture License. A minimum of 2 years of clinical experience in acupuncture and therapeutic massage techniques is preferred. Strong preference will be given to a candidate who possesses a doctoral degree in Chinese/Oriental medicine and/or has previous training in western medicine and/or biomedical research. Demonstrate the ability to perform relevant history, physical examination and behavioral status assessments of patients utilizing the TCM framework. Skill in acupuncture, acupressure, muscle manipulations, therapeutic massage, and herbal medicinal instructions. Knowledge to diagnose patients correctly in terms of traditional Chinese Medicine. Knowledge to recognize, spell, and use technical terminology correctly. Strong interpersonal skills to communicate/work with patients, peer clinicians, students, staff, as well as physicians to coordinate treatment strategies, engage in case discussions, exchange ideas and/or solve problems in a collaborative and professional manner. Skill in setting priorities and organizing workload by balancing patient care with documentation, teaching, and communication with the clinic team. Ability to demonstrate flexibility and resilience when performing multiple tasks in the midst of heavy patient workflows. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the purposes of clear communication with health care team and patients as well as documentation of encounters. Must be familiar with and able to converse in medical English. Preferred: Skill to prepare course material independently with only minimal guidance. Skill to devise creative research projects.

For more information and to apply, please click here. All applicants must submit an application through UCLA Health’s Career site.

Please be advised that ALL new hires will be required to successfully complete a criminal background investigation and a medical examination, which includes a drug screening, prior to employment at UCLA Health. The receipt of satisfactory responses to reference requests, and the provision of satisfactory proof of an applicant’s identity and legal authority to work in the United States are also required. Any misrepresentation, falsification or material omission may result in a candidate’s failure to receive an offer, or if already hired, an immediate dismissal from employment.

 


Job Opening: Clinical Specialist (Part-Time)

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine-Santa Monica is seeking a licensed Acupuncturist to join the clinic team. The clinician will perform various therapeutic techniques in patient care, will assist in teaching these techniques as well as herbal and dietary therapy to medical and postgraduate students. Will also assist the Director in submission of proposals and conducting research with regards to Chinese Medicine. This is a 40% part-time 3 months limited position. LIMITED MAY CONVERT TO CAREER.

Job Qualifications

Must hold a valid and active California Acupuncture License. A minimum of 2 years of clinical experience in acupuncture and therapeutic massage techniques is preferred. Strong preference will be given to a candidate who possesses a doctoral degree in Chinese/Oriental medicine and/or has previous training in western medicine and/or biomedical research. Demonstrate the ability to perform relevant history, physical examination and behavioral status assessments of patients utilizing the TCM framework. Skill in acupuncture, acupressure, muscle manipulations, therapeutic massage, and herbal medicinal instructions. Knowledge to diagnose patients correctly in terms of traditional Chinese Medicine. Knowledge to recognize, spell, and use technical terminology correctly. Strong interpersonal skills to communicate/work with patients, peer clinicians, students, staff, as well as physicians to coordinate treatment strategies, engage in case discussions, exchange ideas and/or solve problems in a collaborative and professional manner. Skill in setting priorities and organizing workload by balancing patient care with documentation, teaching, and communication with the clinic team. Ability to demonstrate flexibility and resilience when performing multiple tasks in the midst of heavy patient workflows. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the purposes of clear communication with health care team and patients as well as documentation of encounters. Must be familiar with and able to converse in medical English. Preferred: Skill to prepare course material independently with only minimal guidance. Skill to devise creative research projects.

For more information and to apply, please click here. All applicants must submit an application through UCLA Health’s Career site.

Please be advised that ALL new hires will be required to successfully complete a criminal background investigation and a medical examination, which includes a drug screening, prior to employment at UCLA Health. The receipt of satisfactory responses to reference requests, and the provision of satisfactory proof of an applicant’s identity and legal authority to work in the United States are also required. Any misrepresentation, falsification or material omission may result in a candidate’s failure to receive an offer, or if already hired, an immediate dismissal from employment.

 


Highlights Video: Dr. Ka-Kit Hui on the Training Program in Chinese medicine for 12,000 Western Medicine Community Health Practitioners in Shanghai

The Shanghai Association of Chinese Integrative Medicine has appointed Dr. Ka-Kit Hui of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine to serve as Senior Advisor of a transformative public health project in Shanghai taking place in a three year span over 2013-2015.

The program’s aim is to train 12,000 community health practitioners in the Shanghai region in an integrative East-West paradigm, targeting three groups of community health professions to address the growing demand of healthcare services. Among the three categories are western-trained physicians, public health practitioners, and practitioners in rural Shanghai. Upon completion of the training program, these health practitioners will be better equipped with skills in addressing common disease by utilizing low-cost and highly effective techniques based on the principles and theory of integrative medicine.

The project was planned in four consecutive groups, each of which would take six months to complete. To date, approximately 2,200 community health practitioners have been trained under the program as the first group, and training of groups 2 and 3 is still ongoing.


