Samueli Foundation for Integrated Medicine at University of California Irvine is striving for better health with a new approach; combining clinical education, research, and alternative medicine, creating truly integrated medicine.
You know I think integrated medicine was even used by my mother. When you think of some of the old wive's tales and some of the things that people have always done I think that is integrated medicine. For example, taking cod liver oil would be considered integrated medicine today and that's something that our grandmothers gave our parents without even thinking about it because they knew for some reason it worked. Susan Samueli - PhD. Founder
The Susan Samueli Foundation for Integrated Medicine has been operating for over a decade now, we're very proud of that fact. The Tai Chi classes at UCI, we're doing so much work with acupuncture, herbs and massage therapy. We are actually integrating.
John C. Longhurst, MD, PhD - Professor of Medicine, UCI, Director of the Samueli Center
The center was clearly ground breaking in Orange County because there was no other center like that. There are number of wellness centers and practices that are integrative here within the community but there is no center that has the comprehensive offering of research, clinical education and integrated medicine clinic such as UCI has.
The Susan Samueli Center is the only center that has a comprehensive offering of research, clinical education and an integrative medicine clinic in Orange County.
We're now training residents and students regularly so that they have a better appreciation and understanding off integrative medicine and for how it works. And this is quite different than old fogies like myself who have not learned about these practices. That's not the case these days and they're now being shown evidence-based medical-practices that really they can incorporate into their own medical practices after they graduate so I think things are changing quite markedly.
Priel Schmalbach - UCI Medical Student
It's important for medical students to learn about integrative medicine because so many patients come to the office taking herbs, trying different modalities like yoga and acupuncture and it's important for the doctor to get a holistic sense of where the patient is coming from health wise and what kind of treatments they're already trying and using because of the different possible interactions with the healthcare the doctor will provide but also just to get a better sense of what the patient thinks will work for him or her.
The future that I visualize for myself I imagine myself being family physicians within integrative medicine practice working with different modalities in the practice having an acupuncturist, massage therapist, perhaps yoga instructor etc. in my practice. Also of course we'll continue doing research and possibly at investigating the benefits and the contraindications of different, complimentary alternative medicine modalities because there is a major deficit of research in these fields.
I was looking for a connection with a group of individuals who are devoted to integrated medicine and I found it in the Samueli Center. A few years ago I took care of seven-year-old child with sickle cell disease, sickle cell disease associated with very strong pain episodes. Five days into the treatment he was still having significant pain. We went up with the narcotic and opiates as high as we could dare to. The next step was really adding acupuncture and he took about 45 to 60 minutes and you can see how the child's painful episode started to subside. It was just amazing and we then proceeded to treat the child was continuous acupuncture therapy for the next 48 hours and he was discharged home later. That was an amazing example of how you take traditional medicine with it but add to it acupuncture distance for the management of pain and how greatly it works.
I became a patient of the clinic because in 2006 I herniated two discs in my neck and was very frustrated because even with traditional western medicine it just wasn't ameliorating away with the way it was supposed and I turned to the Samueli Center for integrated medicine and started working with the naturopathic doctor. She spent a huge amount of time on my history almost an hour on my medical history was just it just blew me away a doctor would care that much to ask that many questions but the whole thing now that I understand it, is to get at the root cause why you're not well. I completely turned my diet upside down and worked with supplementation and then started having acupuncture with an acupuncturist from the service center and also taking Chinese herbs and this combination was amazing. I mean it took time, I had physical therapy but 14 months later I was able to get back to my passion of being competitive figure skater.