• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • E-mail
  • Print

Three Leaders in Integrative Medicine – Part 1: Definition

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine presents the first in its series of visual history interviews with more than 100 prominent leaders in the field of integrative East-West Medicine in China, "Tracing the development of integrative medicine in China: Perspectives from three prominent leaders."


Part 1 of 4: “How do I define Integrative Medicine?”

In this clip, two former presidents and the current president of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine share the several ways that integrative East-West medicine has been defined, and what these definitions imply for treatment, research, and future development.

Wu Xianzhong, former president (1989-1995) of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine states that Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine are complementary. Western medicine pays attention to local pathology, while Chinese medicine strives to treat the whole and focuses on regulating the internal system. Thus, the each system can supplement the other in the ways it needs to be supplemented. Wu believes that a new therapeutic system can be developed that blends the strengths of both Chinese and Western medicines and allows for new understandings of disease processes.

Chen Keji, former president (1995-2008) of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine explains that integrative medicine is combining the strength and essence of each system. Integrative medicine, he says, may be misinterpreted as the “Westernization” of Chinese Medicine; rather, it is the development of an advanced medical science and method with Chinese characteristics.

Chen Kaixian, current president of the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine since 2008, puts forward that there is no one way to define integrative medicine, as there are several ways of understanding and practicing it. Integrative Medicine can be likened to creating a mixture or chemical compound from two elements – at the highest level of integration, Integrative Medicine is the creation of a new medicine in which it is impossible to discern either Chinese or Western medicine alone.


Sign up to receive our e-mail updates

  • UCLA Health