Dr. Ka-Kit Hui and Dr. Jing Zhao Introduce Integrative East-West Medicine to Students at the HOSA-Future Health Professionals National Leadership Conference, June 26, 2015

hosaeventreport072215HOSA-Future Health Professionals (formerly Health Occupations Students of America) is a national student organization that includes over 165,000 members through the US, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Italy. The organization is organized in chapters and comprised of young students (middle school through collegiate level) enrolled in health science education or interested in pursuing health-care careers. On June 26, 2015, representatives of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) participated in the annual HOSA National Leadership Conference at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, to share with high school students the role of Integrative East-West Medicine for health and wellness.

At 8:00 AM, Crystal Jing Zhao, MD, PhD, a Visiting Professor at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, along with Allen Jang, ND, a HOSA advisor at the Maranatha High School in Pasadena, CA, led a group of over 100 students in an invigorating Tai Chi Wake-Up Activity. Often described as “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi is a form of exercise originating in Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves a series of slow, graceful movements accompanied by deep breathing. Dr. Zhao, a skilled Tai Chi practitioner who has earned 7 medals in national competitions in China, instructed her group in a classical style of the mind-body practice, showing them the basic form of Ba Duan Ji and demonstrating to them the more complicated 24-form. Following Dr. Zhao’s lead, the students began to feel a sense of calm and clarity as they focused on gently moving their hands like clouds floating across the sky, or “yun shao.” Dr. Zhao reminded the students that between each Ba Duan Ji pose they had to breathe deeply. She emphasized that even between daily activities, they could use these simple poses to reduce their stress and cultivate health. Dr. Jang, a naturopathic physician with more than 30 years of Tai Chi experience, led the students in the more contemporary style of Cardio Tai Chi and demonstrated a sampling of various Tai Chi styles, including 5-Element and Tai Chi Fan.

Later that morning, Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, led an interactive session on stress-reduction and health cultivation using integrative East-West medicine, a session which brought in approximately 90 individuals including HOSA students, parents, and advisors. In this workshop, Dr. Hui introduced the audience to the science behind acupuncture, Tai Chi, and Chinese herbal medicine. “For maintaining good health,” he said, “there are many herbs in the food that we eat, such as turmeric, which is good for reducing inflammation, and ginger, which can improve digestion.” He continued by asking, “How many of you have a tight neck? A tight neck is not just a pain in the neck; it is a complication of a tight neck, a key area which connects the brain to the rest of the body. A tight neck can lead to many more health issues.” As neck strain and headache tend to be common in hard-working and stressed students, Dr. Hui demonstrated several important acupressure points which they could massage to relieve these symptoms. The workshop closed with Dr. Hui’s take-home message that to maintain health we can do more than just taking medications; people young and old can have a healthy body and mind by making good lifestyle choices, striving for mental tranquility, and cultivating harmonious social relationships.

The Center’s mission is to promote the importance of self-care and health cultivation utilizing integrative medicine principles. Therefore, educating the younger generation is crucial to public health and healthcare at large. Moreover, by seeing the strengths of both Eastern and Western approaches, these budding leaders can have a comprehensive view of health to guide their future careers.

By Vivianne Chang, Human Biology and Society B.S., UCLA 2014
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrative Assistant

Copy-edited by:

Rosana Chan, MPH, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrator

Click here to view the PDF event report.

Click here to learn more about HOSA-Future Health Professionals, and here to read about the HOSA-CEWM Collaboration.


An Introduction to Integrative, East-West, and Well-being Oriented Primary Care Medicine

WebIn This Article:

I. Introduction
II. What is Integrative Medicine (IM)?
III. Integrative East-West Medicine at the CEWM
IV. Defining “Well-Being”
V. Applications of IM to the Primary Care Setting
VI. Conclusion
VII. References

I. Introduction

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) offers primary care services at our clinic in Santa Monica under the leadership of Edward Hui, MD. Dr. Edward Hui is son of the Center’s Founder and Director Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, and has been trained in both internal and geriatric medicine. CEWM’s Primary Care East-West Program consists of two other internal medicine providers, Justin Laube, MD, and Felicia Yu, MD, and in July 2015 will welcome family medicine physician Katie Hu, MD. The goal of this article is to help patients better understand the basic constructs underpinning our integrative, East-West, and academic primary care clinic. The Center’s model continues to evolve as the Center grows, each provider bringing their own unique perspective to our practice.

