Hyeyeon Kim, Naturopathic Physician

I believe that eating, digestion, elimination, and restoration are the foundations of health. My main tools to work toward a healthier YOU are Chinese herbs, acupuncture, moxibustion, body work, homeopathy, and nutrition.

As a doctor, I ensure three things for all patients:

  1. Are you eating, digesting, and eliminating well?
  2. Are you at ease during the day and sleeping well during the night?
  3. Are you doing something for fun?

 

How’s your gut feeling?

I understand that digestive problems develop over a long period of time, and no matter what you try, the issues keep coming back. Instead of just giving you digestive supplements at your first visit, I will spend time to understand YOU. I am interested in how you digest not only food, but also your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. How you think influences your digestion and elimination. If you ruminate over thoughts, absorption of nutrients will be affected. If you hold on to something, your ability to eliminate will be slowed down.

I use Chinese herbs, homeopathy, and biotherapeutic drainage in a way that works for you. Along with nutrition, the cause (root) and the symptoms (branches) can be successfully addressed.

Restore your mind and body through sleep

Every day I hear about the mental sufferings from my patients. Anxiety and depression have been their own pandemic long before the coronavirus in 2020-2021. 10 of the top 50 most prescribed medications are for depression or anxiety. Sadly, we are not at ease.

We are also sleep deprived. I know just winding down can feel like a daunting task, but sleep is so important. During sleep, we remove toxins and process traumatic memories, which is key to avoiding diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Whatever your main concerns are, I try to make sure you are at ease during the day and sleep well at night. I use somatic mindfulness and medical Qigong in my treatment plans to help you relax and feel grounded. I also use herbs, homeopathy, body work, and nutrition to ensure your restoration.

Have fun and Be happy!

Can you remember the last time you played? George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Playing allows us to have fun and be in the moment, which results in lowering heart rate, respiration rate, and improved digestive function. When we do something without having goals to achieve, we can simply enjoy the experience itself and focus on “here and now”.

So I prescribe “play time” because playing is the greatest way to cultivate happiness!

Resilience and balance slowly but surely

I strongly believe that health is not an absence of disease. Rather, it is a process striving toward harmony and resilience while dealing with numerous stressors that we encounter in our lives. My goal as a doctor is supporting your journey toward a healthier you so that you can always go back to your most balanced state with ease and grace.

Treating the Root Cause with Chinese herbs

Chinese herbology might seem strange and complex, but it’s about bringing balance to your inner landscape. If you are too hot, you need cooling herbs. If you are too cold, you need warming herbs. If you tend to have energetic symptoms, like nausea or headache, you need herbs that have downward energy.

Let’s say you’ve had diarrhea. You may take Pepto-Bismol, but you know that’s only a band-aid, right? (I completely understand that we sometimes need to put a band-aid on!) My job as a Chinese medicine practitioner is recognizing the ROOT of your diarrhea. Diarrhea can occur for many reasons. There could be excess cold because we need warmth to digest food. There could be “leakage” because we need to consolidate in order not to lose essentials. It could also be from heat because too much heat can make things go erratic!

I am passionate about Chinese herbs because it allows me to treat a whole person and not to chase symptoms.

Food as Medicine

There are three things we don’t talk about over dinner at home: politics, religions, and diets! There are so many diets out there, and they seem confusing and sometimes conflicting. However, the bottom line here is that we cannot treat most ailments without changing our diet.

I suggest diet changes before supplements or medications because food should come before them. I know that changing our diet is hard, but don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure the change is doable, sustainable, and enjoyable. I’ve got you back. I am your cheerleader.

Why do all Portlanders need moxa?

How do you feel spending most of the year in drizzly Portland? I personally think anybody living in cold damp PNW needs moxibustion treatment (moxa) because it is warming and drying!

Moxa is burning of dried mugwort cones over acupuncture points. When there is a physical or emotional injury, whether old or new, it blocks a smooth flow of Qi in the body. Mugwort brings the warmth deeply into the acupuncture points and by doing so it dispels the blockage and normalizes the flow of Qi. From the biomedicine perspective, it increases WBC counts by giving the body just enough stimulus to mount its own immune response. It also promotes the activity of phagocytes which eat up unwanted visitors to the body.

Body Work: Relearn how to be in your body

When I had an upset stomach, my grandmother gently rubbed my tummy while chanting “Nana’s hands are better than medicine”. This is still one of the sweetest memories of my childhood. I always felt so much better after the belly rub.

Massage eases physical ailments, but most importantly, it creates a safe space where you can let your guard down. Here we can build trust and learn how to let go of tension relearn how to be in your body.

Over the years, I have studied craniosacral, myofascial release, and visceral manipulation. These gentle approaches help the body release tension that has been kept in the body and write its new story. I also have training in Pelvic Floor Therapy through Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.

Homeopathy and UNDA: Your own uniqueness matters

I have heard my patients say, “I have ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and lipoma. I seem to have cysts easily”. Other patients say, “I have a runny nose all the time and skin rashes often”. I see overarching themes in each report; one is “accumulation” and the other is “overreaction”. We all have our unique ways of responding which also affects one’s disease patterns. Homeopathy and biotherapeutic drainage address the individual’s unique patterns so that they help unfold the nature of your dis-ease on many different levels.

I have a certificate from the New England School of Homeopathy and have extensive training in bio-therapeutic drainage therapy (UNDA).

Injection Therapy for Chronic and Acute Pain

Pain management is one of my passions because we cannot be at ease at all when we are in pain. One of my main tools for chronic and acute pain management is Perineural Injection Therapy (PIT). PIT uses dextrose, a type of sugar similar to blood sugar (glucose). Dextrose is injected into superficial nerves that are involved in your specific pain.

When you have an injury, your nerve’s energy source (glucose) is depleted, which results in constant pain signals. Through injection therapy, nerves can be nourished and ultimately healed. Because nerves are interconnected with each other, by treating the most superficial nerves that run through the skin, the root nerves can be treated.

I have training from Dr. Lyftogt who invented this novel therapy.

Read more about how I use Perineural Injection Therapy

Laboratory Medicine, Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical Medicine

As a naturopathic doctor, I also utilize conventional and novel functional tests such as basic screening, GI functional testing, saliva/urine hormone testing, food sensitivity testing, etc. to be able to figure out where the baseline is and provide individualized treatment plans.

With these tools, I have successfully addressed conditions below

Digestive health

  • Bloating, gas, abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Heartburn
  • Loose stools, diarrhea, constipation, incomplete bowel movement

Mental health

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma

Women’s health (Women include those who are female-identified)

  • PMS, menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, irregular cycle
  • Menopausal symptoms management
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginitis
  • Hormone related issues

Chronic disease management

  • Chronic pain
  • Headache, migraine
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol
  • Asthma, chronic and acute bronchitis
  • Hormonal imbalance

Cancer care

  • Naturopathic and Chinese medicine adjunctive cancer care
  • Alleviating side effects from conventional cancer care

 

More about me

I am a native Korean and grew up in a rich culture of natural medicine and healing traditions, which have shaped my view of the body and diseases. I helped my grandmother do moxa for her joint pain, cooked herbs with my mom, and watched my uncle insert acupuncture needles into his patients. All of these memories left deep imprints on me and led me to undertake a challenging, yet blissful journey to naturopathic and Chinese medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. I also like to play the ukulele, read cookbooks, and wander around the beautiful PNW with my partner.

Contact and Scheduling

To schedule an appointment, please call (503) 956-9396 or email [email protected]. Online scheduling is available for return patients only and not all available appointments may be shown online.

For other questions, you can reach me at [email protected].

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