The vision of the clinical pillar of the Integrative Medicine Collaborative is to deliver evidence-based, patient-centered primary and consultative care, providing a coordinated entry point for patients to access integrative medicine services at UCLA health in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.
The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine began as a subspecialty consultative clinic in 1993 and has since become known throughout the UCLA Health system for its patient-centered approach utilizing therapeutic practices from both the Western medical model and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Patients throughout the spectrum of disease often benefit from the combination approach, and the center also has become known as the clinic of last resort for patients whose conditions are resistant to the best of modern Western medicine. Patients in consultative care are empowered to take part in their healing process through patient-centered education, focusing on self-care techniques, a home exercise program, and integrative Chinese nutrition. Currently, there are four UCLA Health locations offering East-West medicine consultative care: Santa Monica, Westlake Village, Palos Verdes, and Torrance.
The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) also offers primary and continuity of care services at the Santa Monica clinical site under the leadership of Edward Hui, MD, FACP. The mission of East-West Primary Care is to empower patients to develop optimal health and well-being through an academic-based model of primary care rooted in the principles of individualized disease prevention, holism, integrative medicine, and the philosophy of traditional Chinese healing.
The East-West inpatient consult service aims to relieve pain, nausea, anxiety, and other common inpatient conditions within the hospital setting by blending Traditional Chinese Medicine, internal medicine and integrative medicine using a variety of nonpharmacologic techniques, including acupuncture; trigger point injections; mindfulness; and lifestyle medicine. Andrew Shubov, MD, and Annie Zhang, MD, are now available for inpatient physician consultations at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.
Built on a foundation of academic, evidence-based research and whole-person care, the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology has become a national model of integrative oncology care and training for "when medicine alone is not enough." The center's highly trained multidisciplinary staff of oncology social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, an integrative nutritionist, chaplain, and others provides essential psychosocial support to patients and their families, as well as guidance in navigating the complex medical system throughout the entire cancer trajectory.
The Center offers a number of comprehensive programs in a calm and tranquil environment, including:
Most services are provided at no cost to patients. The center has served the Greater Los Angeles community since 1994 and is funded through philanthropic support from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation and UCLA, along with grants and donations of any amount.
The Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, together with the Mindful Awareness Research Center (Cousins-MARC), investigates the interactions between the mind, brain, and body in health. The shared mission of Cousins-MARC is to understand the role of psychological well-being for health and recovery from illness, and the translation of such knowledge into effective mind-body practices (e.g., mindful awareness, meditation, tai chi) that prevent disease and promote healing. Through its community and global educational platforms, Cousins-MARC fosters mindful awareness across a person's lifespan to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.
The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is a partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society. MARC aspires to further the accessibility of basic mindfulness practices, making them available without exception to human beings across all walks of life. Mindful awareness (mindfulness) can be defined as paying attention to present-moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. Mindfulness is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. A person is invited to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience. There are many ways to bring mindfulness into one's life, such as meditation, yoga, art, or time in nature. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and it can be implemented more fully in daily life by people of any age, profession, or background.
The UCLA Late-life Mood, Stress, and Wellness Research Program provides state-of-the-art stress, mood, cognitive, genetic, and brainscanning assessments, as well as opportunities to volunteer for clinical studies, including antidepressant and mind-body interventions, such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation.
Phone: 310-794-4619, Helen Lavretsky
Website: Semel Institute: Late-life depression, stress and wellness research program
The UCLA Health Inpatient Wellness Bundle promotes healing in the acute care setting by optimizing patient health through evidenced-based methods rooted in five domains: comfort, nutrition, mobility, dental and general hygiene, and rest and recovery. Addressing these domains will enhance pain management, reduce malnutrition caused by treatments, reduce debilitation from bedrest and inactivity, improve hygiene, and create a quiet environment to promote uninterrupted sleep and reduce delirium. The bundle allows for patients to be in the best possible condition to be actively engaged in getting well and going home.
For more than two decades, the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition has been at the forefront of research, patient care, and education. Because nutrition is a major pillar of health, the Center for Human Nutrition's main approach to clinical care and research is developing personalized nutrition plans to enhance health. Over nutrition is the most prominent nutritional disorder affecting a person's risk for more than 100 diseases. Currently, two-thirds of the United States population and over half of the world population are either overweight or obese. The UCLA Weight Management Program and the UCLA Clinical Nutrition Clinic are multidisciplinary clinics within the center whose physicians, dieticians, and psychologists utilize a personalized approach to help patients achieve their health and weight loss goals, as well as manage their medical conditions through nutrition and lifestyle modification. In addition, the center takes pride in providing the latest nutritional guidance and support for transplant patients, and patients with cancer and many other chronic diseases.
