A dynamic group of skilled practitioners covering a range of specialties.
Nutritional Influences on Reproduction: A Functional Approach. 2020; Editors: Noland D., Drisko J., Wagner L. (eds) Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy. Humana, Cham. Publisher: Springer Publishing. Authors: Horn, Brandon; Yu, Wendy. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-30730-1_32.
Pediatric Acupuncture: A Review of Clinical Research, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Advance Access published online on January 10, 2008. Jeffrey I. Gold, Colette D. Nicolaou, Katharine A. Belmont, Aaron R. Katz, Daniel M. Benaron and Wendy Yu.
Relationship Between Perceived Stress, Acupuncture, and Pregnancy Rates Among In-Vitro Fertilization Patients: A Pilot Study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. December 2009. Balk J, Catov J, Horn B., Gecsi K, Wakim A.
Acupuncture for Adolescents with Chronic Pain: Pain and Health Related Quality of Life. The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 29th Annual Meeting, September 11-14, 2010. Gold JI, Li A, Silverman MF, Yu W, Deng W, Horn B.
Breast Cancer and Botanical Medicine. Alternative Medicine Alert. 2008; 2(6) 64-70. Gomberg S, Horn, B.
Acupuncture and IVF: New Evidence for an Unlikely Duo. Horn, B. Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health. 2007 Vol. 9(2)81-88.
A Novel Approach to the Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections. Horn, B, Yu, W. Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health Accepted for publication. 2008
Why we need to Change the Course of Acupuncture Research. Balk, J, Horn, B Journal of Chinese Medicine. no.87, pp. 54-59, 2008.
A Pilot Study Evaluating the Combination of Acupuncture with Sildenafil on Endometrial Thickness: Yu, W., Horn, B, et.al. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 87, Issue 4, Pages S23-S23. April 2007.
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Cross-Over Study Evaluating Acupuncture as an Adjunct to In-Vitro Fertilization: Quintero, et.al. Yu W., Horn B, Fertility and Sterility, Vol: 81, Supplement 3, April, 2004
The Tao of Pediatrics and Chinese Medicine. California Pediatrician 2003 Wendy Yu, L.Ac., Jeffrey Gold, Ph.D., Michael Joseph, MD
The Benefit of Acupuncture in Children with Different Types of Pain. Paper submitted to the American Pain Society’s 31st Annual Scientific Meeting May 16-19, 2012, Honolulu, HI. Beas V, Meyer R, Horn B, Kobylecka M, Gold JI
Optimizing Ovarian Reserve “I just wanted to say that I have been going through Brandon & Wendy’s online Ovarian Reserve course, and I am simply dumbfounded by the incredible depth of the concepts and materials presented in this course!” – Dr. Ray Rubio, Founder and Past President of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
Treatment of Advanced Maternal Age and Poor Egg Quality Using Acupuncture Lecture at the International Fertility Symposium in Vancouver, BC.
MTHFR and the Infertile Couple Lecture at the International Fertility Symposium in Vancouver, BC on how to help prevent miscarriages and improve fertility in couples with MTHFR polymorphisms (genetic issues related to poor folate metabolism).
Acupuncture Strategies to Dramatically Improve IVF Success Course comment: “Brandon and Wendy always have massive amounts of data, so much so that it can be a bit overwhelming to try to keep up. That said, I appreciate the thought and experience they put into their classes. Great job.”
New Insights into the Eight Extraordinary Channels in the Treatment of Infertility and Miscarriage “After 20 years in clinical practice, it is not often that I encounter material that I find revolutionary and game-changing. Brandon Horn’s new course on the Eight Extra Meridians picks up where he and Wendy Yu’s course on Optimizing Ovarian Reserve left off, and takes it to the next level. Absolutely brilliant presentation.” – Dr. Ray Rubio, Founder and Past President of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Grand Rounds: Acupuncture-What’s the point? (Lecture – Free) Dr. Brandon Horn. Please note, this lecture is on the scientific evidence for acupuncture’s efficacy. This lecture is extremely technical and unless you are a physician it will be very difficult to understand
Acupuncture in the treatment of Autoimmune and Rheumatological Conditions Course taught to physicians at CHLA
Acupuncture in the treatment of Obstetric and Gynecological Disorders Course taught to physicians in residency at Glendale Adventist Memorial Hospital
Doctoring 3 (System’s Based Healthcare)Year-long course taught to 3rd year medical students at UCLA / David Geffen School of Medicine (taught for ~8 years).
