As Founder and Medical Director of CHI Medical Center, I want to extend to you my personal and professional expertise to partner with you on a journey to ultimate wellness. My own odyssey began as a child born into a medical and musical family in Taiwan. From these East Asian roots, I came to the western world through medical school in Italy and then to the United States. Medical residencies in New York and Ohio and finally, the beautiful shores of Hawaii, where CHI Medical
CHI Medical Center
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Saw Dr. Christenson for Laser Lipo. Extremely friendly. Got a good deal too. She prepped me on the experience and it definitely wasn't as painful as I would have imagined. I can't wait to see the results. Do your research, of all the laser lipo processes out there, Chi Medical Center has one of the newer machines on the market. Thanks doc!Aura BrooksHappy Client
Elizabeth Chen Christenson, M.D. is not your regular doctor. She is well trained in western and oriental medicine, specializes in Family Medicine and acupuncture and is a faculty member at the Complementary Integrative Medicine Department, John A Burn School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. Her clinic is located in a very serene setting with beautiful view of the Maunawili Mountains Hawaii. She offers comprehensive services, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, which helps to balance the mind, body and spirit to treat complex health issues.Anita MarshallHappy Client
Dr. Christenson is a blessing! I had years of helpful acupuncture and holistic treatment that helped me find the path to wellness, and now Dr. Christenson is helping me advance along that path. She offers comprehensive medical appointments suited to the patient's particular needsLauren AmpolosHappy Client
I have to say that Dr. C is most caring, gentle, generous, thorough, and understanding doctor I've ever met. She is so giving with her knowledge and time and over the course of just 5 months my pain is pretty much gone. Along with the acupuncture, she has taught me tools to help me manage my stressCasandra CamachoHappy Client
Dr. Christenson has been recognized as a Top Doctor of 2017 by TopDoc.
CHI (Comprehensive Health Innovations) Medical Center, LLC
BBC ACCREDITED SINCE 02/04/2005
Interview by Alternative Medicine The Voice of Health, A Multimedia Publishing Company November 2002
Tell us how you developed alternative medicine into your practice.
As a youngster growing up in a family of western-trained doctors in Taiwan, I believed that the high-tech American medicine was the most ideal, while acupuncture was “third world medicine”; something to be left behind. I started my career in medicine with the idea that “west was best”.
My initial medical training in pathology had taught me the most fundamental knowledge of the human body and the disease process. Looking through a microscope as a pathologist kept me out of touch with living people. I wanted to educate my patients, not only medicate them. Although family medicine training did put me more in touch with patients, it also triggered a new concern which has lead me down to my current path.
During my residency in family medicine, I was told to treat each out-patient “one problem, one visit” so that I would be able to see 30-40 patients per day. I realized that many people with chronic health problems were not getting better and that surgical procedures and pharmaceutical treatments were not always the definitive answer. Many people developed drug hypersensitivity or refractory to medication that they have been taking for a long time. I was watching my chronically-ill patients struggle helplessly with ineffective medications I had been taught to use.
I always felt that there must be some other way to deal with this group of people rather than merely following my teacher’s instruction to tell them to “live with it” or give them Prozac. During that period of time, I was invited to a lecture about acupuncture and oriental medicine at our local medical school, the Medical College of Ohio, and I was intrigued by the concept of life-force energy (chi) and holistic medicine, presented by J.N. Wu, OMD, who came from Washington DC. A light lit up in my head and I realized that this technique would be the answer for my chronically-ill patients. I went back to school and studied this amazing technique at UCLA Extension in California and Beijing, China.
The first time I was in UCLA Extension Acupuncture class for physicians, I was inspired by the room filled with 200+ American allopathic physicians with a variety of specialties.
From there on many other energetic disciplines became available to me, including: five element acupuncture, traditional Chinese healing techniques such as: tai-chi, medical qi-gong, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), natural-allergy-elimination-technique using acupuncture and applied kinesiology, computer bio-energetic stress testing, auricular medicine, Rei-ki, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Fong-Shui for balancing my surroundings, music therapy, aromatherapy, color-sound-tuning fork vibrational therapy.
