New York is a city many have traveled to in search of the American Dream. Medical facilities, pharmaceutical companies, restaurants, fortune 500 corporations, amongst others have all flourished in this city of great opportunities. With a population of a staggering 8.3 million people, everyone seeks to get a bite of the Big Apple. This is the same place where Dr. Harry Kim has made his journey to finally call “home”.
Every journey has an aspiring beginning and a road full of obstacles. Harry Kim grew up in a small provincial town in South Korea to a very underprivileged family. His father often struggled in between jobs and his mother helped to make ends meet. Harry and his three older siblings lived sparingly, with a lack of a helping hand or any moral support. They often spent three hours walking to and from school, since there wasn’t any public transportation available in their town. A vivid dreamer from a very young age, Harry entertained many career options. He aspired to become a cab driver, chef, and even an actor. Harry’s family struggled to provide heat for the home and he found himself cutting branches off trees in order to create fire; an essential that is readily available to us in the United States. His idea of becoming a cab driver stemmed from the warmth and comfort that the driver provided while at work. He also loves to cook and thought that if he became a chef, he would be able to enjoy such luxurious and delicious food that he has always yearned.
Growing up, Harry was a rebellious kid, not paying as much attention to his studies as he did playing outside and stirring up trouble. At one time, he was even approached to join a gang group. His parents felt that they had lost control of their youngest son. Harry’s oldest brother didn’t want Harry to get involved with negative influences and decided to bribe him with $5 dollars, only if Harry was able to attain excellent grades in school. Harry saw this as a challenge and wanted to prove everyone who thought he was unable to do better in school wrong.
Harry soon began to learn that a little persistence and some dedication could go a long way. This was the very time that he began putting more effort into his studies. As his grades progressed, eyebrows began to raise in astonishment. At only 15, Harry believed that if he was able to put effort in raising his grades, he would be able to achieve more. This would one day become a great philosophy in his life: to always believe in oneself.
During his time in school, Harry began playing sports and delving into other athletic hobbies such as weight training. The strain he attained from heavy lifting resulted in a painful herniated disk and forced him to stop training. Harry began to suffer with the pressure from his herniated disk, preventing him from doing normal daily activities and studying properly in school. His back pain also caused him much distress, overpowering his lifestyle. Harry knew he had to find the best type of treatment there is to rid him of his suffering. After 2 years of searching for the right doctor, destiny finally made its way into Harry’s arms when he approached a very talented and young doctor who practiced Physical Rehabilitation and Oriental Medicine. After numerous and continual treatments, Harry was finally seeing the results pay off with significant improvements in his back pain. One day, his doctor approached him and said “You have such great potential and an eagerness to learn. Why don’t you start helping people who are suffering just like you, and have nowhere to turn?” Harry saw his encounter with the doctor as a sign and soon after emerged into his own journey of studying: Physical Therapy and Oriental Medicine.
Harry spent ten years studying Physical Therapy and Oriental Medicine at a University in his hometown in Korea and the U.S. He wanted to master his specialty in order to provide the best healthcare possible to his future patients. During this time, Harry wrote articles published as “CNS” or “Central Nervous System”, in which he lectured a group of over 300 students in Korea on the practice of Physical Therapy and Oriental Medicine. After working for twelve years in renowned Physical Rehabilitation centers in NY, Harry decided to open up his own practice which he named “CNS Rehabilitation Center,” in Rego Park, Queens. Dr. Harry Kim is currently living in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.
Interview with Dr. Harry Kim
Q. As pharmaceutical industries boom, we become heavily reliant on being treated solely by prescription medications in this country. What is your philosophy on Western medicine and how would you describe your methods of treatment?
I strongly believe that every aspect in our life has to be kept in balance. Our body needs balance in order to function properly. Our bodies consist of 12 main organs, each dependent on one another; just like a family. For example, if we suffer from back pain, then it correlates with our kidneys; our heart correlates with our elbows; our stomach correlates with our shoulders; and our lungs correlate with our wrists. If one of our organs is not functioning properly, another part of our body suffers. This is why balance is the key cure to our survival and my methods of treatment allows me to identify one problem and stabilize the patient’s entire body in order to keep each organ in balance. It is like the Yin and Yang – if one part of our body overheats, another needs to cool down in order to conform to balance. Unfortunately, Western Medicine focuses more on treating the patient primarily with medication; which ends up harming the body even more in the long run. Natural healing should be the primary method of treatment.
Q. There are a growing number of young patients (ranging from toddlers to young adults) that visit your facility on a daily basis. What would you recommend to the younger generation in order to prevent future health problems?
The answer is exactly in the question – prevention. Our food, lifestyle and daily activities are main components that keep our bodies in balance. Many of my patients schedule a visit with me when they are already suffering from some sort of trauma or pain. However, what they do not realize is that the first treatment is solely in their own hands and that is PREVENTION. Our western lifestyle contributes to widespread diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, kidney issues, and such. The foods we consume heavily affect, function throughout the day. The first step is for parents to control and educate their children from an early age on the healthy kinds of foods they should be consuming in order to maintain a healthy nutritional balance. In America, our normal breakfast consists of coffee and a bagel, also known as the “New Yorker”. Breakfast is the most important part of our daily meal and where are the nutrients in this type of breakfast? Our lunches consist of burgers and pizzas and our dinners of steaks. There is no nutritional balance in any of these meals. My second concern is our children’s lifestyle. So much of their time is spent playing video games and slouching in their seats while studying in school – this ultimately affects their posture and movements. It is very important to properly consult with a specialized physician before starting a new fitness, athletic or a diet program. Every person’s body has a different composition and should be treated with care uniquely to them. Therefore, I will stress the importance that the number one way to treat a problem is to prevent it from happening and this is done through consultation with a specialist.
Q. After such a long and hardworking day, you appear to look as energetic as you do in the mornings! What contributes to your energy levels? Do you lead the same healthy lifestyle that you convey to your patients?
One of my main philosophies is to “love yourself, first.” This is very important because when you love yourself first, you learn how to love everyone and everything else around you. You become a much happier and healthier person because you start understanding how to treat yourself and in turn how you should be treated. Ultimately, this affects your relationships, lifestyle, and career and all of these begin to develop and prosper. My healthy lifestyle is based on this exact philosophy. My body is my temple and each day I nourish it by eating a healthy breakfast; often brown rice and vegetables with meat. Afterwards, in order to cleanse my body from toxins and bring it back to a balanced state, I drink three different herbal teas (such as green tea). My lunch consists of home-made natural juices made of blended berries, kiwis, tomatoes along with vegetables and other, instead of another homemade prepared meal. I keep my dinners very light and normally try to eat only a small portion of vegetables and fruit. I drink juices, teas and water throughout the day in order to replenish my body from daily toxins. My diet allows me to act, look and feel energetic throughout the day so that I am ready to convey this lifestyle onto my patients.