The St. Charles Sun

January 19, 2005

East Meets West at Doctor's Office

Eastern and Western medicine have so much to offer to our health and well-being, as well as contributing to longevity. There have been great strides in recent years to integrate the two. It can be looked at as one of the greatest developments of our times in terms of true healing.

Treating the whole person is one of the central ideas. The recognition that our own bodies work together as a system and that we must treat the whole to heal any part of ourselves is finally becoming accepted. The belief in chi (life force or energy) is now recognized as part of the healing. The Chinese have known this for centuries.

We have a unique doctor, Dr. Leon Chen of St. Charles, whose deep knowledge and experience brings healing and a state of wellness by combining these two modalitie.

I met the doctor at his clinic, in what is appropriately called the East West Healing Center in Lombard. My first impression was that I had never met a more humble or gracious man. My former background as a pharmaceutical rep did not prepare me for this. He came into the waiting room and urged me to get comfortable while offering to brew me a cup of tea. We have all sat in doctor's offices for long periods of time, and has anyone ever had a doctor who even comes out to say hello?

I asked him why he left a prestigious career in China to come to America, and he answered, "I was married and had a daughter, and I wanted her to have a better life, and my wife had family here, so we came."

He candidly told me that they have since divorced but that he still has a very close relationship with his daughter. He showed me the books he has written and a picture of his new wife and stepchildren.

The zeal for his work and passion for helping others is very appealing and touching.

Dr. Chen has one of those smiles that is so genuine you automatically want to smile back. His manner is sweet and funny. ! He's small in stature, but there is definitely a sense of a quietly powerful personality. His patients and friends say a lot of positive things about him, but the most often repeated words are "You can't help but love him."

Dr. Chen has published 23 medical papers and four medical books, on subjects ranging from orthopedic diagnostic methods to bone setting and joint disorders. There is not enough space in this article to do justice to his incredible credentials, so here are just a few highlights: He was a professor in China at a prestigious university and greatly respected by his countrymen. He was a doctor specializing in orthopedics, including surgery.

This could have developed into lot of ego in some people, but not so with Dr. Chen. He spends a lot of time being fully human and humble. We use to call it bedside manner. What it really means is listening intently and spending time with each patient, laughing and talking. Healing begins with just that.

The doctor has patented many medicines. One of them is an herbal paste to stop pain and reduce swelling. Many patients believe it to be very effective.

Chinese medicine is extremely evolved at the clinic. Some of the herbs are not available in the United States and have to be shipped from China and prepared in his office.

His bio is so impressive. He has been invited to speak at symposiums all over the world. A newspaper in China described him as a famous expert in traditional Chinese medicine, orthopedics and traumatology.

He incorporates acupuncture, modern and traditional herbal medicine and Tui Na techniques, as well as X-rays, blood tests and MRI technology. There are ongoing classes at the clinic in Qi Gong to help support healing and the cultivation of self-awareness. In conclusion, we have many special people living in our midst, and I am really glad to know another one. East West Healing Center is at 929 S. Main St., Suite 103. Call (630) 916-0781 for information or visit www.eastwesthealingcenter.net.

Joani Foster has lived in St. Charles since 1973. She welcomes story ideas about everyday heroes, interesting hobbies or professions. Contact her at JoaniFoster@yahoo.com.

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