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The Art of Medicine: Dr. Patti Kim

March 27, 2018

 

Dr. Patti Kim is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Los Angeles. I’ve long been an admirer of her work. Her website is such a beautiful resource and her social media presence always feel authentic and informed. She has studied both medicine and art – and now combines the two in her practice while emanating holistic wisdom and beauty. Below, Patti gets specific about some of her mind-body-art rituals and aspirations. Enjoy!

 

 

NAME / NICKNAMES

 

Patti

PK

Petunia/Petunes (only from my Portland, OR friends)

 

 

HOMETOWN / CURRENT TOWN

 

Los Angeles

 

 

MIND

 

My greatest goal on a day to day basis is working on releasing perceived stress and doing whatever I can to fill myself up and feel nourished. My goal on a deeper level is working on raising my self-worth and releasing old patterns brought on by family dynamics, immigrant culture, and subconscious wounds.

 

I believe if we raise our self-worth, we raise our vibration and ultimately heal the body, mind, and achieve everything our Soul desires. This goes beyond wanting a particular house or car or shoes. But the reality is, we do live on the physical plane and we need to figure out a way to live this life in a fulfilling way. And this often translates into what our job, our community, etc. look like. When our vibration is high, we’re able to find the best physical expressions that lead to deep fulfillment and joy. Raising our self-worth eliminates negative filters, the comparison game, guilt, shame, self-consciousness, which all stop us from living our most aligned lives.  

 

In terms of self-care, I definitely need to do physical medicine on a regular basis through therapies like massage and sensory deprivation tanks. At home, I use high dose Epsom salt baths and salt scrubs in the shower to cleanse myself energetically.  

 

I spend A LOT of time alone. I need this to recharge. 

 

Nature for grounding and negative ions. (I definitely need more of this). 

 

Walking. Qi Gong. Meditation. Prayer. I struggle with consistent meditation but I am getting better.  

 

But I also believe that self-care goes beyond massages and baths and face masks. Although this is a great start, especially if you’re someone who never takes time off or treats themselves. But self care must be done with intention. And when self-care goes deeper, sometimes it involves things that aren’t always pretty or easy and sometimes downright uncomfortable, like setting boundaries, letting go of relationships, saying no, listening to your intuition…

 

 

BODY

 

I have a lot of earth energy in my body and it’s easy for it to get sticky and stuck. I also struggle with my own chronic imbalances that make it hard to move too intensely sometimes. For movement, I enjoy walking. It’s a time to do walking meditation, catch up on podcasts, spend time with my dog, get outside, enjoy my local environment. I would LOVE to get into a regular yoga practice and I’ve been told it would be good for me. But I’ve struggled with getting into it. I just always feel lost and have never gotten into a real practice. But that is definitely a goal.  

 

I also practice Qi Gong to move energy and clear my energy between patients.  

 

In terms of what I put in my body, my greatest addiction is sugar. I’m so much better than I was but I know my body is addicted and I do way better not having any sugar at all instead of trying to just have it in moderation. I feel my best when I’m eating pastured eggs, grass-fed/organic/pastured proteins, low mercury fish, tons of vegetables, healthy fats and small amounts of sprouted nuts with little to no fruit, little to no legumes, no grains, and no cow’s dairy. Tons of water and trace minerals to help hydrate.  

 

 

ART

 

Both my parents are artists and I studied both Studio Art (with a concentration in Photography) and Medicine. Career-wise, I ultimately chose a path in medicine.  But Naturopathic Medicine is truly the art of medicine.  

 

I definitely need creativity in my life. I have many friends who are art aficionados and know so much about modern art and artists. I know what I like and what lights me up aesthetically so I seek these out through galleries, museums, the world, clothing, the city, and even TV (um hello! Handmaid’s Tale?!? Disturbing story but SO beautiful).

 

As much as I have a love-hate relationship (don’t we all?) with social media, Instagram has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. And I love seeing beautiful images and discovering artists (old and new) through this platform. 

 

I grew up always making crafts, playing instruments, looking through art books and magazines, and going to museums with my parents. I would like to create more. I’d love to learn ceramics (my mom is a ceramic artist). I’d also love to learn woodworking. My friend Michelle (@neverendingballoon), is an amazing woodworker and teaches woodworking to beginners and I plan to take one of her classes in the near future.  

 

It’s the constant struggle isn’t it? Balancing (insert whatever job here), in my case, a busy medical practice with all of our interests and creative goals.  

 

But one thing is for sure -- I must have creativity and some version of art in my life always.  

 

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