The entire training process in TCM emphasizes the personal healthful lifestyle of the practitioner themselves which is quite a contrast to the demanding residency training program, in which American physicians are subjected to sleepless exhausting on-call hours. These exhausted doctors are then expected to deal with the patient’s life and death situations without adequate rest.
An important part of the healing is that the practitioner has to have a healthy perspective. Each doctor must be open to the flow of healthy energy in mind, body and spirit. That was the reason why we were instructed to practice medical qi-gong in the very beginning of the TCM lecture. The concept of mind-body came from the classical teaching: “If the body is sick, the mind worries and spirit grieves. If the mind is sick, the body and spirit will suffer from its confusion. If the spirit is sick, there will be no will to care for body and mind.”
In order to provide the highest quality of comprehensive care for each and every patient, I am committed to continuing advanced studies in the evolving field of medical science.
I had come full circle, back to my roots, as well as the future of collaborative medicine. My educational experience has been a world-class nature with excellent teachers from every area of the globe, including USA, Europe and Asia. I realize acupuncture went from being an original Chinese-oriented modality to a world-wide accepted healing technique. It was the turning point of my medical practice and my life. For me, this was the living embodiment of “yin-yang” transformation; the perfect balance.
For more information about acupuncture,
please visit www.medicalacupuncture.org
What is your educational background?
My 20 years of medical practice came from the following educational and credentialing process:
Nov. 21, 2002 I passed the board certification exam of The American Board of Holistic Medicine (ABHM), sponsored by the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), the oldest professional association of physicians who practice alternative medicine (founded in 1978). The AHMA represents some of the most respected practitioners in their fields. For more information please link to: www.holisticmedicine.org
Tell us about the therapies you employ and how your patients benefit from them. Help us get to know what your practice specializes in, and how this specialty helps people. Describe the services that you offer.
I established the CHI Medical Center in 1994 to integrate allopathic, alternative and preventive medical modalities, as well as lifestyle management and health education counseling. The CHI Medical Center is housed in a 120 year old Victorian home, which is symbolic of traditional philosophies, while incorporating the technology and contemporary protocols for optimum health. Renovation included state-of-the-art medical and technical equipment, full-spectrum lighting, Fong-Shui design to enhance the flow of life-force energy, healing sound with harp music to promote relaxation, healing and wellness, therapeutic chromatics in the choice of soothing and refreshing colors.
I follow a philosophy that patients are ultimately responsible for their own health, and the patient and the doctor are “partners” in health care management. I work closely with each patient, allowing quality time to serve individual needs.
All new patients are required to fill out a comprehensive health questionnaire. This gives each person a chance to review her / his medical history as well as emotional history. To understand oneself is the beginning of the Chi Medical Center’s health program and the therapeutic process, as well as developing our patient/physician partnership.
The majority of patients who come to my office have already tried most of the possible western diagnostic tools and pharmaceuticals as well as surgical treatments without satisfactory results. During the initial visit, after a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s medical history, I investigate the cause of the illness, including any situation that may affect the emotional balance. Most of my patients, male or female, having experienced psycho-emotional trauma but not realizing it, therefore they are not dealing with it. The pain is then an expression of a deep-seated trauma which takes the experience to a level of physical disorder, such as fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, chronic headaches, back pain, TMJ, hormonal imbalance, etc. I work with the patient to expose the underlying psycho-emotional trauma at the root of the physical disability. If we treat the deep-seated emotional trauma most of these physical pain will subside.
During the initial visit, we also discuss the theories, philosophies and techniques of energy medicine – meridian system and the medical acupuncture treatment protocol. Additional information may be given, if needed, on medical acupressure techniques for emotional release, life-style modification techniques including dietary recommendations and home study materials, which include various books and tapes. One of my goals is to educate the patient to be independently healthy, rather than medicate them forever.
In my experience patients who are self-motivated are determined to be healthy, and take charge of their healing. They respond best to the treatment if they follow the above recommendation.
Treatments are not toxic and minimally invasive. They require the patient to be a part of the healing. The following is a list of CHI medical services:
- Holistic Family Medicine, including comprehensive women’s, men’s and children’s health care.