Acupuncture, Cognitive Function and PainLecture for medical students at UCLA / David Geffen School of Medicine
In recent years we are seeing a sharp increase in pathogens that do not respond to pharmaceutical treatment. Conditions such as reproductive infections that were once relatively easy to treat are becoming resistant to all known pharmaceuticals and even to herbal medicines.
Historically Chinese medicine has presented a sophisticated description of pathogens and their interactions with the body, yet a solid understanding of the presented concepts was confusing and often elusive.
In this lecture, Brandon Horn reviews the Chinese medicine concepts of latent pathogens and how these pathogens are able to evade both the body’s defenses and treatments; leading to chronic degenerative diseases and infertility. He will further review relatively new concepts in microbiology* that explain the Chinese medicine descriptions of microbial pathogenesis. This information provides highly useful insights into traditional formula composition as well as ways in which we can modify and improve upon traditional formulations to address evolved pathogens.
Restoring Fertility: yoga for optimal fertility. Horn, B, Yu, W.
Deriving Classical Five Element Theory: how insights from contemporary physics help us understand the mysteries of the five elements. Horn, B, AUCM Press, Los Angeles, 2007.
<b>Detoxifying Body & Mind Between Treatments.</b> Resolve: for the journey and beyond. Fall 2007. Gomberg, S.
Dr. Brandon Horn
We have begun to use social media to keep our patients informed. Twitter is populated with interesting new research on Chinese medicine primarily and Instagram has a wide variety of topics and interviews.
This can be seen, for example, by the fact that the average in-vitro fertilization success rate is less than 50%, even in women under 35 years old. By the time a woman is 41, the success rate has dropped to less than 8%. IVF places a viable embryo into a presumably viable uterus and even with that degree of facilitation it fails the majority of the time. This is because most cases of infertility come from impediments that have not been identified and/or addressed. So where do these impediments come from? There are many including structural, physiological, energetic and emotional causes (for a much more extensive and technical discussion, please see the reproductive chapter we wrote for a medical textbook).
In our clinic, the first step in identifying impediments is conducting a thorough evaluation which includes both a history and physical examination. In a typical case, during the initial consultation we are able to identify the issues that are most likely impeding conception or the ability to maintain a pregnancy. Depending on the findings, we may recommend following up with specific labs. For a complete assessment, we recommend some basic imaging studies as well, in order to rule out tubal blockage or other factors that would make natural conception physically challenging.
For natural conception (or really for any type of fertility treatment) it is also important to assess the health of the male. Male-factor is known to contribute to 50% of infertility cases, yet men are often de-emphasized. If the semen parameters look adequate, then nothing is done other than a standardized vitamin/supplement prescription. This is a mistake. Men’s overall health and habits can have profound effects on a pregnancy. For example, while genetically abnormal embryos are usually blamed on poor egg quality, they are in fact mostly due to paternal factors, the biggest one being paternal age. But why does age do this? It’s because of damage accumulation which can be due to a wide variety of modifiable factors. Yet these don’t show up in a normal semen analysis. Paternal habits can also affect fertility and pregnancy. For example, alcohol consumption in men increases miscarriage rates in their partners. There are many other reasons why men should be just as involved in the fertility journey as women. The difference is once the woman is pregnant, male habits (other than being a source of stress for a spouse) tend to have minimal impact.
While the first phase of treatments is to remove impediments, once these are significantly dealt with, we then turn to actively facilitating conception. This involves protecting and rejuvenating the ovaries, optimizing reproductive blood flow and working on a variety of “anti-aging” techniques to both preserve and optimize fertility.
Approaching pregnancy is conceptually no different than approaching any other major life event. If you want to maximize your chances for a good outcome, then preparation is essential. But what does preparation mean in the context of pregnancy? In Chinese medicine, we divide pregnancy preparation into 3 major categories: preparation of the body, preparation of the mind/spirit and preparation of the environment.
Preparation of the body involves first identifying where your strengths and weaknesses are. People are often hyper-focused on the reproductive system, but this is a wrong understanding of physiology. Of course part of preparation includes an evaluation of the reproductive system, but you need to evaluate all of the systems in the body. Chinese medicine has evolved diagnostic techniques that, when mastered, enable a doctor to quickly hone in on problematic areas. Labs and imaging are complementary, and can be useful, but are not an adequate substitute for a skilled Chinese medicine diagnostician. We have seen this over and over: patients with piles of labs and imaging that weren’t able to identify the real problems.