II. What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Medicine (IM) is the term that best reflects our type of practice and perspective at the CEWM. There are a variety of definitions for IM. One that captures the deeper aspects of this medical movement is from Andrew Weil, MD, Founder and Director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Weil defines IM as:

“a healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.” [1]

Within this definition are five major themes. First, a “healing-oriented medicine,” references the self-regenerative process that is inherent within all living systems and should be acknowledged and supported by providers. For example, when the skin is cut, the body will activate regenerative and immunologic signals to help the body protect itself and initiate its innate healing capability. Second, treating the “whole person” is synonymous with the term holism, a perspective of viewing patients within a complex and interconnected web of behaviors, relationships, and environments. This contrasts with the purely reductionist view of disease that still predominates in conventional medicine. Third, beyond a “whole person” and holistic view toward patients, Dr. Weil describes a medicine that acknowledges the role of “all aspects of lifestyle” in health. Lifestyle includes all of the modifiable factors that impact our risk of future disease and illness, and thus the potential for prevention of these risks. Fourth, inherent to almost every health care interaction is a “therapeutic relationship” with a provider, which may be a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, etc. This essential aspect of care has been acknowledged since Hippocrates’ time in early 400BC, and is central to the practice of any healing-oriented field [2]. Finally, IM uses all appropriate therapies to help patients. This is where complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is nested alongside mainstream medicine, with the goal of being open minded to those therapies with evidence for efficacy while being aware of potential safety issues. As outlined here, the definition of IM includes aspects of incorporating CAM therapies, but simultaneously brings in a broader and more comprehensive perspective toward the healing process, patients, and health care.

III. Integrative East-West Medicine at the CEWM

Beneath the umbrella of Integrative Medicine is integrative East-West Medicine (EWM), a specific model that was first practiced in China at select hospitals and medical universities. Since the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine’s (CEWM) founding in 1993, its predominant form of IM practice has been EWM. This is in line with its original mission of “blending the best of Modern Western medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to provide health care that is safe, effective, affordable and accessible.” The model integrates the expertise of physicians, TCM practitioners (acupuncturists), and body-work therapists to address a variety of complex medical conditions within a comprehensive academic health center clinic. According to Sonya Pritzker, PhD, LAc, the CEWM clinic applies the concepts of person-centered medicine from both East and West by using rational, evidence-based thinking and shared decision-making, as well as patient education, holistic diagnosis, and individualized treatment, including self-care [3]. EWM’s holistic way of approaching patients, which emphasizes balance and homeostasis, has applications beyond a consultative model, as the self-care and lifestyle interventions, many based on TCM principles can be brought into primary care practice. Since 2013, we have included primary care services into the CEWM’s clinical practice, and have been working to best incorporate East-West tools into primary care medicine.

IV. Defining “Well-Being”

There is a growing interest in a broader concept of patient health, or well-being. While there is currently no consensus on the definition of well-being, the CDC describes it as “a positive outcome that…tells us that people perceive that their lives are going well” [4]. Exhibiting well-being is more than the absence of disease, it is a more holistic and proactive concept. One comprehensive model of well-being by Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing (CSH), incorporates six categories of well-being including: Health, Purpose, Relationships, Community, Environment, and Security. This model can be a useful tool to better understand the factors impacting a patient’s overall quality of life.

wellbeingchart.revised

The chart above summarizes the well-being model created by Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD, Founder and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing.[5][6]

Using this model to better understand our personal well-being can be used as a guide to identify areas of our lives where investments could be made to improve our overall health and happiness. The CSH has an award winning website that can help you evaluate your own personal well-being and provides resources to work on these specific areas. Models like Dr. Kreitzer’s have potential direct use for primary care, to move away from the outdated disease-based visits and toward visits focused on more positive health behaviors and goals. As primary care providers who practice IM and EWM, our approach enables us to better meet and address patients concerns and expectations, which are often closely tied to their personal narrative and health goals.

V. Applications of IM to the Primary Care Setting

Patients often have their own expectations as to the specifics of what will occur during their initial visit with a primary care physician. Commonly encountered stated goals for the new patient visit in our practice are for a “physical exam” or “screening tests.” The concept of a comprehensive physical exam became popular in the 1940s, yet more recently there has been significant controversy as to the effectiveness of screening physical examinations in asymptomatic patients [7, 8, 9]. The specifics screenings and discussions that are common and recommended are from the guidance of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). For example, when is it recommended for a male to undergo a colonoscopy? and whom is at risk and should be screened for depression? Many of our patients are interested in being more involved with their care, so they can understand some of the more specific patient-customized screenings and vaccinations that are recommended for them.   One way easy way is by reviewing the preventive services selector tool or vaccination schedules at the link below.

At the CEWM, we encourage patients to take charge of their health care and review these guidelines before visits. Many of these screenings and vaccinations will have their largest impact on the prevention of disability and death in the future, yet immediate improvements in overall health may be much less directly felt by patients. Moving focus toward patient lifestyle and health goals is often lacking from these “physicals” and in patients expectations for seeing their doctor. Regularly incorporating discussions with patients to support healthy, purpose driven behavior has become an overarching goal of the CEWM primary care clinic.

A newer model for primary care have been developed and are being explored nationally through the support of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obama Care.” This is termed the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), which is defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as “a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into ‘what patients want it to be.’” In the future, we will explore ways to provide innovative primary care to our population of open-minded patients. This may include group visits to foster a sense of community between patients with similar diseases/issues, more sophisticated informational technology tools to empower patients to keep updated on their health, and enhanced access to supportive tools to work on your proactive health goals.