Worried about the wellness of your brain? Potentially concerning symptoms include changes in memory, attention, concentration, and abilities to perform various mental tasks; difficulty retrieving the right words; problems with executive functions, such as setting priorities and maintaining focused attention; and trouble multitasking, following instructions, and managing daily activities. Early detection of changes in cerebral function can lead to earlier, more-effective treatment. The Brain Wellness Center's consultation service provides, when appropriate, a complete medical history, physical and neurological examination, neuropsychological testing, blood labs, and brain imaging for patients with worrisome symptoms, along with an integrated evaluation encompassing all components of this assessment. The consultation service closely coordinates care with other clinical services available at UCLA, including East-West Medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, neurology, neuropsychology, psychiatry, nuclear medicine, and radiology. The range of services make possible accurate identification and measurement of alterations in brain chemistry, structure, and function, occurring even years before patients are otherwise diagnosable with conditions affecting their cerebral function, such as neurodegenerative diseases, early Alzheimer's-type changes, those occurring as a result of recent head trauma, or many years after cancer or autoimmune disease therapy that may have resulted in brain impairment. The center then guides patients to the most effective treatments for their specific conditions at a time when it will most benefit them.
Under the leadership of Drs. Eric Esrailian and Lin Chang in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA is at the forefront of a new frontier in the way patients with gastrointestinal conditions are treated — one that recognizes the importance of not simply treating the digestive tract, but looking at the whole person. The Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program within the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center has a team of experts who work collaboratively to enhance overall health and wellness. In addition to the gastroenterologist, other team members include a GI nurse practitioner with expertise in the brain-gut axis and mind body approaches such as mindfulness, registered dietitians with special expertise in digestive health, and a GI health psychologist who specializes in the use of evidence-based psychological treatments such as gut-directed cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and hypnosis to improve psychological adjustment. Our program's wellness approaches provide patient empowerment and health enhancement to improve symptom management and the ability to cope with illness and thrive. We have expert gastroenterologists, such as Kirsten Tillisch, MD, chief of Integrative Medicine at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a specialist in the brain-gut axis, who develop treatment plans that incorporate not only medications, but also lifestyle changes, including mind-body approaches and dietary interventions. By working together in an integrative fashion, our program creates personalized care plans to meet each patient's needs grounded in the latest knowledge about digestive health, the brain-gut connection and strategies for enhancing health. We aim to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients' digestive health and overall well-being.
Rashmi Mullur, MD, board-certified in endocrinology and integrative medicine, leads a 90-minute group clinic where patients learn about integrative approaches to managing and coping with diabetes. The session focuses on the role of stress in blood sugar management and reviews the common dietary approaches, supplements, and mind-body techniques that have been proven to be effective in diabetes care. Each participant undergoes an assessment of their diabetes-related distress and leaves with an individualized action plan, including yoga and mindfulness practices that can be done at home. Dr. Mullur also sees patients for individualized counseling on integrative approaches for diabetes care, review and management of herb and supplement use, as well as consultation for the integrative management of endocrine disorders, including thyroid and adrenal diseases.
The UCLA Integrative Medicine and Rheumatology program empowers patients to take charge of their lives for optimum health. Through educational seminars, patients can learn about new perspectives on the role of central pain syndrome in rheumatologic disorders, including primary and secondary fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, connective tissue disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition seminars also are offered, in collaboration with the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) and UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. These seminars provide updates on the emerging field of integrative rheumatology and the impact of vitamin D, exercise, meditation, and sleep on immune system function, with implications for health and illness. Educational seminars are offered, including, "Integrative Rheumatology: Engaging, empowering and educating patients to take charge for optimum health," and nutrition seminars in collaboration with the CEWM and the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
Elizabeth Ko, MD, FACP, Medical Director of the UCLA Health Integrative Medicine Collaborative, sees patients for preventive care and chronic disease management, blending traditional medical approaches with integrative methods. She uses lifestyle interventions including yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture and nutrition to prevent and treat physical and psychoemotional conditions. She partners with her patients as they pursue health, which she defines as not simply the absence of disease, but a state of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The UCLA Longevity Center focuses on helping people live better longer. The center's innovative memory and brain health programs encourage lifelong learning, a vital component of longevity, in community members of all ages and are available across 14 states and internationally. Longevity Center programs are flexible to fit the populations' needs, from those with age-related memory concerns to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
The faculty members of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center are a multidisciplinary group actively involved in clinical care, as well as basic science and clinical research, aimed at identifying and treating sleep disorders in children and adults. As sleep disorders negatively impact overall health and can contribute to other health problems, the center also works closely with community-based UCLA physicians and practices to promote healthy sleep, and to identify and expedite treatment for sleep disorders.
UCLA Health offers a unique Integrative Therapy service designed to enhance the care of our hospitalized patients. The UCLA Health Inpatient Integrative Therapists provide the following nonpharmalogical modalities to help create a healing environment and promote relaxation.