Once any issues have been identified, of course they need to be corrected. Some issues can correct immediately and others take time. For example, certain kinds of oocyte (egg) quality issues can take over a year to improve, whereas other kinds can be corrected within a few weeks. Some issues are persistent and are difficult to completely cure, but can be controlled with regular treatments. Some examples include severe endometriosis, adenomyosis and certain reproductive infections. But the reproductive system itself is often not the most important part of preparation, rather it’s identifying problems in other organs or systems, since ALL of them are involved in reproduction.
The second area is to prepare the mind/spirit. The subconscious is real and can have profound and tangible influences on your life as a whole, let alone your ability to reproduce. There are many ways to work with your subconscious, but in preparation for having children, we have found many people have subconscious blocks with having children. For example, some people paradoxically are not ok with the idea of being a parent, or being pregnant. They may have deeper fears of body image or fear of loss. Some people who have had abortions in the past feel guilt and that they deserve to be infertile. There are a wide variety of problems that we may or may not realize we have, and if your subconscious doesn’t want you to be pregnant, it has a wide variety of tools at its disposal to keep that from happening.
Finally, preparing the environment is essential. This in Chinese medicine is referred to as “feng shui” which is the art of how energy flows. But energy flow isn’t just about taking a compass and putting a statue of a turtle in the corner of your house, it’s about identifying things that disrupt a good flow of energy which can include many types of things in your environment; be it noise pollution, air pollution, EMF pollution … or even people around you that exude a lot of negativity, including spouses! While we don’t have to resolve everything, creating a safe and comfortable environment can greatly promote fertility and proper fetal development.
Keep in mind that perfection is not required, but over the last 20 years we have seen these factors play decisive roles in couples who had not been able to conceive prior to making these changes.
Stephanie Singleton, LMT comes to LCIM with over 15 years experience as a licensed massage therapist. She treats a wide range of conditions from stress induced symptoms, to sports injuries, to pregnancy discomforts. She has specialized training in both fertility massage and pregnancy/prenatal massage and incorporates many techniques.
“She has an excellent touch and also has a great sense of when to talk and when not to talk, her massages feel great, and her personality allows me the space to de-stress” – Pamela T.
“Stephanie has that uncanny ability to have just the right pressure in just the right places… she’s a keeper.” – Joan R.
“Stephanie is the first person I’ve been impressed enough with to see weekly. I come in on Tuesdays and it gives me something to look forward to at the beginning of every week… the only bad thing is that I’ve become a massage snob and can’t enjoy mediocre massages anymore ;-)” – Adam H.
Anne Albrecht, MSOM, LAc Anne received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and her master’s degree in Chinese medicine from Yo San University. She then began working as an acupuncturist and herbalist within a family medicine practice and found that she especially liked working with kids. Anne then began extensive training in pediatrics, studying under some of the top pediatric acupuncturists in the country. Since the birth of her son, Anne has focused her practice on working exclusively with children.
In addition to pediatrics, Anne is extremely knowledgable about organic gardening and teaches classes on growing medicinal herbs and creating natural, medicinal skin care products for kids. When not at work, Anne can be found camping, chasing her son and dog around and working in her garden.
Steve Gomberg, LAc, MTOM, CCN, RH (AHG) is a practicing herbalist, acupuncturist and clinical nutritionist specializing in oncology (cancer) and internal medicine. A proponent of a multi-disciplinary approach to healing, he works closely with MDs and other health care practitioners, to maximize the potential for successful healing.
Steve comes to the practice of Chinese Medicine with a unique background and perspective. Having been a world-class chef at a fine French restaurant in Brentwood for fifteen years, he developed an uncanny interest in the medicinal properties of various foods. He began using this knowledge in his cooking, but his interest began reaching beyond the culinary realm and into the realm of herbal medicine. After many years as a chef, he left the restaurant business to pursue his interest in medicine.
Steve is a clinical nutritionist certified by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board and is registered as a practitioner of botanical medicine by the American Herbalists Guild. He is also a full professor at Alhambra Medical University where he teaches a wide variety of courses on Chinese medicine.
Steve is a recognized authority in Functional Medicine and authored a chapter entitled The Microenvironment of Chronic Disease in one of the top Functional Medicine textbooks (Springer Publications). He has been featured in Body and Soul Magazine and coauthored an article in a peer reviewed medical journal on the use of herbal medicine in the treatment and management of breast cancer. Steve is also listed as a resource for cancer expertise in Suzanne Somers’ book Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer — And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place Paperback.
