Friday, February 21

East-West Medicine treats body, mind

Doctors use holistic approach focus on patient instead of disease

After suffering through horrible sinus pain, Marjorie Broder was
almost incapable of going on with her daily life ““ until she
met Dr. Ka-Kit Hui.

Battling terrible headaches, Broder consulted every specialist
in town for two years. It was only after a concerned stranger
recommended the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine that Broder
found relief.

“When I went to go see Dr. Hui it was like a horse of a
different color … after the first visit I knew things were going
to be different,” Broder said.

Broder’s first appointment lasted three hours, and in
those hours Hui got to the root of Broder’s sinus headaches.
The appointment consisted of a thorough medical examination, in
which both the physical body and the psychology of the patient were

The problem was found to be in Broder’s neck. An
accumulation of stress had caused inflammation of neck muscles and
vessels, which led to swelling that the sinuses could not drain

The treatment consisted of a combination of Eastern and Western

Broder’s treatment was rounded out with a moderate muscle
relaxer designed to ease her tense muscles, trigger point
injections used to relieve the pain of tense muscle knots,
acupuncture for the regulation of the body’s energy and
acupressure which stimulated the body’s natural self-curative

Broder, who in November will have been with the Center for one
year, has not had a single sinus attack since her initial

“The brilliance of Dr. Hui’s paradigm is that he
truly understands the human body,” Broder said.

Founded in 1993 by Hui, the Center was intended to improve the
health care system at an individual level via integrative

Ten years later, the Center’s mission focuses on providing
comprehensive relief from pain and prevention of disease, through
the integration of traditional Chinese medicine and modern Western

According to Hui, interest in integrative medicine has been
flourishing for quite some time now. As a result, more and more
patients are finding relief where previously no relief could be

The differences between Western and Chinese medicine are their
approaches to the human body and interaction with nature, Hui

“Chinese medicine is more holistic and systemic, whereas
western medicine is more reductionist; it focuses on the cell or
the bug, and less on reregulating,” Hui said.

Treating patients with integrative medicine is very different
from treating patients with Western medicine, Hui said, since
integrative medicine often requires unconventional thinking.

“You have to constantly compare and contrast how the two
forms will fit together “¦ the integration is based on
clinical data, social, legal and financial considerations,”
Hui said.

Treatments can include medication adjustments, acupuncture,
therapeutic massage, herbal medicine, tai chi exercises and
lifestyle changes.

What makes integrative medicine so unique, Hui said, is that it
focuses on the patient, rather than the disease. And by
addressing people, healthcare can be brought out of the
bureaucratic quagmire it is currently in, he added.

“With integrative medicine, we’ve worked out a
Window’s program “¦ it can address any person,”
Hui said, referring to the familiar Microsoft program.

Along with providing treatment for patients, the Center teaches
courses at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, hoping to
empower clinicians and researchers with tools necessary to practice
integrative medicine.

Research on how the two forms of medicine can be merged and put
into practice also take place at the Center.

Hui’s unconventional treatments have found support from
both public and private sectors.

In the spring of 2003, philanthropist Herald H. Oppenheimer
donated $9.6 million to the center so that even more people could
find the relief they needed.

“You know the saying about things rubbing you the wrong
way? Well, here they end up rubbing you the right way,” said
Martin Meyrowitz, a patient at the Center.

An invitational conference will commemorate the
Center’s 10 years of operation on December 6.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.