VI. Conclusion

The fields of integrative and primary care medicine continue to grow and research is ongoing nationally to determine optimal models of integration of these closely related fields. In 2012, 33.2% of U.S. adults reported use of complementary health approaches [10]. This attests to the increasing number of patients seeking new approaches to support their overall health and well-being. The need for physicians who are trained in integrating these concepts into primary care will continue grow alongside patient interest. As this transition occurs, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine will remain dedicated to providing the best in integrative, East-West, well-being, and holistically-oriented primary care to serve our local community and open-minded patients.

Justin Laube, MD, Felicia Yu, MD, and Katie Hu, MD are accepting new Primary Care patients at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Santa Monica, California. To make an appointment, please call: (310) 998-9118.

VII: References

  1. Maizes V, Schneider C, Bell I, Weil A. Integrative medical education: development and implementation of a comprehensive curriculum at the University of Arizona. Acad Med. 2002;77:851–860.
  2. Goold, S. D., & Lipkin, M. (1999). The Doctor–Patient Relationship: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 14(Suppl 1), S26–S33. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00267.x
  3. Pritzker S, Katz M, Hui KK. Person-centered Medicine at the Intersection of East and West. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 2013, Vol 1, Issue 1, pp. 209-215.
  4. “Well-being Concepts.” http://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/well-being.htm. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. March 6, 2013
  5. Kreitzer MJ, Koithan M. “Integrative Nursing.” Weil Integrative Medicine Library. Oxford University Press, 2014. 125-136.
  6. “Taking Charge of Your Health & Well-being.” http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu. University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing. August 28, 2013
  7. Bloomfield HE, Wilt TJ. Evidence Brief: Role of the Annual Comprehensive Physical Examination in the Asymptomatic Adult. 2011 Oct. In: VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program Evidence Briefs [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2011-. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK82767/
  8. Harriet Hall, MD. Rethinking the annual physical exam. https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/re-thinking-the-annual-physical/
  9. Mehrotra A, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Preventive Health Examinations and Preventive Gynecological Examinations in the United States. Arch Intern Med.2007;167(17):1876-1883. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.17.1876.
  10. Clarke TC, Black LI, Stussman BJ, et al. Trends in the use of complementary health approaches among adults: United States, 2002–2012. National health statistics reports; no 79. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.

By Justin Laube, MD
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, East-West Primary Care Fellow

Copy-edited by:

Rosana Chan, MPH, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrator

Vivianne Chang, Human Biology and Society B.S., UCLA 2014
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrative Assistant


Dr. Ka-Kit Hui at the WHO Expert Consultation on T/CAM in Jeju, Republic of Korea

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Dr. Ka-Kit Hui (front, third from left) with participants and observers of the expert consultation. Countries represented included Australia, Philippines, Canada, Norway, U.S., Republic of Korea, China, U.K., Japan, and Switzerland.

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Dr. Ka-Kit Hui with Dr. Heather Boon, Professor and Dean at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

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Dr. Ka-Kit Hui with Professor Denis Noble from the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom.

On May 12, 2015, Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, participated in an “Expert Consultation on Traditional and Complementary Medicine Integration with National Health Care Systems” in Jeju, Republic of Korea. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea; and the World Health Organization (WHO), Western Pacific Regional Office; in association with the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM) at the Hyatt Regency Jeju, Republic of Korea.

The expert consultation brought together researchers, government officers and WHO officers responsible for traditional medicine, to discuss the 2014 WHO report on Traditional and Complementary Medicine Integration with National Health Systems, and to share the current status of and identify effective ways for T&CM integration with national health systems.

According to the consultation report, commissioned by the WHO and written by Rachel Canaway, the WHO “acknowledges the contribution of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) to health, wellness, people-centred health care and universal health coverage. People around the world seek and use traditional, indigenous, complementary and alternative medicines often as primary health care. The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023[1] provides strategic objectives, directions and actions towards the goal of ‘promoting safe and effective use of T&CM through the regulation, research and integration of T&CM products, practices and practitioners into the health system, as appropriate’ (p.43).”

At the consultation, Dr. Hui emphasized the importance of understanding the relative strengths of different healing traditions to serve as a bridge toward building a better clinical model for the world. Traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM), he says, tend to be lower cost while applying systemic thinking and levering the body’s capacity to heal. However, Dr. Hui highlighted that while T&CM possess additional tools that are of practical and clinical value, it is imperative to ensure that safety comes first. “Optimal health care that is effective, safe, and accessible, and affordable should become the priority of every country’s health care system… This will require the concerted efforts, ingenuity, and collaborative spirit of the scientific and medical communities, policy makers, the public and other segments of society.”[2]

References:

1) (2013). WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2014-2023 (pp. 76). Geneva: World Health Organization.

