Behind the receptionist desk at Lotus East-West Medical Center, a sign reads: “Peace is every step.” Located just a step off of Santa Monica Boulevard, Lotus has a distinctly peaceful feel about it.

Warm colors embrace you and soft music plays as the receptionist greets you with a smile and offers you a cup of tea. As a primary care center, Lotus addresses concerns as diverse as insomnia, migraines, arthritis, depression, acne, addiction, sciatica and back/shoulder/neck pain.

I was introduced to Kimberly, the specialist who would help me with my ailments. She gave me a quick tour of their five small rooms, each with a theme from the Chinese elements including fire, water and wood.

In one room we sat down for a talk. She began by asking about my health history. She was so warm and friendly, I found myself opening up about issues that I hadn’t talked about in years.

She was interested in it all, explaining that their approach, based on traditional Chinese medicine, addresses the complete individual. They seek to recognize the connection between emotional and physical ailments.

The ultimate aim, she went on, was to create the conditions so that the body could heal itself. This has to do with alignment and balance and creating currents for the flow of Chi, or healing energy. A variety of approaches could be used, from massage to psychotherapy, movement and acupuncture.

To demonstrate the effects of acupuncture I was invited to lie down on a cushioned table. To my surprise, it didn’t hurt at all, just a little prick and then a light tingling. The needle is thread-thin and is inserted barely a centimeter into the skin. I was so at ease in fact that I dozed off.

It was hours later when I had already returned home that I truly began to feel the soothing effects of the treatment. My body felt unusually relaxed, and my mind enjoyed a mysterious calm.

The next day I got a call from Kimberly, just to see how I was feeling. This kind of genuine concern is a big part of what made the experience so special and yes, very healing.

For more information, call (310) 828-8258 or visit