Chi Institute of Holistic Healthcare
Research & Development Programs
Why do we need to investigate TCM in Boston?
Although TCM (i.e. traditional Chinese medicine) has been continuously used and clinically evaluated in
China over five thousand years to date, we feel it should be evaluated again, specifically for the
American population in their native environment. Our research centers on the
safety and efficacy of TCM therapies including: acupuncture, herbal medicine,
and Tuina massage. There are four rationales behind our research program:
TCM emphasizes personalized treatment and the harmony of the body, mind and environment.
America is radically different from China in racial makeup, diet, work and living conditions.
We expect many diseases to manifest differently in the U.S. than in China.
American people have certain health conditions that are not common in China.
Thus, there is not sufficient clinical data for those conditions in China.
Boston is the leading medical center in the world. Many local institutions, including
MGH, have been conducting NIH-sponsored clinical trials on acupuncture. Therefore,
we have a distinct advantage to do clinical research in Boston rather than in other U.S. cities.
Many patients are actively seeking treatments from TCM or other alternative medicines.
Because traditional Chinese medicine is a potent form of medicine, it is important for patients
to use TCM in such a way it will enhance their conventional healthcare, rather than weaken it.
It is necessary to study an optimal way for TCM to compliment Western medicine and to develop
a therapeutic synergy between the two.
How can Chi Wellness Clinic conduct research?
Chi Wellness Clinic, although focusing exclusively on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),
has clinicians and investigators who have experience in integrating TCM with
Western medicine in China and in scientific research. We will also participate
in activities organized by Boston Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine
(BioTCM), which is a virtual institution that brings together investigators
from clinics, hospitals and medical schools in the greater Boston area.
What research projects are going on at Chi Wellness Clinic?
Currently we focus our clinical research effort on how Tuina therapy can relieve muscular spasm
and neurological spasiticity. In August 2008, we presented
our study of Tuina therapy for treating Parkinson's disease (PD)
and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at
Boston Symposium on the Sporadic Neurodegeneration - Genes, Environment and Therapeutic Strategies
organized by Robert H. Brown, Jr., M.D., D. Phil., Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and
Director of Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
How can physicians collaborate with us?
Since our inception, Chi Wellness Clinic has set a policy to encourage its patients to
communicate openly with their physicians. Through their patients, many physicians
have first-hand opportunity to evaluate safety and efficacy of our TCM treatment.
For example, one of our patients had the privilege to deliver a lecture,
jointly with her physician, Dr. Brown, the head of MGH neuromuscular unit, at Harvard
Medical School. She had a rare degenerative condition for which there were no
drugs available; only our remedies had brought her significant improvement.
We welcome physicians and researchers in the U.S. to exchange views and collaborate on research
projects with us. They can share with us their interests and concerns about
traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, we invite clinicians from China,
who specialize in integration of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine
in treating chronic conditions, to visit and work at Chi Wellness Clinic.
By collaborating with physicians and researchers in the Longwood Medical Area,
Chi Wellness Clinic will apply for funding from the National Institute of Health.
With physicians, we hope to publish the safety and efficacy of TCM
therapies for a number of chronic conditions.
How can patients help in case study?
With its continuous use for thousands of years in China, TCM has been proven
safe and effective for many conditions. In the established paradigm of randomized
clinical trials, a gold standard in the U.S., TCM is facing new challenges in
demonstrating its efficacy and potency. There are many potential issues that
ought to be resolved in research, such as placebo control, personalized diagnosis,
and holistic healing.
For example, at Chi Wellness Clinic, we observe many patients who are severely impaired
by "quick-fix" treatments and by the side effects of medications. We hope to build
a treatment procedure that allows patients and their physicians to evaluate
the effect and prognosis of their treatment.
We look for patients who have been evaluated by their physicians. At the
recommendation of their physicians, we will treat patients with TCM therapies
and keep a detailed record of our diagnoses and treatments. At the endpoint of
our treatment at Chi Wellness, patients ask their physicians for a thorough
examination of their symptoms. Physicians can determine the efficacy of our treatment.
This is a practical way to accumulate case studies of a disease category.
Later on, it may be possible to establish clinical evidence of TCM using
placebo-controlled trials in the U.S.
How can you help fund a research project?
We are working hard to find funding for research programs. Funding is very
limited in research of holistic health care and wellness.
It tends to favor established institutions, such as Harvard Medical School.
Chi Wellness Clinic, as a small business, is at a serious disadvantage.
If you have a special interest in research on the effect of TCM on a specific
health condition, you are welcome to contact the director of Chi Wellness Clinic. We will make
sure funding is used specifically for the designated project and the related
work will be accomplished with the highest scientific and ethical standards.
Copyright 2005 Chi Wellness Corp. All rights Reserved.
Chi Wellness is a Registered Trademark (TM).
Provider of Acupuncture, Herb, Massage & Tai-Chi in Massachusetts