- Medical acupuncture: Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as a support or adjunct therapy to other medical treatment forms in many disorders.
- Natural allergy elimination technique which combines acupressure and applied kinesiology techniques; with or without acupuncture treatment.
- Mind / Body Medicine, incorporates stress reduction and harmonizing techniques including traditional Chinese healing techniques such as medical qi-gong.
- Nutritional therapy.
With the above techniques, CHI medical center treats the following illness:
- Allergy and immune disorders: multiple chemical, food, environmental hypersensitivity, chronic fatigue, viral infections, candidiasis, parasites, heavy metal toxicity, ADD / ADHD/ Autism associate with allergies.
- Acute and chronic pain management: sports injuries, head-aches, facial tics, trigeminal neuralgia, neck and shoulder pain, various forms of tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyper-acidity, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, liver- gall balder disorders.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, colds and flu, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent respiratory tract infections.
- Neurological disorders: post-stroke paralysis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, vertigo / dizziness, MS (multiple sclerosis).
- Reproductive disorders: infertility, PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), menstrual cramps, irregular menses, post-menopausal syndrome, sexual dysfunction, prostate disorders.
- Cardio-vascular disorders: arrhythmia, hypertension.
- Urinary disorders: cystitis, kidney stones.
- Mental – emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, emotional trauma, emotional stress, eating disorders.
- Systemic problems: obesity – weight management.
- Endocrine disorders: thyroid and adrenal disorders, diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Please share with us a successful case history of one of your patients.
Pediatric patient: a three-year-old patient presented with the following symptoms: allergy reactions including generalized systemic itchy eczema, dry skin, asthma, irritable bowels, failure of thriving and anti-social and negative behavioral tendency. After the first treatment mother remarked that the patient exhibited the best disposition the first time, such as smiling and happy unlike her usual “cranky” attitude. Patient was able to share toys with other children. After 5 treatments, the patient’s itchy skin subsided and the skin became smooth as a sign of healing. When she was cleared from food and environmental allergens with acupressure energy re-programming technique, she was able to resume normal diet without symptoms.
My general observation is that pediatric patients respond to the treatment with not only improvement of the undesirable physical symptoms but also psycho-emotional-behavior improvements.
Adult patient: 22 years old Caucasian female college student presented with multiple food, chemical, environmental and medication hypersensitivity. Her symptoms included: neck and back pain, myalgia, allergic conjunctivitis with blurry vision, dizziness, contact dermatitis, pruritis, allergic rhinitis/ sinusitis/ bronchitis, asthma, laryngo-pharyngeal edema, thoraco-neuralgia (chest pain), sinus headache, severe fatigue resulted from inability to eat most foods due to food allergies which created epigastric and abdominal pains as well as irritable bowel syndromes. Patient also exhibited gross loss of weight presenting 86 pound from the appropriate weight of 120 pound.
She was a frequent emergency room visitor. In one semester she visited the E.R 6 times and was not responding well to conventional medical modalities, including prescribed medications for asthma such as Maxair, Albuterol, Proventil, Serevent, and cortisone inhalers, GI medications such as Propulsid and H2 blockers, and dermatological medications such as Hydroxyzine HCl, cortisone cream and antifungal cream. Her relief of these medications was slight to none and she experienced moderate to severe side effects.
During the course of treatments at the CHI Medical Center her allergy symptoms subsided and she was able to eat most of the food she desired without any adverse symptoms. Her energy and weight returned to normal. She is now able to perform 3-hours dance performance without shortness of breath. Currently she is pain free and lives in a healthy and productive life.
Would you like to share anything else?
In my experience as a medical doctor, a medical acupuncturist and a mother, I have noticed that the following have extreme effects on human system:
- Dietary excess of sugars and other chemical stimulants
- Deficiency of proper nutrients and rest
- Lack of exercise
- Omission of creative activities and meditation
- Lack of loving – kindness to oneself and others
I have found the following to be the most effective for healing at any age:
- Provide the body with exceptional high quality nutrients and unprocessed whole food, pure water and clean air
- Provide an element of creative thinking with visualization and expression as well as relaxation and meditation, mind-body connection techniques on a daily basis
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