The Heart Touch Project offers gentle touch and pediatric massage services for children hospitalized at UCLA who meet appropriate medical criteria. Specially trained volunteer massage therapists and nurses provide positive touch experiences that promote comfort and well-being.
UCLA patients (in room) and their family members can enjoy a 20-minute chair massage, perfect for reducing muscle tension and renewing a sense of well-being.
The UCLA Health People-Animal Connection (PAC) program is UCLA's animal-assisted therapy program. Volunteer teams, comprising a dog and its human handler, offer companionship and warmth to critically ill children and adults. PAC teams enhance physical and emotional healing by providing a positive bonding opportunity between canines and patients of all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic levels. PAC teams meet UCLA's strict eligibility criteria and successfully complete a nationally standardized behavioral exam, along with extensive training before engaging in bedside visits. Since its inception in 1994, PAC teams have recorded more than 120,000 inpatient visits, as well as hundreds of thousands of unrecorded visits to families and guests at UCLA medical centers and community events.
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind is an organization dedicated to fighting childhood obesity by implementing comprehensive, innovate fitness programs in middle and high schools across Los Angeles. These programs include state-of-the-art fitness centers, a full physical education curriculum, and professional development for teachers and staff.
UCLArts & Healing transforms lives through creative expression by integrating the innate benefits of the arts with mental health practices to facilitate communication, build connection, evoke positive emotions, foster engagement, enhance mindfulness, reduce stress, and manage the impact of trauma. These sustainable tools can not only enhance general well-being but also can ameliorate intractable public health problems such as trauma, loneliness, intolerance, chronic pain, and end of life care. Experiential workshops and training programs are offered in art, dance/movement, drumming, music, theater, writing, and other mind-body practices.
Greet the Day therapists provide comfort-oriented hand and foot massages to patients while they are receiving treatment at the UCLA Bowyer Oncology Infusion Center. Participants in a recent study at an academic outpatient, comprehensive cancer center reported a statistically significant reduction in pain, fatigue, nausea, and anxiety after receiving therapeutic massage.
The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative (CRI) is one of the first multidisciplinary academic programs dedicated to the study of cannabis and cannabinoids, the chemical constituents of the cannabis plant. CRI's mission is to advance scientific understanding of the impact of cannabis on the body, brain, mind, and society. To achieve this mission, we engage in research on cannabis and cannabinoids, educational initiatives, and outreach to inform the public of the potential therapeutic effects of the plant and risks associated with its use.
The UCLA Health Creative Arts Program, administered through UCLA Health Volunteer Services, includes art and music at the bedside. Volunteers deliver art kits and supplies to patients at the bedside for their relaxation and enjoyment. Activities include mandala coloring, origami making, and journaling. Volunteers also assist patients, engage in conversation, or foster creativity to enhance the artistic process.
Music at the bedside provides relaxing music from volunteer musicians. Types of music offered include guitar, cello, keyboard, and harp. In addition to playing music in the patient's room, volunteers also play in hospital waiting areas and the main hospital lobby.
Music Therapy facilitates nonpharmacological symptom management, developmental support, and psychosocial and emotional support. Clinical Music Therapy goals focus on rehabilitation and/or comfort support through individualized and evidenced-based music interventions used within the therapeutic relationship. Music Therapy provides family-centered care and aims to empower participants and improve the quality of life of individuals across the entire lifespan by nurturing their cognitive, emotional, psychological, physical, physiological, neurological and spiritual well-being. Interventions might include songwriting, lyric analysis, guided music meditation, music improvisation, therapeutic music lessons, co-treatment with the rehab team involving evidenced-based musical cues, creative arts, and journaling exercises to music, and recording/producing.
UCLA Health Chase Child Life Integrative Approaches seeks to empower pediatric patients to become part of their hospital experience through therapeutic and developmentally appropriate play opportunities, guided medical play, psychosocial preparation and teaching, guided imagery, and the development of transferable coping skills.
UCLA Health also offers:
Under the direction of Dr. Dawn Upchurch and Dr. Michael Prelip in the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, the project will build a robust community-focused CAM research program to promote health, wellness, and resilience in underserved communities, through the lens of prevention. Historically, research and practice in CAM has assumed a medical, treatment-centered orientation. An integrative health initiative that uses a health-and wellness-centered approach holds great potential to empower communities to take control of their well-being in ways that are culturally appropriate and meaningful as well as cost effective and sustainable.
The Integrative Health Initiative is currently working with Eisner Foundation to pilot a Mindfulness intervention in the Generation Xchange program, a partnership with LAUSD aimed at improving health and well-being in adults and learning and emotional regulation among students.
Examples of potential pilot research projects include: