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2019 TIMA Conference

On March 30, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) partnered with the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation to present at the 2-day Tzu-Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) global forum in San Dimas, California.


Author: Vincent Tse
Editors: Ruth Sie and Annie Law

On March 30, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) partnered with the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation to present at the 2-day Tzu-Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) global forum in San Dimas, California. That day speakers from CEWM, Tzu Chi, and beyond presented on their ideas of wellness. Congressman Ted Lieu, California State Senator Connie M. Leyva and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also presented. 

Many guests had arrived the day prior, and breakfast began early Saturday morning. Guests gathered at the Gratitude Hall at 8AM as Tenaya Wallace gave her opening speech, stressing the need to reinforce the modern workforce by motivating them with meaningful work.

From there, Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, founder of CEWM, gave an introduction of the Center and integrative medicine. He asserts that health is a combination of mental, psychosocial, physical, and spiritual factors; hence the need to integrate western medicine, which is a “tree”, with Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) stemming from the best of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is a “forest”, to treat the patient as a whole. Integrative East-West medicine takes the best of both worlds to give personalized and holistic care by looking at both the “tree” and the “forest”; In the past 25 years, Dr. Hui has combined both western approaches' ability to treat chronic and severe conditions with eastern approaches to “enhance the body’s endogenous resistance to disease” in preventing disease onset, to create a new healthcare model. Moreover, Dr. Hui has led the optimization of healthcare though the East-West model by focusing on primary care, identifying the current healthcare system as a crisis of unsustainability, and overseeing up to 30,000 patient visits a year in his clinics which now span across five locations in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, Dr. Hui identifies opioid abuse as a rising cause of health complications and even death in young adults, and established acupuncture as a scientifically-plausible, affordable, and effective alternative. Finally, Dr. Hui outlined the importance of eating right and managing stress, which were covered in detail by CEWM faculty during breakout sessions later that afternoon. Click here for a more in-depth summary of Dr. Hui's presentation.

That same day, Dr. Yun Yen, President Emeritus, and Director of the Center for Cancer and Translational Research at Taipei Medical Society, gave a presentation on precision medicine and AI, current trends in cancer medicine. Similar to Dr. Hui’s emphasis on personalized treatment, Dr. Yen stresses that using an effective cancer panel is on a personal level by doing a mass genome sequencing to examine critical genes associated with certain types of cancer.

Following Dr.Yun Yen’s speech, Lindsey Kugel, BMA, MA, challenged members of the audience to speak to each other about the best part about working in medicine, and the challenges of doing so. Common challenges identified includes emotional burnout, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment.

In the afternoon, CEWM hosted its afternoon workshops; the first session, “The Integrative East-West Medical Approach; Optimizing Healing by Blending East and West”, was spearheaded by Edward Kwok-Ho Hui, MD, FACP and Thais Araujo, MD. Dr. Hui, like his father had done earlier, outlined the holistic and personalized approach of the integrative model, acupuncture as a reliable alternative to opioids, and the focus on prevention, rather than treatment

Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of the four types of exercise: endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. To conclude the lecture, Dr. Araujo shared the success story of a patient with migraines who lives healthy and happily today through integrated care. Following a short break, Yumin Cho, PhD, MS gave her lecture “Understanding Your Body Constitution from A Chinese Medicine Perspective” and Cynthia Diep, DDS, LAC ‘s lecture, “The mouth as gateway to your gut health; good sleep as the key to your well-being”.