An ordained Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Tradition, Steve spends much of his spare time assisting others achieve fulfillment and happiness in their lives.
Irina Nikonova, MS, LAc joined the Lotus Center after having worked at the Eastern Center for Complementary Medicine for over 10 years. Initially, Irina pursued an advanced degree in biochemistry. However, after years of working in both a research and clinical setting with Shinobu Kaneko, MD and Brandon Horn, PhD, she discovered her interests lie more in applying her research clinically, rather than spending years on a single project that may or may not ever make it into clinical practice. Under the advice of both Dr. Kaneko and Dr. Horn, Irina changed her career path and decided to pursue Chinese medicine.
While practicing general medicine, Irina has a special interest in pediatrics and gastrointestinal problems. When not seeing patients, she enjoys hiking, playing with her toddler, relaxing with family and friends or reading a good book (typically something involving the gut microbiome).
Rena Haley, MSOM, LAc, FABORM comes to LCIM with extensive training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and homeopathy. She received her bachelor’s degree in Holistic Health from the American University of Complementary Medicine and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Samra University. Upon receiving her master’s degree, Rena did 2 additional years of post graduate training with some of the top doctors in the fields of infertility and reproductive medicine. She has also studied extensively with Jeffrey Yuen and Kiiko Matsumoto.
Rena is board certified in reproductive medicine as a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Along with fertility and reproductive medicine, Rena has special interests in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She is a professor at Alhambra Medical University where she teaches Chinese Herbology to graduate students and is coauthoring a book on the treatment of fibromyalgia. When not seeing patients, researching or writing, Rena frequents her local farmer’s market and conducts culinary experiments for which her friends and coworkers are grateful (most of the time).
Dr. Wendy Yu, DTCM, LAc, FABORM is a lecturer, researcher and clinician in the fields of acupuncture, herbal medicine and functional medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science in physiology from Rutgers University and Doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine (includes both acupuncture and herbal medicine) from Five Branches University. She was one of the founding board members of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine and has been in practice for over 20 years.
Dr. Yu specializes in the fields of gynecology and reproductive medicine and has a special interest in epigenetic influences on fetal and childhood development. She is a recognized authority in reproductive medicine and, together with Dr. Horn, coauthored the reproductive chapter in one of the top Functional Medicine textbooks: Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy (Springer Publications). Wendy also has publications in peer-reviewed medical journals such as Fertility & Sterility, Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health, and Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She lectures both in the United States and internationally on various topics related to the treatment of infertility and gynecological disorders.
Dr. Yu was the first acupuncturist to be awarded hospital privileges at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) where she was asked to head the pediatric acupuncture program in the department of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine. She was also a clinical professor at Yosan University, where she helped set up an externship program with CHLA.
When not treating patients, she can be found hanging out with her kids, shopping at the farmers market, researching obscure and underground sources for local and sustainable food, cooking, composting, gardening and taking lots of photos.
Dr. Brandon Horn, PhD, JD, DTCM, LAc (FABORM) is a lecturer, researcher and clinician in the fields of acupuncture, herbal medicine and Functional Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate degree from the Ohio State University, his Doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine (includes both acupuncture and herbal medicine) from Five Branches University and his PhD in classical Chinese medicine from the American University of Complementary Medicine.
Dr. Horn is a recognized authority in the fields of Chinese medicine and Functional Medicine. He, along with Dr. Yu coauthored the reproductive chapter in one of the top Functional Medicine textbooks in the world: Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy (Springer Publications). He also has publications in peer reviewed medical journals such as Fertility & Sterility, Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Journal of Chinese Medicine. He lectures both in the United States and internationally on topics such as the treatment of women with poor ovarian quality, the treatment of reproductive infections and integrative approaches to the treatment and management of autoimmune conditions. Venues have included Columbia University, UCLA, LAC + USC Medical Center (Grand Rounds) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA - Grand Rounds).
Dr. Horn also spent 9 years working at CHLA as a clinical supervisor and the Deputy Director of the CHLA acupuncture program, where his focus was on treating autoimmune conditions working primarily in the rheumatology department. In addition to working at CHLA, Dr. Horn was on faculty at UCLA Medical School for 8 years where he taught third year medical students. In his private practice, he sees patients in our Los Angeles office. When not working, he can be found hanging out with his kids, fiddling with electronics, reading, hiking or sleeping.
When most people think of massage, they think of it as something they do as a treat for themselves or for fun. While it can be a relaxing treat, massage can also be a very powerful healing modality if it is done appropriately.