2) Hui KK. “The Potential for Incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine into Clinical Practice”. Traditional Medicine: Better Science, Policy and Services for Health Development, WHO International Symposium, Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, May 2001


CEWM Physicians Selected as 2015 UCLA Exceptional Physicians

Join us in congratulating our physicians’ outstanding achievement!

The following physicians from the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine have been selected as 2015 UCLA Exceptional Physicians:

uclahealth

  • Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP
  • Edward Hui, MD
  • Malcolm Taw, MD, FACP
  • Lawrence Taw, MD

These physicians have been chosen for their outstanding demonstration of UCLA values: Compassion, Respect, Excellence, Discovery, Integrity, and Teamwork.

They and several other honorees will be recognized at the Nursing Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 14th, 2015.


East Meets West in Westlake Village Office

westlake
The practice, provided by staff of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, serves patients throughout Ventura County and the Conejo and San Fernando valleys. Physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapists and others who are trained in the principles and techniques of both Western biomedicine and TCM work together to optimize patient care and outcomes. “Most of our patients have gone through the gamut of Western medicine, having seen multiple specialists and trying many different treatments before coming to us for an alternative approach,” says Malcolm B. Taw, MD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine who sees patients in the Westlake Village practice. “But increasingly, we are seeing patients earlier in the process as a way to add value to primary care.”

Conditions treated include various pain disorders, symptoms from cancer or side effects related to treatment, degenerative arthritis, sports and overuse injuries, as well as other conditions such as sinusitis, esophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. The Westlake Village team incorporates therapies that include TCM acupuncture and therapeutic massage in conjunction with Western techniques such as trigger- point injections and prescription drugs. Nutrition therapy is offered from a TCM perspective, with counseling on “hot” and “cold” foods depending on the individual’s biology and symptoms. Diagnostic techniques incorporate acupoints — sensitive or tight spots throughout the body that can indicate underlying internal dysfunction — as well as tongue exams, which can offer a window into a better understanding of many conditions, Dr. Taw explains.

To read more about the UCLA CEWM’s services at Westlake Village, click here to view the UCLA Health Vital Signs Winter 2015 Newsletter.


Updated: [ASCIM 2015 Report] Exploring Integrative Medicine from a Clinical to Global Scale

UPDATED May 2015: Highlights video from the Annual Student Conference for Integrative Medicine 2015!

[youtube]https://youtu.be/NBZ0_WZJJ1o[/youtube]

UPDATED April 2015: Click to view the PDF version of the ASCIM 2015 Event Report.

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“Healthcare systems around the world are becoming unsustainable,” addressed Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, Professor and Director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM), to the nearly 150 attendees composed of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, healthcare professionals, and community members from across the country. As opening keynote to the third Annual Student Conference for Integrative Medicine (ASCIM), Dr. Hui urged for a new innovative health model that promotes prevention and wellness while synergistically addressing multiple complex problems, thereby setting the tone for the program.

Held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at Tamkin Auditorium located in the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, the conference was organized by the Students for Integrative Medicine (SIM) at UCLA, the David Geffen Integrative Medicine Student Interest Group (IMSIG), and the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM).

The theme this year was “Exploring Integrative Medicine from a Clinical to Global Scale,” showcasing important work being done in various fields with the common goal to improve healthcare and bring it to those who are suffering everywhere, including patients, caregivers, doctors, and institutions. The framework of health and healing presented by Dr. Hui goes beyond the best of western medicine, which is more adept when a specific etiology is available to remove, replace, block, and stimulate.

“Not sleeping well? This is a sign that something is wrong. Don’t just take a sleeping pill but also determine what is leading to the issue,” stated Dr. Hui, “Signs of ill health can start as tension headaches, tightness, or back problems that over time may result in wear and tear, referred to as allostatic load. When a patient experiences a macro stress or trauma, the body can no longer adapt, which can lead to a huge problem, such as PTSD or chronic pain. The key is to have control over how we lead our lifestyle, which has been shown in studies to prevent 70% of premature health and 50% of illnesses.”

Following the conference theme, attendees were exposed to a variety of healing traditions, with experts presenting on osteopathy, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine, explored the mind-body connection at the heart of an integrative approach, and learned about the different clinical and research models that incorporate integrative medicine into their practice. Popular sessions such as the mindfulness meditation and the professional panel were particularly stimulating because the attendees could readily apply what they had learned. Afterwards, many attendees expressed their desire to have more opportunities to apply integrative practices first-hand. The application of integrative medicine challenges the status quo. According to Sonya Pritzker, PhD, LAc, Assistant Professor at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, “This invisible revolution in methodology is taking place that is as equally challenging, important, riveting, and fulfilling as the major work being done in clinical and healthcare delivery. There is hope on the horizon.”