In the proper hands, massage can be particularly useful to improve immunity, stimulate detoxification, move lymph, improve adrenal function, improve memory, enhance fertility, reduce pregnancy-related symptoms and improve fetal blood flow.
Sound nutritional practices provide the foundation for optimal health and longevity and are a crucial component in the eradication of many diseases. Unfortunately, few medical practitioners recognize or emphasize its importance. At LCIM we take nutrition very seriously and our certified nutritionists provide a wide range of services that are customized to your needs.
Our nutritional assessments involve a combination of both ancient Chinese dietary principles and modern research. Our nutritionists have a very thorough understanding not only of dietary requirements, but of issues with the sourcing and labeling of foods as well. This can be just as important as knowing what to eat.
Herbal Medicine has an incredible biochemical diversity and modern research has shown that herbs can have very powerful beneficial effects for many disease processes. This is not a surprise to Chinese medicine, which has used herbs for thousands of years to treat almost every ailment that afflicts humans, from epidemics to the common cold, to internal diseases like cardiovascular disease, gynecological conditions, cancers, autoimmune diseases and many more. In fact, many pharmaceuticals are derived from herbs and pharmaceutical companies are constantly studying herbs in their search for new drugs.
The safety and efficacy of herbs depends largely on two things. The first is that herbal sources must be of exceptional quality. They need proper identification and they need to be checked for heavy metals, pesticides, microbes and other contaminants. The second is that they should be prescribed by an appropriately trained herbalist. The Lotus Center uses pharmaceutical grade herbs that have been appropriately tested. All of our acupuncturists have extensive training in herbal medicine and are licensed by the State of California to prescribe it.
To learn more about how we prescribe herbs, here’s an informative video regarding how we determine the best herbal approach for upper respiratory infections such as colds, flu or covid.
Acupuncture is one of the most ancient and effective healing modalities and has been used for well over 4,000 years to successfully treat a wide variety of conditions. Clinical trials have shown acupuncture’s ability to affect a range of systems in the body including the nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive, endocrine, immune, detoxification, respiratory and digestive systems. In fact, there are over 35,000 peer reviewed journal publications listed on the National Institutes of Health’s website.
There are many different styles of acupuncture. Our clinic utilizes styles that produce very quick results (usually instantaneous). While noticeable improvements typically happen rapidly for pain conditions, it usually takes between 4-12 treatments to correct these problems. More serious conditions may require more treatments. Some examples include: autoimmune conditions (such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), infertility, and other internal medicine diseases (such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular disease, dermatological diseases, etc.).
Chinese medicine has a long history treating Rheumatological conditions. Many of these conditions have the potential to be devastating. Our practitioners have extensive experience working as an integrative team to manage the long term care of those suffering from autoimmune conditions. In particular, acupuncture and herbal medicine can often dramatically help to stabilize flare ups and to help reduce or eliminate dependence on pharmaceuticals. It can also be a very effective prevention tool.
Two of our practitioners spent several years working alongside some of the top pediatric rheumatologists in the country and witnessed how incredibly effective integrative care can be with very serious autoimmune conditions. At our clinic, we expect to see noticeable changes within 1-3 treatments.
LCIM is one of the leading centers in the treatment of women’s health. Several of our practitioners are internationally recognized experts in the field, and have a variety of peer reviewed publications on topics such as infertility, urinary tract infections, breast cancer, cervical cancer, dysmenorrhea and HPV.
A list of citations can be found in our publication section. In addition, the Lotus Center has developed programs for both the prevention and treatment of many obstetric and gynecological disorders including:
These programs are designed to be seamlessly integrated into any care you may already be receiving from your OB/GYN or PCP.
Chinese medicine was the only medicine that existed in China for thousands of years. It has been developed by hundreds of generations of doctors that included some of the most brilliant minds in the history of the world. As such, Chinese medicine developed disease theories and techniques that effectively treated a wide range of conditions from infectious diseases, to dermatology, cardiology, rheumatology, obstetrics and gynecology and the list goes on.
This is not to imply that it is somehow “better” than or a substitute for Western medicine. Western medicine is excellent to treat a variety of serious conditions, particularly acute conditions. However, there are many chronic conditions where the treatment with Chinese medicine alone or in conjunction with Western medicine produces far superior results.
Some examples include:
We have worked in Western medicine clinical settings for many years and are conversant in both Western and Chinese medicine. We have seen the strengths and weaknesses in each medicine and we use this knowledge to get the best possible outcomes for our patients.