Lastly, the conference topped the day off with a spectacular closing keynote by Suzie Kline, PhD, NP, LAc, Director of the Huntington Hospital Integrative Oncology Program, on minimizing cancer risks through self-care, providing a wealth of helpful tips that the attendees can actively utilize on a daily basis. Dr. Kline also emphasized the need for self-compassion. She asked attendees to wrap their arms around themselves in a hug, releasing oxytocin, and treat themselves to kind thoughts as they would to a dear loved one. In closing, Dr. Kline said, “You are all inspirational – to us [speakers] as well.”

When the ASCIM 2015 came to a successful end, Dr. Hui expressed his gratitude and hope that the young generation of future healthcare providers and consumers will contribute to the field of integrative medicine and ultimately surpass their mentors.

 

By Linxin Zhang, MPH, Boston University School of Public Health
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Staff Research Associate

Copy-edited by:

Rosana Chan, MPH, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrator

Vivianne Chang, Human Biology and Society B.S., UCLA 2014
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrative Assistant

 

 

Interested in contributing to next year’s conference? Please email the ASCIM team at <ASCIM.SIMatUCLA@gmail.com> with your name and contact information.

 

Related Resources and Links:


Dr. Justin Laube on “Integrative & Holistic Primary Care”

UCLA Center for East-West Medicine

PRESENTS

Integrative & Holistic Primary Care

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 7:00-8:30PM

Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center – Auditorium

1250 16th St. Santa Monica, CA

Justin Laube, MD, UCLA internal medicine physician, will explore the philosophy behind UCLA’s new East-West primary care clinic at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and discuss the meaning of holistic and integrative medicine, new approaches to primary care and ways to enhance well-being through self-care.

RSVP: (800) 516-5323

Click here to view the event details in UCLA’s Vital Signs – March Community Health Programs.

 


Introduction to Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

electrodes of tens device on shoulder, tens therapy, nerve stimu

In this article:

 

INTRODUCTION

Electrical stimulation for pain reduction is not a novel idea.  Scribonius Largus, court physician to Julius Caesar, documented its use in ancient Rome as early as 63 A.D. in the form of standing on an electrical fish. It was not until the 16th-20th century that people began to use electrostatic devices for pain relief, a method which gained the support of academics like Benjamin Franklin. Clyde Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, an American neurosurgeon and pioneer in pain medicine, is mainly credited for the development of the modern TENS unit. The first wearable TENS unit was patented in the US in 1974.

The modern day transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a portable device that uses an electric current to stimulate nerves, muscles, and tendons.  It is intended to reduce both acute and chronic pain. These devices are able to manipulate frequency, pulse width, and intensity of the electric current.  It is usually placed on the skin or attached to acupuncture needles using two or more electrodes (a conductor through which electricity enters or leaves an object, substance, or region). An adequate intensity of electrical stimulation is necessary to achieve pain relief with TENS. [6]

 

HOW IT WORKS

A few studies have shown that TENS may modulate or suppress pain signals in the brain.  The currently proposed mechanisms of the TENS unit’s ability to neuromodulate are as follows:

  • Restoration of impulses from the periphery of the body to the brain or spinal cord
  • Internal pain control via opioid peptides: endorphins, enkephalins, and dynorphins
  • Inhibitory signals originating from the spinal cord
  • Direct inhibition of an abnormally excited nerve[6]

 

USES

The TENS unit is commonly used in physical therapy in Western culture, and in acupuncture in Eastern culture. However, the approaches taken by a physical therapist and an acupuncturist differ in how the device is physically connected to the patient. Physical therapists usually use TENS units that have rubber electrodes that conduct through the skin, while acupuncturists connect the TENS unit to acupuncture needles, producing a stronger effect. Duration of use ranges from fifteen minutes to several hours a day. The use of a TENS unit should be discussed with a provider prior to application, as duration and frequency may vary based on the condition being treated.

In Chinese medicine, the TENS unit is either placed directly on the skin at acupoints or attached to acupuncture needles.  It can be used for relaxation and to build up Qi, the Chinese term for energy and energy flow, at a low frequency (below 4 Hz). To open a blockage in a meridian (energy channel within the body) and let Qi flow freely, the frequency is usually set above 10 Hz.

Research on the effectiveness of TENS for a wide range of medical conditionshas yielded varying results from unfavorable to very favorable. Existing clinical reports address the different uses of TENS (based on the Western approach), its efficacy, as well as some controversies. As of now, the use of TENS is considered a favorable pain-relief option, with efficacy varying by study and medical condition.  Some of the conditions for which TENS has been studied include:

  • Musculoskeletal pain, such as joint pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute post operative pain: The evidence of TENS for low back pain and myofascial pain is controversial. A 2007 review showed evidence supporting TENS in chronic musculoskeletal pain[1].  Another review from the Cochrane Collaboration in 2008 deemed the evidence evaluating TENS for low back pain to be poor quality and no definite conclusions could be drawn [2,5].  Evidence from another study in 2008 found no benefit in using TENS for neck pain when compared to a placebo treatment [3]. A 2010 review showed evidence that argued against the efficacy of TENS in chronic low back pain.
  • Neurogenic pain, trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia, atypical facial pain, pain after spinal cord injury (SCI) [4,7]: A recent study conducted in 2014 suggests that postherpetic neuralgia cannot be completely prevented. However, as a single therapy, TENS was found to be the most successful among the tested treatments in reducing the incidence of subacute herpetic neuralgia.
  • Visceral pain, urge incontinence, and diabetic neuropathy (per an American Academy of Neurology literature study) [4]: In this particular study, researchers performed a systematic literature search of Medline and the Cochrane Library from their respective inceptions to April The literature search demonstrated that TENS is likely effective in treating painful diabetic neuropathy. In another study, TENS improved incontinence symptoms, enhanced quality of life, and decreased adverse effects; hence, it is recommended in treating poststroke urge incontinence (UI) [8].

 

SAFETY

If used appropriately, a TENS unit has the potential to provide pain relief and is associated with minimal side effects and is considered low risk.

There are several areas of the body where the use of TENS electrodes are contraindicated:

  • Over the eyes (risk for increasing intraocular pressure)
  • On the head
  • Directly over the spinal column
  • Over a tumor
  • Over broken skin or open wounds; however, electrodes can be placed around the wounds.
  • On the front of the neck (risk for causing acute low blood pressure)
  • On the chest either through electrodes placed anteriorly or posteriorly
  • Over an artificial cardiac pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • The TENS unit is thought to be less effective on areas of decreased sensation/numbness due to nerve damage.
  • TENS has the potential to cause skin damage at high currents.
  • TENS is to be used with caution in pregnant women (avoid placing electrodes on the uterus and surrounding areas) and people with epilepsy.

 

CONCLUSION

The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has existed for many centuries. However, it has only been studied in a few medical conditions. This demonstrates a need for more studies to verify the efficacy of TENS, and its use remains controversial at this time. Despite the paucity of scientific research, many who have tried TENS units subjectively report pain relief.

Although TENS units are widely available for purchase from commercial vendors, one should consult the advice of a healthcare provider prior to use. The individual vendor for a TENS unit may provide instructions for safe use of their device along with the product; however, no official guidelines currently exist. TENS units may range in price from thirty to several hundred dollars.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Johnson M, Martinson M. Efficacy of electrical nerve stimulation for chronic musculoskeletal pain: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pain. 2007;130:157–165. [PubMed]
  2. Nnoaham, K. E.; Kumbang, J. (2008). “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic pain”. In Nnoaham, Kelechi E. “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews(3): CD003222.
  3. Haldeman, S.; Carroll, L.; Cassidy, J. D.; Schubert, J.; Nygren, Å.; Bone Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain Its Associated Disorders (2008). “The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders”. Spine33 (4 Suppl): S5–S7.
  4. Dubinsky, R. M.; Miyasaki, J. (2009). “Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology”. Neurology74(2): 173–176.
  5. Khadilkar, A.; Odebiyi, D. O.; Brosseau, L.; Wells, G. A. (2008). “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) versus placebo for chronic low-back pain”. In Brosseau, Lucie. “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews(4): CD003008.
  6. Sluka KA. The Neurobiology of pain and foundations for electrical stimulation. In: Robinson AJ, Snyder-Mackler L, editors. Clinical Electrophysiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Philadelphia: 2008. pp. 107–149.7.
  7. Stepanovic A, Kolsek M, Kersnik J, Erculj V. Prevention of post-herpetic neuralgia using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2014 Dec 4.
  8. Guo ZF, Liu Y, Hu GH, Liu H, Xu YF, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the treatment of patients with poststroke urinary incontinence. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 May 23;9:851-6. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S61084. eCollection 2014.

 

By Felicia C. Yu, MD
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, East-West Primary Care Fellow

Copy-edited by:

Rosana Chan, MPH, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrator

Vivianne Chang, Human Biology and Society B.S., UCLA 2014
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Administrative Assistant

 


Self-Applied Acupressure May Improve Constipation Symptoms

About 19 percent of North Americans suffer from constipation, the digestive condition more common among women, non-whites, people older than 60, those who are not physically active, and the poor. The costs of the condition are significant, and it can also lead to depression, lower quality of life and a drop in work productivity. Current treatments include the use of laxatives, increased intake of dietary fiber and fluid, and exercise.

New research from the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows how Eastern and Western medicine can blend to alleviate this common medical problem. Ryan Abbott, JD, MD, MTOM, Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School and Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and his colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial demonstrating that perineal self-acupressure, a simple technique involving the application of external pressure to the perineum — the area between the anus and genitals — can help patients have a bowel movement. This study builds on earlier research, which suggest that the technique can facilitate defecation of stools, relax the anal sphincter muscles, and stimulate the nerves involved in bowel movement.

The study assessed 91 patients who met Rome III, the criteria for functional constipation. Of the 91, 45 were randomly assigned to standard care and 46 to the self-acupressure group. Both groups received educational materials about constipation and conventional treatment options. While the standard care group was given conventional treatment options, the self-acupressure group received additional sex-specific educational material and training in the technique.

According to the investigators, participants in the treatment group assessed the intervention positively. Seventy two percent of the 46 patients applying the self-acupressure group improved constipation symptoms at 4 weeks and said the technique helped to “avoid or better manage the effect of constipation.” In addition, 82% of the patients in the treatment group said they would continue use the technique, and 72% said they would recommend it to family and friends. Overall, the technique has shown benefits in improving bowel function and quality of life for people suffering from this common digestive condition.

“This study suggests that clinicians should consider incorporating education in perineal self-acupressure as a first-line treatment for constipation, along with conventional interventions such as increased exercise and dietary fiber intake,” the authors conclude. In addition to the treatment’s low-risk profile and the potential to control treatment costs, “perineal self-acupressure may represent an effective alternative to conventional treatment options,” particularly for individuals who do not respond favorably to existing treatment options.

 

To view the original article on Medscape, click here.
*Note: Users may need to register for a free Medscape account for complete access.

Click here to view the feature in UCLA Newsroom.

To learn more about the technique, click here to visit the Yale Perineal Pressure webpage.


East-West Primary Care Services

We are happy to announce that UCLA Center for East-West Medicine will now be offering Primary Care services.

High quality, patient-centered continuity care is vital to the health and well being of our patients. We are excited to work with those who are looking for a more personalized approach to their health.

This one-stop health center will provide full-service patient care which is seamless between evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and referral. Our model of care emphasizes a patient-centered and problem-solving approach, while incorporating many diagnostic approaches and therapeutic modalities originating from traditional Chinese medicine.

Drs. Edward Hui, Justin Laube, Felicia Yu are available to see primary care patients here at the Center for East West Medicine.

If you have any questions regarding our primary care program and what is has to offer, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To Make an Appointment:
(310) 998-9118 Phone
(310) 829- 9318 Fax


Malcolm Taw, M.D. on “The Potential Benefits of Integrative East-West Medicine”

MTawANA2014On August 9-11, 2013, Dr. Malcolm Taw, Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, led a workshop on “The Potential Benefits of Integrative East-West Medicine” in the management of symptoms from acoustic neuroma at the ANA 21st National Symposium in Los Angeles, CA.

The Acoustic Neuroma Association published an article summarizing Dr. Taw’s presentation, which briefly defines integrative medicine, integrative East-West medicine, and myofascial pain, explains what acupuncture and trigger point injections are and how they work, and details the conditions for which these treatments can be effective. The article also illustrates several acupuncture and acupressure points that may be helpful to patients.

 

To view the entire publication, click here.


Editorial on Acupuncture for Breast Cancer Patients Beyond Fatigue

Although prior small-scale randomized controlled trials have shown the potential of acupuncture in effectively managing cancer-related fatigue (CRF) after chemotherapy (1), the study by Molassiotis et al (2) is the first large, multi-site trial examining this question. In their study, 302 outpatients with breast cancer experiencing persistent long-term fatigue were assigned to one of two groups: usual care, consisting of an information booklet related to fatigue, or acupuncture plus usual care. In the acupuncture treatment group, acupuncture were standardized 20-min sessions that consisted of needling three acupoints (ST36, SP6, LI4) with the addition of alternate points chosen by the therapists to reflect real, individualized Chinese medical practice. The primary outcomes related to general fatigue were measured through self-reports by patients using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) at 6 weeks. Mental fatigue, activity, and motivation, anxiety and depression, and quality of life were also measured. Results found significant improvements on all measured outcomes for the acupuncture plus usual care group. The study thus demonstrated acupuncture’s effect on the successful management of clusters of symptoms rather than single symptoms alone. The investigators suggest that future studies should include an active control arm such as education, alongside a no treatment or wait-list arm, such that the nonspecific effects of acupuncture can also be evaluated. Bower (3) elaborated further on the Molassiotis study by addressing the need to determine an optimal acupuncture protocol for treating CRF, and pointed to the potential of including other promising nonpharmacologic treatments to enhance long-term effects. We applaud the study team for conducting a trial of this magnitude and significantly advancing scientific knowledge in this field. In this editorial, we would like to contribute to this important discussion by sharing our own clinical approach at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM). We begin with a discussion of acupuncture treatment for fatigue, using this as a springboard for a broader invitation to consider the ways in which an integrative East-West health model, such as that in place at CEWM, can be used to create a unique system of person-centered care that is also able to address multiple problems simultaneously.

 

Click here to read the full editorial.

 

Editorial citation: Hui KK, Zhang L. Using acupuncture as part of a comprehensive program in helping patients with breast cancer beyond fatigue. Ann Palliat Med 2013;2(1):4-6. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2224-5820.2013.01.14